Josiah F. Quincy School and Community Center

Josiah F. Quincy School and Community Center

The Architects Collaborative, 1976

Harleston Parker Medal, 1978

The original Josiah Quincy School was at 90 Tyler Street. This campus was conceived as an urban village. Its terraced rooftops form piazzas for play areas while a pedestrian street runs diagonally through the site, linking two neighborhoods. All of the community and shared facilities are located along this path. The school’s four open-plan subschools are clustered around a media center and central support facilities. A porcelain enamel frieze derived from children’s drawings decorates the exterior.

The school is packed onto a tight site overlooking the Mass Turnpike on one side, and backed up to an apartment building on the other. TAC responded by focusing inward on a diagonal pedestrian street that connects to – but is sheltered from – the surrounding urban congestion. All of the community and shared facilities are located along this lively path; the school’s four open-plan sub-schools are clustered around a media center and central support facilities.

The concrete and concrete block school has a village like character. Its mass is broken down into a series of smaller elements that step up and down to create terraced rooftops for outdoor activities. A porcelain enamel frieze derived from children’s drawings, along with the windows, adds splashes of color to enliven this well-planned, if somewhat boxy and hard-edged, building.