United Nations International SchoolUnited Nations International School | New York, NY, 2011
What It Was
The United Nations International School - the first preparatory school in the world to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) - was founded in 1947 to provide an international education for the children of parents who were representing their countries in the United Nations. Originally one campus that started as a nursery school, the facility has grown over the years to include an additional campus in Queens and, most recently, an expanded and renovated Manhattan Campus. The Manhattan project, which was a multi-phase undertaking, provided a new theater, cafeteria, gymnasium and exterior area to the school, whose situation on the East River inspired the architects to optimize the school’s views and integrate the building to its surroundings.
Square Footage: 40,000 sf
What We Did
Lighting the facility was a stepped process based around the construction phases of the project. Phases 1A and 1B rendered the ground floor design, addressing the exterior site lighting, as well as spaces such as the cafeteria, lobby, and book storage. New additions of administrative offices, kindergarten classrooms and a junior gym followed. Choices of lighting fixtures were made that directly relate to the finishes and architecture of the building, such as intricate floor patterns that are reflected in the ceiling fixtures and carried through to the exterior of the building.
Designed while employed by Cosentini Lighting Design.
Why It Worked
Thoughtful design led to features like an integrated control system for lighting that allows areas to multi-task, as demonstrated by the cafeteria and main lobby serving as conference room in addition to food service location and point of entry. A creative semi-translucent façade allows for daylight harvesting, then translates the gathered light to a warm glow at night, setting the building apart as a beacon.