Oculus - Summer 2017 Design Awards - 39
MAPLE STREET SCHOOL
The Maple Street School, a cooperative preschool that "promotes a culture of diversity, collaboration, and democracy," has a
new 3,300-square-foot home. Located on the second floor of a
recently opened mixed-use tower near Prospect Park in Brooklyn, it features three spacious, interconnected classrooms that
encourage group activities. The classrooms are partitioned by
pairs of tall, maple pocket doors with oval cutouts at different heights, giving children and adults views between spaces.
The doors can be completely opened for large school events.
Daily group gatherings, called "café time" and centered on
snacks, prompted the designers to organize the multipurpose
space and cubby area around a central kitchen. Modeled after a food truck, it has a service window and counters that fold
out when in use. A plexiglass panel lists the day's menu.
For safety and toilet-training purposes, the architects made the
bathrooms centrally located focal points and incorporated large
cutouts in the walls so teachers can observe what's happening inside.
Interconnecting play sinks on the outside walls give the children
a peek into the bathroom and across to the adjacent classroom.
Maple flooring, doors, and furniture-a quiet nod to the school's
name-are the unifying elements with their palette of warm materials. Solid-colored porcelain tile lines the bathrooms and play
sinks. Bright colors frame the door cutouts to add visual interest. While parents are occupied at the front desk, a maple pegboard with colorful pegs at the entry entertains children. On the
1,000-square-foot roof, a rubber tile pattern is framed by a combination of warm cedar fencing and perforated aluminum screening.
Lesley A. Unruh
BFDO Architects Design Team
Alexandra Barker, AIA, LEED AP, Adrien Allred, Christina
Ostermier, LEED AP, Ryan Griffin
4Mativ Design Team
Priya Patel, Esther Beke
Marvel Architects, Ettinger Engineering Associates,
Design 2147, The Hudson Companies