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Hollis Avenue Day Care Center
Queens, N.Y.
James Harb Architects, Andrew Bartle Architects
& Jonathan Kirschenfeld Architects

Whimsical Design Creates Inviting Neighborhood Amenity

© ArchPhoto

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The Hollis Avenue Child Care Center is a new, glazed-brick cavity wall and steel-framed building that provides a much-needed range of preschool, after-school, and summer programs for 115 neighborhood children. The playful brick textile pattern wraps, envelops, and shields the activities of the children from the very noisy avenue and cold north winds. Six classrooms are oriented towards the south-facing playground in the courtyard with the balance of the program filling out the urban edge. The rear wall of the building is made of light aluminum sections, which begin as an elliptical frame for the rooftop playground and garden and then drape down the south wall almost reaching the ground. Landscape elements invade all four of the surfaces that form the cubic rear court.

While the scale of the project is large and bold on the avenue, it then fragments into smaller elements on the side street that blend with the landscape and the modest frame houses of the neighborhood. The curious "sentry box" entry sits along this edge and welcomes the childen and staff to a double-height, light-filled vestibule that serves as a connection to the court area.

Formal name of building:
Hollis Avenue Day Care Center

Queens, N.Y.

Gross square footage:
15,000 sq.ft.

Total construction cost:
$3.6 million

Department of Design and Construction New York City;
Frederic (Ric) Bell, Assistant Commissioner;
Miriam Morros, Deputy Program Director

James Harb Architects
230 West 17th Street
New York, NY 10011
212 645-3600

Andrew Bartle Architects, P.C.
88 University Pl., 11th fl.
New York, NY 10003
212 206-8929

42 North Moore Street
New York, NY 10013
212 219-9931


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