Uncommon Schools

North Star Academy Washington Park High School

Newark, NJ

Project Details

Transformative Contextual Design

North Star Academy sought to expand its existing middle and high school campus in Newark’s Military Park Historic District to meet the needs of the growing student population. KSS Architects transformed the existing turf field, parking lot, and alley behind the existing facilities into a state-of-the-art, multilevel building that strengthens the campus setting. Elevated walkways and a new central courtyard and campus entrance organize and connect the three buildings, providing opportunities for students and teachers to share resources such as the gymnasium, cafeteria, and classrooms.

The design addresses several complexities in planning and code review due in part to the area’s dense zoning and proximity to historical landmarks. The new building uses materials that complement the area’s historic context, including red brick masonry and large, Chicago-style windows that match those on neighboring buildings. To meet the fast-tracked schedule, KSS worked with consultants and the city to expedite the project from concept to bid set drawings in just eight months.

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