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PS 340X BRONX, NY
New stand-alone annex building for PS 340X in the Kingsbridge neighborhood of the Bronx. The goal of the project was to increase classroom capacities for Pre-K, Kindergarten, and 1st grades while also including a new Gymatorium space to allow athletic and performance functions not provided in the existing school. It includes a new play yard and equipment for early childhood levels as well as older students from both new and existing buildings.
The new building is situated on part of a larger education block that includes Walton High School and another primary school, in addition to PS 340X. Main entry is provided to the annex off of a wide campus pedestrian path, through a small courtyard facing Jerome Avenue, providing a critical buffer space, and a spot to congregate. Simplified building massing follow cues from the other campus buildings and express the internal functions, as well as minimize costs.
Close proximity of an elevated subway line required careful planning with NYC Transit as well as acoustical analysis. Siting of the building next to historic Walton High School required approvals from SHPO.
In addition, artist Chris Silva unveils " Bronx Intersections" in the new lobby. “Bronx Intersections” is a colorful, mixed-media collage features depictions of local landmarks, architectural elements and signage, animals from the Bronx Zoo, and references to the school itself. Images are rendered flatly and in relief and alternate between hand-painted treatments and digital printing on wood. Flat areas are broken up by highly textured surfaces of found wood assemblage. Opaque finishes are contrasted by transparent areas which allow the wood grain to show through.
This art installation is part of the NYC School Construction Authority Public Art for Public Schools Program in collaboration with the NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs Percent for Art Program.
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