PS 330Q, built for the New York City School Construction Authority, replaced an overcrowded temporary school structure with a light-filled, 4-story building that spans a city block. The building is designed around a ground level glass-enclosed “gymnatorium,” a transparent multi-purpose space that filters light and views throughout the building. Grouped with other common spaces, the gymnatorium forms a community hub for PS 330 families and the neighborhood. Classrooms are situated along the building’s quiet south side, beyond which are views of Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Strategies to mitigate glare and optimize natural light were among sustainable features that met the SCA’s Green School Guidelines, and earned a LEED Certified Equivalent. Hallways, stairs, abundant transparent walls, and exterior views are designed to enable children to orient themselves intuitively, and color-coded floors simplify way-finding. A nature-inspired interior palette features wood-slatted ceilings that evoke a sense of warmth and richness uncommon in New York public schools. Floating above the front entry and soaring library spaces are sculptures that are a tribute to American artist, Isamu Noguchi, once a Queens resident.

PS330Q, a progressive paradigm shift from conventional public school typologies, was featured with other internationally acclaimed schools in Architectural Record’s “Schools of the 21st Century” issue (January 2015).

Photos © Ty Cole / Chuck Choi