Inspired by the area's history, Manhattan PK-8 School reflects the pinetree-scrub forest with concrete and steel materials. The school maximizes a small 13-acre site and incorporates stormwater storage. It consists of five major buildings and serves 1,800 students.
Located in the heart of South Tampa, Manhattan PK-8 School derives its character, form and design from the history, natural habitat, and metropolitan fabric of the peninsular district. The neighborhood, Manhattan Manor, was initially a flat landscape with ground cover and Saw-palm-scrub peppered throughout with lanky pine trees. Manhattan, derived from Manna-hata, meaning “a place to gather, and collect wood to make bows” was coined by the First Discoverers during Tampa Bay’s initial population boom. Now, three scores and six years later, Manhattan PK-8 School aims to restore and exemplify that original notion with present day relevance. Manhattan PK-8 becomes a place to gather, collect and assemble our youth, producing valuable citizens for our community.
Drawing inspiration from the area’s history, etymology, and materials, Manhattan PK-8 School reflects the tall, slender, yet dense nature of the Pinetree-scrub forest along with recycled materials of concrete and steel. Striated concrete tilt walls mimic a vertical thicket as they sprout from the elevated grade eclipsing a canopy of roof lines within the adjacent community. Meanwhile, revealing ingenuity and a pioneering spirit, materials of glass and steel are seamlessly stitched together as they converge under a flat, monolithic canopy supported by outstretched columns; further exploring the concept of verticality. Combining these materials of past and present is the idea of betterment and growth, promotion, and matriculation: the epitome of an educational gathering space used to assemble and Trailblaze with unbridled innovation towards an enlightened future. The school is 166,000 square feet and consists of 5 major buildings.
One of the major challenges that Manhattan PK-8 has solved with its layout is the lack of site capacity. Surrounded with development the site is only a mere 13 acres whereas new school designs start at a minimum of 20-30 acres. Furthermore, the sunken elevation of the site places a majority of it within the 100-year flood plain level. Overcoming these challenges with unique Engineering responses Manhattan PK-8 covertly stores thousands of gallons of stormwater underneath the ballfield and parking lots to protect the surrounding neighbors from overflooding. In addition, Buildings 1, 2 and 5 rise up multiple stories to take advantage of the urban layout. Altogether serving 1,800 student stations Buildings 1 and 2 are 2 stories tall and Building 5 is a towering 3 stories in height.