Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, New York Building

Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, New York Building, Project, Photo, News, Design, Image

Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, Manhattan

Astoria public high school for the visual and performing arts, NYC, USA – by ennead architects

21 Oct 2009

Frank Sinatra School of the Arts New York

Design: Susan T. Rodriguez / Polshek Partnership Architects

Frank Sinatra School of the Arts creates a powerful architectural identity for Astoria’s new state-of-the-art public high school for the visual and performing arts

October 20, 2009 (Astoria, New York) – Frank Sinatra School of the Arts is the result of a public / private initiative to create a model New York City public high school for the arts. Developed by the New York City Construction Authority in partnership with Exploring the Arts, founded by Tony Bennett and Susan Benedetto, this new public high school accommodates 1,000 students in its four-year curriculum. Formally, spatially and experientially, the design by Susan T. Rodriguez seeks to celebrate the visual and performing arts, create opportunities for interdisciplinary interchange and connect the building with the surrounding Queens community.

Frank Sinatra School of the Arts Frank Sinatra School of the Arts Frank Sinatra School of the Arts Frank Sinatra School of the Arts
photos © Jeff Goldberg/ESTO

The 147,000 sf building, which includes three theaters, a media center, classrooms, studios and rehearsal spaces for art, instrumental and vocal music and dance, lobby galleries, a roof terrace and supporting spaces, occupies a full block on 35th Avenue between 35th and 36th Streets in Astoria, Queens. The site shares its main access route and primary urban face of 35th Avenue with the Kaufman Studio and the Museum of the Moving Image, reinforcing the neighborhood’s connection to its cultural and civic buildings.

The 800-seat, state-of-the-art Tony Bennett Concert Hall is the focal point of the five-story structure. The theater’s curved form is visible from the street through an open and active double-height lobby. A perimeter frame of daylit classrooms and studios open onto the central atrium space on each floor. This shared internal space encourages the interaction of students and faculty of different disciplines and provides a venue for performance and the display of student work. This primary central space underscores the defining characteristic of the school environment: engaging and exploring the arts.

The glass enclosed studios for dance, music and visual arts located directly above the lobby contrast with the masonry facades on the east and west facades of the building, providing expansive views into the rehearsal and studio spaces for passersby, while providing students with views of the surrounding context with a foreground of silkscreened text on the glass recognizing individuals in the arts.

The overall design for the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, by conveying a sense of openness and welcome to the urban context and displaying the studio and rehearsal spaces on the primary façade, celebrates performance and a vibrant community of the arts within the building, while forging strong connections to the surrounding neighborhood.

Frank Sinatra School of the Arts – Design Team

Susan T. Rodriguez, Design Partner
Joseph Fleischer, Management Partner
Kalavati Somvanshi, Project Manager
Chris Halloran, John Zimmer, Project Architects
Project team: Brian Masuda, Kevin Krudwig, James Sinks, Charmian Place, Mary-Elizabeth Liggio, Joerg Kiesow

Frank Sinatra School of the Arts New York images / information from Polshek Partnership Architects

Ennead Architects


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Frank Sinatra School of the Arts Building

Website: franksinatraschoolofthearts.org