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The current convergence of traditional educational models with new innovations in technology, business methodology, and public policy will lead to vast educational transformations. Startup Box: South Bronx, and projects like it, are indicative of the next step in American pedagogy, blurring the distinctions between traditional educational models and entrepreneur-centric programs: between academia and business, learning and production, classrooms and “on-the-ground” initiatives.

New Pedagogic Models

Whether it is universities breaking down the literal and figurative academic walls between “town” and “gown,” K-12 educators searching for new pedagogical models, or businesses exploring new spatial models to support dynamic exchange and critical thinking amongst team members, the importance of architecture within this broader conversation cannot be overstated. The ability to develop new spatial and program models in tandem is necessary to fully study and harness the convergence of education, new technologies, business methods, and public policy.

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Ennead Architects and Ennead Lab bring a unique perspective to this project. Through our collaborations with numerous institutions of higher learning, we understand the potential for new spatial models to both harness and catalyze the convergence of education, technology, business, and public policy.


Working with the Startup Box: South Bronx team, Ennead Lab developed a Program, Concept Design and Feasibility Study for a 5,000 SF entrepreneurial “hub” in the Hunts Point neighborhood of the South Bronx. The project has three primary goals:

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Goal 1: The space must maximize spatial flexibility and allow for numerous and varied simultaneous uses. Specifically, the design must accommodate the diverse needs of a startup business incubator, an after-school program for high school students, and a community meeting space.

Goal 2: The design must create a highly-visible educational beacon in the neighborhood.

Goal 3: The design must create a strong institutional identity for Startup Box: South Bronx.The design embeds a new collaborative work environment within the industrial context of the existing building.

All interior partitions are removed to create a single identifiable space, while a pedagogical “kit of parts” defines the primary studio and allows the building to support the many programmatic needs of the Startup Box team. To make a stronger connection between the studio and the neighboring streets and to create a new institutional identity for the building, the design envisions the new studio space as a glass beacon inserted into the existing building. A new clerestory and three large windows bring natural light and air into the new space and create a strong visual connection between the studio and the adjacent sidewalks.

Startup Box Featured at Jane Jacobs Forum

Ennead Lab’s Startup Box project was presented at last night’s Jane Jacobs Forum. Selected as one of three “Projects that Ignite,” the presentation highlighted the opportunity to re-think business incubation and tech-education spaces as components of a redefined “civic common.

Workplace of the Future 2.0

Ennead Lab’s Startup Box concept design is a finalist in Metropolis Magazine’s “Workplace of the Future 2.0″ competition. Check out all the finalists here.

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Startup Box: South Bronx

  • Majora Carter
  • James Chase
  • Lyel Resner
  • John Santiago