Projects   Building Types Study - Schools, K–12
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P.S. 242
Queens, N.Y.
John Ciardullo Associates

A tight and challenging urban site provides unusual design opportunities

© Roy Wright 

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P.S. 242 accommodates approximately 400 students ranging from pre-kindergarten through third grade. The 21,000-square-foot trapezoidal site posed a problem in designing a 47,000-square-foot building that responded to each unique side of the site. In addition to the programmatic and mechanical spaces, an exterior play area was also required. The site was further limited by zoning height and setback requirements.

The solution was to create an "L"-shaped building with the long leg set parallel, eight feet from the north property line. This leg forms the primary four-story mass that houses the administrative, educational, and mechanical spaces, which are organized along doubled-loaded corridors on each floor. This organization is expressed at the main entry by a full height curtain wall and projecting canopy over the entry. The short leg of the "L" forms a secondary, one-story mass containing the student cafeteria/multipurpose room set along the west property line. It provides direct access to the play area, which is nestled between both masses of the building and is raised four feet above the busy intersection.

Each mass is articulated by three tones of golden brown brick used in combination with solid fields or with fields with accent striping. The brick forms a neutral background for the use of bold colors at the exterior windows (red), curtain wall (blue), and louvers (green). The varied arrangements and size of double- and single-window units further enlivens the elevations and expresses each type of programmatic space.

Formal name of Project:
Public School 242

Queens, N.Y.

Gross square footage:
50,000 sq. ft.

Total construction cost:
$21 million

New York City Board of Education

John Ciardullo Associates, P.C.
221 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019
Ph: (212) 245-0010
Fax: (212) 245-0020


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