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Long Island City Early Childhood Academy

Long Island City, Queens

This transformation of a multi-level warehouse into a preschool reflects thoughtful architectural design that considers the unique needs of young children while expressing the building’s original architecture and structure to create a unique learning environment that fosters learning and creativity.

Located in a historically industrial zone, it was important for the exterior to establish a strong connection with the interior through the design of a secure and pronounced entryway. The facade maintains the original fenestration and cladding of the concrete building, while incorporating a playful paint schema to give identity to its adaptive reuse.

Common areas articulate the building’s original industrial aesthetic. The material palette is neutral and timeless, anticipating that it will be enriched by the introduction of student projects and artwork on the project’s many display boards and cases. Spaces are emphasized with generous natural light, including skylights and industrial scale windows, allowing natural light to create a bright, cheerful atmosphere.

Classroom design prioritizes flexibility. Materials were chosen that incorporate natural hues and tactile sensory finishes and textures. Low-height shelves and easily accessible storage solutions ensure that materials are within reach, promoting independence and self-directed learning.

The design creates an inclusive, secure, and inspiring space. The transformation ensures that every element is tailored to meet the developmental needs of young children, fostering a love for learning in a thoughtfully designed environment.

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