Architecture Camps at the Center for Architecture
Summer@theCenter architecture studio programs run Monday through Friday, 9am - 4pm at the Center for Architecture. Each week explores a different topic in architecture and design through art and building activities, walking tours, and special site visits. Students bring their own lunch daily.
Programs are for students entering 3 - 12 grade in the Fall. Classes are limited to 18 students; 10 students for Digital Design classes. Tuition is $500/week; $400 for 4-day program Aug 26 - 29.
A limited number of need-based partial scholarships are available. To apply for a scholarship, submit your Scholarship Application, proof of financial need and also register online using the links below as a "Scholarship Applicant" by May 1, 2013. You do not need to send in payment with your application in order to reserve your spot. Applicants will be notified by May 15 of any scholarship award. At that time, the balance of full payment will be due.
We have moved to an online registration system and are no longer accepting paper registration forms. To register, click on the registration link listed at the end of each camp description for the particular camp you have selected. You must register for each camp week separately. On the registration site, choose your "registration level" - we accept payment by credit card and check - then follow the prompts.
Your registration includes your acceptance of our Terms & Conditions.
June 17 - 21
DIGITAL DESIGN: INSPIRED BY NATURE: Grades 6 - 8 SOLD OUT
How can a maple leaf or ripples on water relate to the built environment? The elements of design are found throughout the natural world and have inspired architects for generations. Students will explore these ideas, then design a nature-inspired shelter using the 3-D rendering program Sketch-Up. Drawing and model-making activities will help make connections between digital and physical designs. Class is limited to 10 students to allow for individualized instruction and pacing. SketchUp is a free, downloadable program that students can continue to use at home for school or personal projects.
June 24 - 28
MY DREAM HOUSE: Grades 3-5 - SOLD OUT
Would your dream house be a penthouse apartment, modern beach house or a castle in the hills? Create a model of your own personal dream house or apartment in this design and model-making studio. Examples of amazing houses from around the world and local trips to unique apartments will provide ideas and inspiration, but the final design is up to you!
July 8 - 12
DRAWING ARCHITECTURE: Grades 9 - 12 SOLD OUT
Develop your drawing abilities and new portfolio pieces as you get to know some amazing spaces and places in our city. Students will learn the basics of perspective drawing and free-hand sketching through lessons at the Center and sketching trips to notable buildings and sites. Topics will include techniques for showing light, shade, shadows, and rendering different building materials.
21st CENTURY SKYSCRAPER: Grades 6 - 8 SOLD OUT - wait list closed
Skyscrapers define a city’s skyline and New York City is no exception. Learn how to blend art and science as you design a skyscraper for 21st century NYC that incorporates “green” design ideas and a strong structural system. We will tour city skyscrapers, meet with structural engineers and look at the latest “supertall” towers being built abroad. As a final project, students create their own model skyscraper from the ground up, drawing on what they have learned.
July 15 - 19
PLAYGROUND DESIGN: Grades 3-5 - SOLD OUT
Kids are the experts in this week-long studio focusing on the design of playgrounds. We’ll visit several unique playgrounds in the city to explore their design features by playing (of course!), interviewing other users and rating their success as play spaces. Back at the Center, kids use these examples and their own imaginations to create their own unique playground designs and models.
UP ON A ROOF: Grades 6 - 8 SOLD OUT - wait list closed
Design your own penthouse apartment and rooftop garden in this architecture and landscape design program that will transport you to NYC’s empty rooftops. Learn about solar panels, wind turbines, urban farming and other “green” technologies that can power your apartment and help reduce pollution and global warming. Students will create a scale model of their design, complete with furnishings, interior décor and outdoor landscaping. Site visits to unique urban apartments and a working rooftop farm will provide inspiration and new ideas.
July 22 - August 2
ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN STUDIO: Grades 9-12 - SOLD OUT
High School students interested in exploring the field of architecture and developing their portfolios will get a thorough introduction to the design process in this two-week intensive studio. Students will learn how to complete a real-world design project, from site analysis and development of a design concept, to creating scale drawings and 3-D models of their designs for a final presentation. Studio class will be supplemented by visits to architectural offices and college architecture programs, architectural history lessons and design analysis activities.
July 29 - August 2
BRIDGES: Grades 3-5 SOLD OUT
Bridge design and construction is one of our most popular topics. In this studio, students will explore different types of bridges firsthand by walking around, under and over some of New York’s greatest bridges. Fun model-making and sketching activities will show students how beam, truss, arch and other types of bridges work to support traffic and span great distances. Students’ final project will be to design and build their own unique bridge, incorporating their favorite bridge features.
August 5 - 9
DESIGN A CITY: Grades 3-5 SOLD OUT
What should be in a city and what kinds of things make up its built environment? Students will work together to design and build an ideal city based on their ideas about the spaces and places needed to make a city work. We’ll explore our local city neighborhood for ideas and visit a giant model of New York City on a field trip to the Queens Museum of Art. Each child will create their own city block that fits together with the others to form a large-scale model of their ideal city.
RAILS TO TRAILS: Grades 6-8 SOLD OUT
Be one of the first to design the city’s next “High Line” -- in Queens! We’ll explore the “Queensway” abandoned rail line with Friends of the Queensway and imagine how this unused elevated railway could be turned into a new city park. Students will create their own design proposals for a new Queensway Park through sketches, drawings and a 3-D model. A visit to Manhattan’s High Line and trips to other successful urban parks will provide inspiration.
August 12 - 16
ARCHITECTURE AND THE CITY: Grades 9-12
Explore the city’s architecture from a design perspective on these one-of-a-kind tours of some of NYC’s most interesting buildings and sites. We’ll meet with architects, engineers and design professionals to get the inside scoop on design and construction issues that shape our city. Back at the Center, students will develop their own architectural designs and drawings related to the buildings and spaces we have explored.
Register for Architecture and the City
STORE DESIGN: Grades 6-8
What kind of store would you most like to run? Whether it’s a skateboard shop, café/restaurant or fashion center, you’ll have fun creating your own architectural scale drawings and model of a storefront and store interior of your own design. Learn how designers create retail spaces that are both exciting and functional as we visit and learn from some of the city’s great retail spaces and architecture offices specializing in store design.
Register for Store Design
August 19 - 23
CHAIR DESIGN/BUILD: Grades 9-12
Have you always wanted to design and build your own furniture? Here’s your chance! Students will explore the form and structure of well-known and contemporary chair designs through trips to SoHo design stores, then design and build their own usable, full-sized chairs out of sturdy corrugated cardboard.
Register for Chair Design/Build
August 26 - 29 (no class Friday August 30)
NEW YORK ISLAND OASIS: Grades 3-5 SOLD OUT - wait list closed
Imagine having a small island in the Hudson River all to yourself! Who and what would you bring? In this 4-day studio, you’ll design an eco-friendly home for yourself on an imaginary island in the Hudson River. We’ll visit The River Project environmental station at Pier 40 to learn about the river’s ecology and the animals that live in its waters. You’ll also learn how to create buildings and landscapes that take advantage of our climate and natural resources to make your island a “green” oasis in the city.
DIGITAL DESIGN FOR THE FUTURE: Grades 6 - 8 - SOLD OUT - wait list closed
How will we live in the future? Your ideas take center stage in this digital design program where you'll design a futuristic shelter using the 3-D rendering program Sketch-Up. Drawing and model-making activities will help make connections between digital and physical designs. Class is limited to 10 students to allow for individualized instruction and pacing. SketchUp is a free, downloadable program that students can continue to use at home for school or personal projects.
If you would like to be added to the waitlist for a sold out program, please contact us at and you will be notified should a place become available; however we cannot guarantee this.