Scalar Architecture transformed an existing 1950s structure in New York into an educational facility that fosters community and exploration. The renovated West Hills Preschool and Religious Center aims to provide kids with the opportunity to discover their individual interests through a self-guided curriculum.
The building sits in a residential neighborhood with strict building regulations that forced the architects to stick to acceptable geometry and materials. It is designed to become a “third teacher” with a flexible learning environment. Using a design strategy that accentuates fluidity, the architects created a variety of spaces and established the connection between interior and exterior spaces.
In order to comply with building regulations and still come up with an interesting design solution, the team used standard materials in an interesting way. This attitude resulted in a configuration of different scales and sequences of folds and patterns. They also integrated the existing 1950s pitched roof into the design to facilitate solar energy and rainwater harvesting.
Photos by Miguel de Guzmán