Teach for America’s (TFA) national headquarters empowers the nonprofit to achieve its mission of providing an exceptional education to all children.
Spanning three floors of a commercial building in Lower Manhattan, the space accommodates 600 staff members and visiting teachers, alumni, donors and board members. HOK’s interior design takes advantage of the building’s unusual shape H-shaped floor plates to define different zones.
The open office space features a variety of collaborative areas that serve daily staff needs, while centrally located shared spaces encourage interaction with visitors. A café overlooking the resource center converts into a multipurpose auditorium with a double-height screen.
Interactive surfaces including chalkboard, marker board and cork evoke teaching moments. Playful primary colors delineate space types and provide wayfinding cues. A video wall in the reception area broadcasts clips of TFA participants discussing their work. A portrait wall along the three-story staircase features more than 500 snapshots of students and teachers from across the country.
A resource center provides teachers working in underequipped schools with access to computers, reference materials, copiers and stationery. Additional resources located along “Service Avenue” include a wellness center, a “Tech Shack” and a mail center.
HOK collaborated with Pentagram on the environmental graphics.