Launch Expeditionary Learning Charter School
On Floyd Bennett Field, we are reimagining the former Brooklyn airfield as the home of Launch Expeditionary Learning Charter School’s new high school to advance equity and sustainability.
A Brooklyn middle school, Launch is an NYC Outward Bound School that centers their curriculum on restorative and environmental justice and serves majority Black and brown students. The 20,000 SF renovation of Building 272, an existing 1960s-administrative building, is part of a larger 7-acre site redevelopment led SCAPE by to establish a campus for the expanding school.
Conceived as an outdoor classroom, both the building and the entire site will be teaching tools to amplify the school’s expedition-based learning that promotes agency and self-determination. The campus will promote learning across 1,200 acres of grassland, saltmarshes, and tidal mudflats within the Gateway National Recreation Area, a National Park site along the Jamaica Bay shore.
The entire team has worked to ensure an inclusive engagement process, to design with and for the Launch School community. We brought on Colloqate to lead the team through Design Justice training for the client, design team, and community members to engage with questions regarding power, injustice, and fears, and to center community members’ visions.
This process resulted in a framework for the design, a set of Project Principles: Education, Stewardship, and Community.
More than a school, the building will feature a high-performance envelope and the campus will include a three-acre farm to combat food insecurity and solar energy generation to achieve a net-zero goal.