Metropolitan Schools Campus

Forest Hills, Queens

Urbahn was responsible for the master planning and design to transform an 8-acre brownfield site within a mixed industrial/residential neighborhood in Forest Hills into a 3-school complex.  The campus comprises three separately managed schools: a 1,000-seat high school, a 750-seat intermediate school/high school, and a 170-seat special education school.  The individual schools share a kitchen, cafeteria, auditorium, gymnasium, library, media center, and centralized building systems.  Site planning included a loop road with dedicated entries and dedicated outdoor recreation facilities for each school.

Urbahn’s design employs bold colors to thematically brand each school division within the building.  The compositional façade language borrows from the De Stijl movement to articulate the building mass and encode individual school “territories”.  While the design is vibrant, the compact massing of the building was kept elemental to minimize the cost of structural framing.

Client: NYC School Construction Authority
Photographer: Elliott Kaufman Architectural Photography