Parkside Community Complex
Located in the vibrant intersection of Kensington and Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, just a block from the Southern edge of Prospect Park, a new school complex takes shape. Crafted by master school designer Michael Fieldman, the building houses four distinct schools: pre-K, elementary, middle and special needs.
The school's courtyard, perhaps its most striking planning feature, began with a decision to extend the existing street grid through the school's massing. The width of East 8th Street, which terminates directly in the middle of the site, projects deep into the structure, creating two programmatic wings. As students enter the complex, classrooms are to the left; gymnasium, auditorium, library are to the right. Administrative and support spaces, as well as vertical circulation, connect the two halves. The courtyard gives families a protected space to gather during the myriad drop-offs, pick-ups and other events.
A crisp, contemporary palate of materials articulate the functional areas of the complex. The orange terracotta rain screen clads the auditorium; glass curtainwall defines administrative spaces; glass block brings light into the vertical circulation. Classrooms are defined by their bright yellow vertical fin systems that are a playful nod to the windows filled with student art projects.
Photographed Summer 2016.