The Brook, a six-story building in the South Bronx, provides permanent supportive housing to low-income workers, the homeless, and individuals with mental illness. Formerly on an empty lot, the building repairs the urban fabric of the block by creating a continuous street wall along Brook Avenue and 148th Street. The corner of the building expresses the social service function that represents the mission of Common Ground. It is symbolized by the corner cube comprised of silver and red metal panels, which serves as a landmark for the community.
The Brook is designed and engineered for maximum environmental sensitivity using the most cost effective means available. In March 2013, the Brook received LEED Silver certification. The building, built with low-toxicity materials, features ventilation and lighting systems that maximize natural light and solar heat while water-saving fixtures and draft vestibules increase water conservation and control the effects of wind.
Building amenities such as 24-hour security, social and recreational areas, a green roof, and computer labs strengthen community interaction and social unity. Rear courtyards mitigate street noise and create a sense of intimacy and serenity within the urban setting. Residents also have on-site access to supportive social services provided by BronxWorks as well as case management and self-sufficiency workshops. The Brook serves as a landmark for the neighborhood, integrating community-oriented solutions with bold and inventive design features.