Claremont Preparatory School Playground
(click to enlarge)
Playground plan
Federal hall
The 4th grade class is plotting a map on the floor of the future museum
Claremont 4th grader applies coordinate to floor map
The map so far
Sketch of part of the playground design developed in response to dialogue with teachers and kids - a fence tha separates areas while diplaying children's art
Sketch 2

(Unfortunately, the following project was not able to be completed, but for the time being the description will remain.)

The Wall Street financial district is being redeveloped into a residential neighborhood by turning stately office buildings into apartments for families and families need schools. That's how the former Bank of America Headquarters became the Claremont School. As you can imagine, playgrounds are scarce across the street from the New York Stock Exchange so Schoolworks was asked to design one on the 9th story roof.

Flashback to summer 1975:

The Cooper Hewitt Museum of Design opens in New York without a building. Until it finishes renovating Andrew Carnegie's pied a terre on the Upper East Side, it asks Robert Mangurian of Studio Works and a founder of Schoolworks to design an outdoor exhibit of city design using Lower Manhattan's streets, buildings and other "immovable objects" to describe how and why this iconic piece of urban history came to be.

A 50-cent newspaper plots a trail through the canyons of Wall Street, pointing out zoning changes, beaux art ornament, gold lame lobbies, sewer and utlity lines and historical oddities that lend such richness to the fabric of this neighborhood.

Fall 2007:

Instead of just providing a playground design and building it, Schoolworks will try to orchestrate a year-long, school-wide urban design curriculum based on the "Immovable Objects" exhibit. Each class will catalogue a small piece of the neighborhood through art, photgraphy, stories, history displays and other projects and put it all together in an unused classroom to create the school's own museum of design. We'll post some examples as we go along.

If all goes well, this effort will inspire the shape and context of the new playground, which will begin construction in the summer of 2008.