St. Ann's School

Brooklyn Heights, New York City

The Lower School moved to the newly renovated structure. Grades 1, 2 and 3 were accommodated with 12 classrooms, a new gymnasium, library, cafeteria, music, art studios and the administrative offices. While working with GVZ architects I was involved with the design, layout, implementation and project management of the project. 




  • vertical learning design
  • open plan learning
  • 12 new classrooms
  • adaptable classrooms
  • roof playing area
  • add a gymnasium
  • new cafeteria 
  • new library


What we love

The library
The library has a lovely cubby learning space which makes us love learning even more.

Gymnasium with a view
The new 8th floor gym was built on the existing roof of the old building. 



Layout of the classroom design was based on a central rotated cube which was adapted for the various needs of each grade. The non-traditional layouts had movable wall partitions.  The gym was added to the top floor by rebuilding the roof for optimum ceiling height, creating a column free space. The new roof was configured as an outdoor play area.


Education is changing. Schools design needs to adapt to new learners.

Learning personalised.

In the 19th + 20th century learning was based on authoritative sources such as libraries, encyclopaedias and well respected old institutions. 

Learning is now everywhere.

The container which "holds" learning, with 24/7 learning, is now unconstrained by time and space. 

Networks are the new classroom.

Formal structures are still used but learning also takes place in networks: bookclubs, digital. libraries, cafes. We no longer need organisations to learn.