A six-story former factory building located in Hell’s Kitchen on the far west side of Manhattan was chosen for the new home of Beacon High School. Substantial renovation was required to adapt this concrete building originally designed for manufacturing to school use.
The interior spaces retain the building’s original industrial aesthetic by exposing the three foot diameter mushroom-shaped concrete columns and board textured concrete ceiling. The school library, centrally located within the building’s core, serves as the unifying space for the school and features a two-story glass enclosed reading area. The commons area that overlooks the library becomes a natural central gathering space for students. Framing the seventh floor addition in steel allowed large column-free spaces for a regulation sized gymnasium and a performing arts theater important to the school’s successful arts curriculum.
A rainscreen system was engineered to provide an insulated and watertight enclosure on the existing building’s worn masonry exterior. The system’s elegantly tailored ﬁber-reinforced concrete panels are offset by large acoustical windows and vibrant decorative trim acting in concert to achieve the stringent energy performance metrics of the NYC Green Schools Guide.
New York City School Construction Authority
AIA – Excelsior Award 2017
SARA NY – Design Award of Honor 2016
SARA National – Design Award of Honor 2016
American School & University – Adaptive Reuse Citation 2016