Nominated by: Curtis + Ginsberg Architects
Location: New York, N.Y.
Developer: Bronx Pro
Architect: Curtis + Ginsberg Architects
General Contractor: Home Builders
Interior Designer: Curtis + Ginsberg Architects
Photographer: Peter Mauss
Project Website: Third Avenue Development
The innovative Third Avenue Development in the Bronx, LEED Platinum Certified and designed to Passive House standards, is a mixed-use project housing 30 affordable residences and the Little Scholars Early Development Center. To maximize the 9,000-square-foot building footprint on its 175-foot-deep site, a central court divides the building into front and back. The court also provides ample natural daylight into the corridors, which feature floor-to-ceiling windows. The exterior colors correspond to the internal circulation spaces, and the staircases have brightly colored super graphics to encourage use. All residents of the 52,000-square-foot building have access to an expansive green roof with an occupiable roof terrace. The exterior façade comprises three systems: locally made concrete block, metal panel and EIFS, which proportionately break up the tall, slender structure to relate to the surrounding neighborhood. This playful façade is highly visible from a distance, along with the terrace-like structure provided by the photovoltaic (PV) panels. These rooftop PV arrays maximize solar energy and are just one of the sustainable design approaches. Other measures include green roofs, energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) and energy-efficient windows, lighting, and appliances. Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) were utilized to develop a well-insulated envelope that minimizes energy loss throughout the building. The Little Scholars Early Development Center occupies 9,600 square feet on the first floor and cellar, and is designed to encourage each child’s creativity and exploration of their environment, with a strong connection to the outdoors. Each classroom has windows or skylights to provide natural light and extend the visual continuity of education beyond the classroom. Playful interior window shapes allow interaction between classroom and common spaces. The classroom spaces, including two which are outdoors, are designed to be flexible, with a variety of hard and soft surfaces.