We designed True Colors Residence in Central Harlem, the first housing facility in New York City to offer dynamic and much-needed permanent living space for formerly homeless LGBT youth. The six-story building hosts 30 studio apartments, ideal for residents to learn independent living. A lounge, kitchen, library, administrative offices, and meeting room will provide numerous gathering places for residents to socialize as well as to receive support services.
Our budget-conscious design uses texture and color to enliven the building. Warm red brick accents the façade and glazed CMU units visually separate the public shared spaces from the private residential area. The façade gives way to large openings that optimize daylighting in each apartment.
In the rear yard, situated on three different levels, we created a variety of green, communal spaces that include a patio with a shaded trellis, a yoga area, and a cellar-level patio designed to be a common gathering space. This uniquely terraced backyard funnels ample daylight into the library and computer rooms, all located below grade.
The design incorporates numerous green elements and received NYSERDA funding for energy conservation. Integrated light sensors in the common space areas and administrative offices, as well as low-energy LED and fluorescent lighting throughout, minimize unnecessary electrical use. We designed the roof to be pre-equipped for the future installation of a vegetated green roof.
Client: West End Residences
Owner’s Representative: Sally Greene, Artemis Development
Agency: NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)
Structural: Dunne & Markis Consulting Structural Engineers
Mechanical: Abraham Joselow P.C., P.E.
Landscape: Billie Cohen, Ltd.
Energy: Association for Energy Affordability
Civil: Mike Wein, P.E.
General Contractor: C&A General Contracting Corporation
Photographer: David Sundberg / Esto and T. Ligamari
Residence of the Year | Supportive Housing Network of New York, 2012
SARA | Design Award, 2012
Boston Society of Architects | Housing Design Award, 2012
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