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Blue School Middle School

New York, NY

Inspired by Blue School’s philosophy that learning is best achieved through collaboration, we ensured that every space in the Upper Primary and Middle School—from the classroom to the lunchroom—cultivates planned and spontaneous group learning.

The school's entry is set back from the street in Lower Manhattan, creating a generous sense of welcome as well as the opportunity for a 10-foot-square exterior art wall.

A gallery-like lobby contains plenty of built in seating.

A contemporary street level facade along the length of William Street maximizes natural light with large windows and animates the street with a warm palate of durable ipe wood slats and accents of strong saturated color.

A variety of informal seating options, tinted concrete floors, an exposed ceiling, and colorful outdoor furniture give The Commons a welcoming feeling.

The Commons

A pick-up and drop-off area. A student lounge. A study hall. A café. A community space. The Commons is all of it. We partnered with Brooklyn Grange to line the walls with a system of tiered, planted trays that function as a small-scale urban garden and bring the outdoors inside.

The library occupies the prominent southwest corner of the second and third floors. We removed a portion of the third floor to create a book-lined double height space, celebrating this critical component of the new school. Research terminals and white oak bookshelves balance digital and conventional media. Custom common tables and a monumental sofa give students a wide variety of options for study.

Extra generous in its proportions and painted a high gloss neon yellow, the stair was designed as more than just primary circulation; it’s also a vertical room that knits together this multi-level school.

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