Consistent with its mandate to create affordable housing in New York, the city through the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, identified this city owned site in the Nolita neighborhood of Manhattan for affordable senior housing. This through block site, running between Mott and Elizabeth Streets is currently open and used by the community as a passive park. In recognition of the open space’s importance to the community, the design brief for the development called for the retaining of 5,000 square feet of open space on the site for public use. We didn’t think that this was nearly enough so our design was predicated on not just maximizing the public open space, but also making it visible and inviting from the streets.
To achieve this transparency the masses of the two buildings were lifted up to the level of the Second Floor and the necessary entry and retail space were developed as freestanding glass pavilions allowing around and through to the garden at the middle of the site. The project is comprised of a mix of 116 one bedroom and studio apartments with a residential area of 67,000 square feet. The landscape design was developed in collaboration with Melk! landscape architects.