A new model for community centers in public housing projects significantly improves the quality of life for residents and enhances urban vitality. The building is emphatically public: open to its neighborhood, focused on expansive communal spaces, and expressive of its importance to the community. The center is organized around a light-filled interior courtyard, connected visually and spatially to the street through a wide glass entry. The courtyard is flanked by classrooms, game rooms, administrative spaces, and a 200-seat multipurpose room. The centerpiece is a luminous, 3-story glass-enclosed multi-purpose gymnasium, home of a famed youth boxing program and a symbol of community pride.
The creative joining of two existing structures in the South Bronx, the lower floor of a housing tower and a bleak one-story basketball gymnasium in a former warehouse, created a new 27,000 sf facility. The center is now the focal point of community life and is filled with people of all ages participating in classes, athletic activities, and community functions. Members of this community exclaim that the open and light-filled facility provides a safe place for youth and the high-quality architecture engenders a strong sense of ownership, pride, and hope.