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Teach for America Headquarters

New York, New York

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.

SIZE
132,000 sq. ft. / 12,260 sq. m.
Awards
IFMA New York City Award of Excellence
Interior Design Magazine and ICFF NYCxDESIGN Award
Contract Magazine Inspiration Awards
CoreNet New York City Project of the Year – Commercial Interiors
Services
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