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George J. Ryan Middle School Addition

Queens, New York

At IS 216Q, educators and students have built a legacy of success. With a population as diverse as the community it serves, students tend to become proficient in STEM programs despite an aging and undersized facility. SBLM’s design will mend facility shortfalls with new labs for the science and arts, home rooms, and administrative spaces, all built over a spacious cafeteria that is positioned to become a center for community use and school programs.

The exterior design of the addition is intended to seamlessly complement the existing architecture while adding a modern touch that reflects the school’s commitment to progress. The façade incorporates dynamic elements, such as large windows offering transparency, openness, and a connection to the technological advancements within. An inviting entrance and lobby bridges the two sides of the site and anchors a motif of gleaming vertical banding reminiscent of pathways on a circuit board; a nod to technological advancement.

Nearly the entirety of the ground floor is devoted to a large cafeteria. It is planned to smartly provide privacy from the street, while retaining a nearly uninterrupted openness to the play yard. The new lobby now serves as the primary entrance for the entire campus and solves challenging floor level differences between the new and old structures. It hosts a brilliant artist-led effort for art in public places, which is reinforced by architect-led efforts at the streetwall in the concrete panels on the exterior and in tile along a feature wall in the cafeteria.

The architectural design seeks to enrich the legacy of this school by celebrating its reputation for arts and sciences with uplifting additions to its campus.

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