A school dedicated to students diagnosed with autism and other developmental disabilities will open later this month in the Upper West Side.
Manhattan STAR Academy, which was designed by Gran Kriegel Associates, is housed in a 9,000-square-foot space on the third floor of the new Lincoln Square Synagogue.
“We wanted to create a school designed with purpose and consideration for Manhattan STAR’s students,” David Kriegel, managing principal at Gran Kriegel Architects, said in a press release.
“We researched special characteristics, color schemes, lighting, and textures that are known to form a calming atmosphere, reduce visual noise, and help the students focus and learn. Our architects believe in purpose-driven design and not a one-size-fits-all solution; we understand that each place we create will be used by a very unique set of individuals, and our goal is always to meet their specific needs.”
Some of these design considerations include intimate social and transitional spaces, the use of calming colors and tactile surfaces, indirect LED lighting to minimize contrast and close attention to acoustical performance to minimize potential distraction and ensure speech intelligibility, according to the press release.
The project team also included Dagher Engineering for MEP, Lally Acoustics and McGowan Builders, who served as the general contractor.
The academy, which serves ages five to 12, moved into the new space so it could enroll more students. The school is part of the YAI Network and was previously operating out of YAI’s central office.