WeGrow

Chelsea, Policy, Starchitecture

wework, wegrow, bjarke ingels, chelsea

Photo by Laurian Ghinitoiu courtesy of WeWork

Following a failed IPO and an impending takeover by Japanese parent company SoftBank amid an exodus of investors, office space sublease and coworking brand leader WeWork informed parents that the 2019-2020 school year would be the last for the newly-launched Manhattan elementary school, HuffPost reports. Rebekah Neumann, the co-founder of the company and wife of its recently-ousted CEO, Adam Neumann (and first cousin of Gwyneth Paltrow), had helmed the educational program for children ages three to nine, titled WeGrow, with a focus on education through play and interaction. The small New York City private school opened in 2018 with a tuition bill of between $22,000 and $42,000 a year. On the curriculum were yoga, dance and martial arts and weekly trips to an upstate farm to learn how to plant and harvest crops–in addition to fundamental courses, all with a heavy emphasis on creative expression and immersion in nature.

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Chelsea, Starchitecture

Via WeWork/WeGrow

WeWork opened its first elementary school in Chelsea last week, equipped with modular classrooms, tree houses and giant floor cushions, dezeen reported Wednesday. Bjarke Ingels was tapped last year to design the WeGrow school on West 18th Street, designated for children ages three to nine, with a focus on education through play and interaction. New photos from the co-working company reveal open-plan classrooms with multi-functional furniture and lots of natural light.

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Starchitecture

WeGrow, WeWork, Bjarke Ingels, BIG

Rendering of the planned school by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). Source: WeWork via Bloomberg.

Fast-growing coworking brand WeWork has been in the news recently for the company’s rapid expansion into everything from “co-living” to wellness, including a planned move into the former Lord & Taylor department store Fifth avenue flagship building, which will become the company’s new HQ. Now, Bloomberg reports that the $20 billon startup, which boasts offices in 57 international cities, has plans to launch a private elementary school for “conscious entrepreneurship”called WeGrow in a New York City WeWork location next year. The company has even tapped Danish architect du jour Bjarke Ingels‘ firm BIG to design the first WeWork school, which will likely be within the aforementioned new Fifth Avenue headquarters.

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