The 150'000 SF DREAM charter school development in East Harlem is a multifamily mixed-use building that contains the new home for the DREAM Charter School, Office space for Harlem RBI (a well respected local not-for-profit organisation) and 90 affordable housing units.

Located on an open brownfield site within the George Washington housing projects of east Harlem, the lot is such that every facade is considered as important as the other. People will approach the building from every side of the site. this encouraged an initial design principle of legibility and transparency to the public spaces that connect and separate the programs of the school, offices and housing.

The project incorporates these light-filled, open and high capacity spaces in the heart of the building volume, orientating them toward the street and a nearby park. this creates a visual connection to the outside from within whilst providing an icon that glows in the evening, signifying the project as a new but  integral part of its already rich context.



1. Vestibule

2. Reception

3. Administration

4. Mental Health

5. Medical Suite

6. Dental Suite

7. PT / OT

8. Workshop

9. Assessment

10. Model Apt.


Section through the “Commons” waiting area


Creating the “Commons”

The main reception area is a space to…



The connection between workshop and waiting area is celebrated by the display gallery.


A Few Details

The following images show a few of my favourite glimpses of the place... whether a necessary junction of structure, a need for extra storage, a place to read or just a picture of a cute cat!


A special thanks to Chris McCluskie for the beautiful photographs. Visit his site HERE