As a gift to his old neighborhood (Astoria, Queens), Tony Bennett and his wife, Susan Benedetto, a former public school teacher, established a New York City public high school with programs in vocal and instrumental music, drama, dance, film and fine arts. Named in homage to Bennett’s friend, the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts was originally located in a shared space in Long Island City. Last fall, the school opened its new state-of-the-art, five-story building—designed by Susan Rodriguez of Ennead Architects, and funded by the New York City School Construction Authority—that includes a concert hall, black box theaters, dance studios, recording studio, media center, a rooftop courtyard for outdoor performances and signage by Pentagram New York. Inspired by the typography on the Sinatra album covers (like Swing Easy!) of the 1950s, the signage is set in the Zapata typeface. Superscale graphics identifying various departments are installed outside studio classrooms and a frit pattern in the windows of the building’s facade consists of the names of over 1,300 artists—from Diego Rivera and Django Reinhardt to Tina Turner and Johnny Depp. Throughout the building, the graphics invite the students to aspire to the artistry and dedication of the school’s namesake and other popular entertainers.
// From our friends at Communication Arts