Elm Tree Elementary School — NYC Public School 298Q

Sited on the industrial edge of the residential neighborhood of Corona Queens, the simple massing and brick masonry construction of Public School 298 emulates the manufacturing warehouses nearby.

Sharing a city block with the existing IS 61, the new building defines a firm edge for the resulting shared campus. The building is articulated in two parts, classroom wing and assembly spaces volume, joined by a transparent “waist.” The experience of students arriving on the site will be from play yard to transparent lobby with a view directly through to the street opposite. Ascent via generous stair will provide access to the vividly colored corridor of the classroom wing as well as the assembly spaces opposite.

The straightforward volume and methodical articulation of the building is modified by details which celebrate the presence of its schoolchildren occupants, among which are few and low steps at the street entrance, sheltering canopies playful artwork and colors, transparent cafeteria enclosure. Shallow lintels and deeply sloping sills enable views from upper floors to the play yard and street below.

A commissioned artwork by the Korean artist Sun Kwak flanks the street entrance an in its flowing movement provides a counterpoint to the rigor of the building’s architectural expression.

Show Facts

In the Corona section of Queens


Gross area: 110,000 ft2 / 10,200 m2; classrooms, specialized instruction spaces, auditorium, gym, cafeteria, commissioned art


New York City School Construction Authority

PCF&P Services

Architecture, exterior envelope, interior design


Designed for NYC Green Schools certification

lead designer

Ian Bader

Project Credits

Structural: Ysrael A. Seinuk, P. C., New York; Mechanical / Electrical: Joseph R. Loring & Associates, New York; Landscape Architecture: Pei Cobb Freed & Partners; Interiors: Pei Cobb Freed & Partners; Images: Ian Bader/Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, PCF&P