MELROSE COMMONS SUPPORTIVE HOUSING

Melrose is the oldest settled area of the Bronx.  Until the middle of the 20th century, it was a thriving neighborhood of Italian, German, and Irish immigrants- however, it declined in the later half of the century.  By the 1980s, the majority of the neighborhood was burned down by protests and arson, leaving it devastated and nearly abandoned.  A redevelopment plan, which would have displaced the remaining residents, was highly opposed by the grass roots community group, Nos Quedamos.  The community group partnered with MAP, who has lead the groundbreaking and highly successful redevelopment of the area based on inclusion of the existing population.

Melrose Site C is the next, and largest new development in the recovering, 30 block area.  The building is divided into two components, a large wing for families with modest incomes, and a smaller adjoined building for residents with special needs that require supportive housing.  Terrain designed a recreational courtyard, and sustainable farming rooftop for both buildings.  Though separated, both landscapes strive towards the same goal of connecting residents with the natural world.  The landscape amenities offer the residents healthy living, with space and equipment to be social, exercise, and grow their own fruits and vegetables.

 

Location: Melrose Commons, Bronx, NY _Size: 15,000 Square Feet _Client: Phipps Houses _Collaborators: Magnusson Architecture & Planning _Status: Ongoing _Year: 2014 _Team: Steven Tupu, Scott Goodrich, Sylvia Wilson

The new buildings are a part of Melrose Commons.  The largest, most successful regeneration project in the South Bronx.   

The new buildings are a part of Melrose Commons.  The largest, most successful regeneration project in the South Bronx. 

 

With over half of the building's common spaces located at the cellar level, the courtyard needed to be split into two levels.  The long, narrow site deals with the grade change as efficiently as possible, and employs a delicate cantilevered stair to take users from space to space.  The upper level responds to the hot food kitchen at the ground floor, while the lower space provides individual respite spaces as well as active elements such as ping pong and fitness equipment.