P.S. 234 Walkway
292 Greenwich Street, New York
Designer: Macrae-Gibson Architects
“We didn’t want to close of the playground and make it feel smaller, and we didn’t want the walkway to feel like a tube,” said firm principal Gavin Macrae-Gibson. Perforated rectangular and trapezoidal powder coated panels in four colors hang at angles from red connecting beams, offering children a glimpse of their play space as they pass through the enclosure.
From the outside, the walkway adds life to the concrete yard. “It’s very colorful and playful, it’s not a classroom,” said Macrae-Gibson. “You could think of it as play equipment.” Colored plastic gels over fluorescent bulbs soften the passageway’s lighting, giving it a colorful glow.
Since its completion, teachers and students at school have been grateful for the walkway’s shelter, and neighborhood residents have come to appreciate the addition of its colorful geometry to the street. The panels echo the facades of nearby condominiums. “I think it’s a very contextual building,” said Macrae-Gibson, adding “but that’s the world of adults and condos and real estate. This is the world of children and play.”