POLITE AVENUE TIERED COURTYARD

Located in the South Bronx, the Polite Avenue residence will provide 70 permanently affordable apartments to residents in need below 60% of the neighborhood's median income.  Terrain is collaborating with Urban Architectural Initiatives to construct a large, multi-level landscape for the building inhabitants. 

The design consists of a large, flexible courtyard adjoining with the building's interior community spaces at the cellar level, as well as a series of smaller garden and recreation spaces in the rear yard and 7th floor rooftop.  Terrain worked to create a continuous and complimentary landscape between the sunken courtyard and ground floor. As such, a sloped meadow replaces a retaining wall, provides an uninterrupted landscape connection and is accessible via a folded metal stair which gracefully floats above the plantings.  An intermediate wall, disguised in the form of a continuous bench, bifurcates the height difference of the remaining courtyard wall and supports a middle tier of plant life.  A pedestrian bridge, designed by Terrain, floats above the courtyard and planted swale below, and links the ground floor hallway to the series of recreational and passive gardens in the rear yard. The result is a contemporary, durable and varied sequence of spaces to be enjoyed by building residents of all ages.

 

Location: South Bronx, NY _Size: 9,000 Square Feet _Client: The Housing Collaborative, Unique People Services _Collaborators: Urban Architectural Initiatives (Architects) _Status: Ongoing _Year: 2013 _Team: Steven Tupu, Scott Goodrich

The tight constraints of zoning and economic viability forced the architects to locate much of the building's common space at the cellar level.  In a supportive housing building the common space and support programs are crucial to the development of the residents.  With this in mind Terrain began looking at strategies which not only brought light to the community spaces below, but rather separated the grade and engaged them directly.