Spruce Street School, PS 397


Swanke Hayden Connell Architects designed the new 100,000 gross s/f Spruce Street Educational Campus. Built for the NYC School Construction Authority (SCA), this Primary/Intermediate School is built within the podium of a new Frank Gehry designed 76-story residential tower and accommodates 648 students from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade. Challenges stem from composing the school within larger mixed-use iconic tower, balancing its needs and requirements within the tower. Swanke worked closely with FCRC & A/E tower team to meet the needs of the SCA, for the school. By incorporating curvilinear forms within the volume in both the vertical and horizontal planes, the design respects the tower's unusual form. The "Main Street" walls at the interior are subtly shaped in curvilinear forms to contrast with the smooth rectilinear walls of the classrooms, thus serves to activate the corridors. The stadium-style auditorium creates a dynamic form in section, which creates a striking double-height school lobby entry at the Ground Floor with a curvilinear sloped ceiling flowing into the cafeteria seating area.

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