Plug-in School


Creating a dynamic, tactile urban membrane between the street and the school that powers a unique pedagogy

The Plug-in School starts inside-out as the core becomes the facade and an urban membrane where the activities that keep a school “afloat” are incorporated within. The curriculum, inspired by Turkish Village Institutes, requires each student to undertake 2 weeks of apprenticeship where they work and learn from the school’s “masters” who cook, clean, and operate.

Instead of defining floors as continuous planar surfaces, volumes that define the classrooms also connect different spaces together. Rather than stacking one classroom on top of another, classrooms are as varied in typology as diverse pedagogical needs of vast number of classes offered within the school. This manipulation activates ceilings to act as ramps, walls as floors, facade as building core.

Floor plan diagrams

Hash-section structure houses a crane system that allows dynamic facade elements interacting with the outside. Cranes hold ramps that invite folks inside, as NYPL opens up their pop-up library on the West facade; some esteemed person presents their TED talk inside the auditorium, while some giant-urban-screens disseminate this knowledge into the urban realm.

This school examines the importance of practices that keep society afloat, as it reflects upon in the curriculum, as the classrooms dissolve itself into the East side of Manhattan.

Columbia University
Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation

Part of  GSAPP Core II Studio led by Professor Esteban DeBacker.
In collaboration with Andrew Chee.