This building was designed in response to the New York City School Construction Authority’s (NYC SCA’s) request to increase the capacity of PS 143Q Louis Armstrong School in Queens, from 500 to 1,995 students, grades PK through 5. In addition to classrooms, the school includes a kitchen/cafeteria, dance studio, science, and art rooms. Protruding bricks were used on the stair tower in a pattern to symbolize Louis Armstrong’s musical notes.
Colorful tile mosaic commissioned public artwork was included on a wall of each lobby of every floor which celebrates the parrots of the Costa Rica forests for student enjoyment. The school’s interior includes different color schemes for each floor and classrooms with accent walls. The five-story new addition is offset and angled back above the second floor by 20 feet to recess upper floors from the lower residential on 112th street, reducing the scale of the addition on the neighborhood, while providing maximum outdoor play area fronting 113th street. The addition also features a new centralized main entrance to the school to provide easy access to both the existing building and the addition. The building site is shared with the NYC Parks Department through a Joint Operated Playground agreement and includes playground equipment, track, handball, and basketball courts.