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Cross-Culturality and the Public School

This project considers the Lower East Side’s history and its relation to immigration movements that started in the 1850s, targeting the cross-cultural condition of these families and their children in order to best serve them in their adaptation. Drawing from background research and material studies, the main objective guiding the design decisions is the provision of spaces that allow social connection and solidarity as the means for the creation of place attachment and belonging. This stems from the common identitarian strife cross-cultural individuals deal with in relation to the city they live in. Therefore, the lower floors of the school contain programs that can be open to the local community outside school hours while the upper floors are exclusively dedicated to the school community, housing expandable classrooms. Moreover, the diverse collective spaces distributed through the building will allow students to find both fellowship and respite, as there will be areas that are inviting to different levels of extroversion and adaptation. Spaces for seclusion, spaces for collectivity, and spaces supporting the building of ownership are scattered throughout the project. Finally, the thoroughfare cutting the lot and the different levels of transparencies of the glazed facades create diverse moments of exchange between the interior and the city.