Augustus Saint Gaudens Universal Pre-K, East 19th Street, New York, NY
With an adjacent public playground, The Augustus Saint Gaudens School has the potential for developing a community green space. Currently, the nearest green spaces are Peter Cooper Stuyvesant Town and the square between 15th and 17th Streets. While interviewing parents, children, caretakers, and residents during the site analysis for the Play Object Project, a common complaint of the existing park was that a part from the trees, it lacked true green space: "While the other neighborhood green spaces are not that far, it is far enough that when traveling with a young child the journey is tiresome."
While researching current theories on Universal Pre-K (UPK) and child development, I noticed that there was a trend toward mimetic learning--younger children learning by example of older children, learning by copying, learning from environmental surrounds. In many ways, the developmental goals of children in the UPK Program resemble that of striated rock formations--older layers on the bottom, newer layers on the top; highly differentiated upper layers due to exposure to the elements, and more stable base layers at the bottom. I used this idea as my programatic concept.