DREAM Mott Haven Campus
New York, NY

DBI represented DREAM from the project’s inception, to transform a vacant, 120-year-old former icehouse in Mott Haven into a new 200,000-SF school serving 1,300 students from Pre-K through 12th grades. The facility marks an important milestone in DREAM’s expansion, tripling the number of students served, and supporting its growing legacy of providing responsive, holistic education to children in East Harlem and the South Bronx.

As Project Managers and Owners Representative, DBI began by solidifying DREAM’s vision for the facility, developing a project strategy, and negotiating the lease structure with the developer. Working closely with David Adjaye and Adjaye Associates, DBI then oversaw the full design process, driving the team to achieve DREAM’s vision and an unprecedented level of design for K-12 education. As the project advanced, DBI worked to ensure the execution of each element of the project was to the standards of both client and designer.

The interiors of the project embrace the original brick walls and vaulted ceilings to create dozens of bright classrooms and inspiring learning spaces. On the 3rd floor, overlooking the Harlem River, an arts wing adjoins a cathedral-style library and student center. The upper floors feature a STEAM wing, full-size gymnasium, and rooftop outdoor play areas that foster the school’s mission: play, learn and grow.

“Beyond the programmatic, site and construction complexities, this project reaffirms the important role of schools in the urban context. Our team at DBI Projects have been honored to lead this capital project on behalf of DREAM, working alongside Adjaye and Associates, to create a new space for learning and a unique educational experience” - Margot Dirks, DBI Team Leader.