Commissioned by the Arch Diocese of New York and built on the site of the demolished St. Augustine’s Church, the design for this building was inspired by the notion that a house of worship serves as a beacon of light for its community. From that idea came 13 floors of fully glazed elevator lobbies which provide spectacular views for residents by day, and then become a glowing tower by night. The placement of this south facing feature was the most democratic way to share the city vista and at the same time provides light to the adjacent park in the evening.
Rock formations uncovered during construction were incorporated into the landscape at the front of the property providing a natural, organic complement to the straight lines and right angels of the building. Along with stones and other architectural elements from the original church placed throughout the landscaping, they also provide a clear connection to the area’s history.
The 112-unit building is a mix of supportive and affordable housing serving very low-income residents. There are offices for social services on-site, as well as a laundry and community room with access to a landscaped outdoor area. The project has achieved LEED Gold status.
Location: Bronx NY
Client: New York Institute for Human Development Inc.
Size: 117,290 SF
Number of Units: 112
For over three decades, Magnusson Architecture and Planning (MAP) has pioneered outstanding building design and urban revitalization projects as the foundation for vibrant and sustainable communities. Our top priority is to assist non-profit groups, municipalities, and developers to reshape neighborhoods to improve their residents’ quality of life. Decades after our firm was founded in 1986, we continue to reinvent the design of urban housing, mixed-use developments, and originate new approaches to planning urban neighborhoods.
MAP invests in creating positive outcomes. We walk the streets that residents walk, talking with them and listening to their ideas. By interacting directly with the users of our buildings and neighborhoods, we learn about the context and culture of their communities. More than just building spaces for people to live in, we design community.
We actively serve the Community through our dedicated Volunteering Program, which began in early 2015. Almost every month, a team of MAP staff, friends, and family dedicate their personal time to a project that revitalizes, completes, or improves the buildings we have designed. We focus on tasks that can involve the residents of the building, whether it is cooking a meal, painting a mural or planting a garden. As often as possible we bring together our team, our client’s team, and tenants to collaborate; in addition, we host ongoing food and clothing drives. MAP’s mission is to build sustainable communities through all our actions. Our client relationships allow our staff to engage in that mission beyond architecture and planning, and to spend time with the people who occupy and benefit from the spaces we create. We continue to inspire moments of optimism and happiness, one effort at a time.
Our most acclaimed project, the Melrose Commons Urban Renewal Plan in the South Bronx, began as a pro bono effort. For 20 years, we replaced empty lots and abandoned buildings with over 1,000 new affordable housing units in a 30-block neighborhood. Ultimately, the new development has changed the destiny of local residents. To date MAP has designed and built nearly 20 properties in the master plan.
We don’t just revitalize neighborhoods – we also lead the way in transforming industrial and waterfront sites into attractive residential areas. MAP converted a former brewery site into Rheingold Gardens, an award-winning affordable and sustainable community.
We specialize in bringing people of different incomes together to collectively raise the standard of living for all. Atlantic Terrace – a mixed-income, mixed-use LEED-Gold certified building – offers sustainable and affordable housing in a diverse community adjacent to a major transit hub. Creston Avenue Residence provides new supportive housing integrated with social service provider Volunteers of America – Greater New York offices in a LEED-Platinum Certified Building.
In all of our projects, we provide new opportunities in the buildings we design, the streets we plan, and the neighborhoods we create.