Color and Protection Highlight New Charter School

Feb. 10, 2021

The Bronx’s Grand Concourse Academy Charter School found the right mix that helped the school stand out in the neighborhood—becoming a bright, engaging, inviting place—and stand up to the elements as well.

Bronx, NY
Lubrano Ciavarra Architects

Lubrano Ciavarra Architects (LCA) saw two great challenges when they set about designing Grand Concourse Academy Charter School. One, they needed to make the school stand out amid the sea of red brick that pervades the Bronx neighborhood. And two, they had to design a building that would stand up to the elements—wind, rain, snow and, of course, kids being kids.


The solution to both challenges was StoTherm ci Lotusan. “Color was very important because it was a school,” said Joshua Barkan of Lubrano Ciavarra when describing why they chose StoTherm ci Lotusan. According to Barkan, the design, which incorporated vertical bands of contrasting colors, was inspired by a box of crayons.

To create this signature, multi-hued, multi-panel look, Masucci Construction used a trowel, a roller, the complete StoTherm ci Lotusan system, and a little creativity. As with all Sto continuous insulation wall systems, it started with StoGuard air and moisture barrier under the cladding.

Next, to create the look of distinct panels, vertical channels were cut in the foam. And after a white base coat, Stolit Lotusan finish was troweled on using the StoSignature Stone application technique to create a stone texture, adding, in Barkan’s words, “additional depth and interest to the façade.” StoColor Lotusan coating in distinct colors was rolled on each individual “panel” to create the “box of crayons” look.

Excited children bring the second great challenge: durability. It being a school, children will be playing. And children playing create havoc. The walls had to be able to withstand wayward basketballs, errant baseballs and other unforeseen student misadventures.

In areas where heavy wear or potential impacts were expected, Armor Mat Mesh was added between the base coat and the smooth Stolit Lotusan finish. The ultra-high impact, double-strand, interwoven, open-weave glass-fiber fabric is an option within the StoTherm ci system that provides extra impact resistance. It’s a popular option in hurricane and tornado prone areas or in situations that will encounter similar destructive forces, such as kids having fun.

Lubrano Ciavarra Architects also wanted to ensure that the signature colors could stand the test of time with minimal maintenance. “The self-cleaning properties will keep the colors vibrant,” said Barkan.


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