Frank Sinatra School of the Arts

Queens, NY

Project Details

Completed 2009
147,000 sf
$77 million

Architect
Ennead Architects

Agency
NYC School Construction Authority

Awards
2012 AIA New York Chapter Design Awards, Architecture Merit Award
2010 AIA New York State Excellence in Design
2010 The Chicago Athenaeum, American Architecture Award
2010 SARA/NY Design Award; schooldesigner.com, Collabetition Platinum Award (designer element category)
2009 Queens Chamber of Commerce Building Hall of Fame Award

Frank Sinatra School of the Arts is a new public high school that offers drama, dance, music, film and fine arts programs to its 1,000-student population. The five-story steel-framed building has state-of-the-art classrooms, a media center with film editing equipment, an 800-seat theater, two dance studios and music studios with a recording booth and an open rooftop stage at the fifth floor. The building includes a one-level full basement, 100-car parking garage.

The proximity of groundwater limited the building to a single basement and the foundations are large individual spread footings. The parking layout requirements necessitated optimum layout of columns in the basement and transfer beams at the first floor.

To satisfy the needs of the school programming, the auditorium and gymnasium, both of which are high spaces and situated adjacent to each other, created soft stories for the building’s lateral system. There are two floors above both high spaces that required the design of adjacent 80 feet transfer girders. The architecture requires that the northeast corner of the building be cantilevered above the 3rd floor with a curtain wall façade up to the roof.