More Groundbreaking Work

‘Tis the season for breaking ground! Two weeks ago we lauded the official beginning of 233 Landing Road.  Last week, both 1561 Walton Avenue and 1066-1070 Myrtle Avenue celebrated their commencements.

1561 Walton Avenue is a 60-unit affordable housing project in the Mt. Eden neighborhood of the Bronx for Settlement Housing Fund, a long-time client of ESKW/A. Architects Kerry Zucker and Daughtry Carstarphen attended the ground breaking last Monday, which was covered in detail here: $20 Million Affordable Housing Development in the Bronx.

1066-1070 Myrtle is a supportive housing project in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.  The 6-story, 32,000SF building developed by the Institute of Community Living (ICL) will provide housing for individuals with mental health issues, including young adults transferring out of the foster care system. Architects Fialka Semenuik and Annie Kountz were in attendance on Thursday, with Fialka pitching in a hand with the ceremonial first shovel dig.

Big Week at ESKW/A

It’s been a busy week here at ESKW/A, as two of our current projects celebrated important milestones in their construction.

Landing Road_from hill

On Tuesday, we broke ground on 233 Landing Road, an innovative project for the Bowery Residents’ Committee which will be the first of its kind to blend affordable housing and a shelter.  The hybrid model is being developed under Mayor de Blasio’s HomeStretch initiative to provide permanent housing for very low-income New Yorkers.  Team members Kimberly Murphy, Moses Ragasa, Melissa Rousse, and Martin Galindez are looking forward to this exciting next stage of the project.

You can read more about the ceremony and the upcoming project in this article covering the event from the Observer.

True Colors Opening ESKW

As Landing Road began, close by in the Bronx another new building was coming to completion.  The True Colors Bronx residence, a West End Residences project, celebrated its official opening with modest fanfare.

Cyndi Lauper, an outspoken advocate for homeless LGBT rights, was in exuberant attendance, as were representatives from the owner’s representative, Artemis Development, and the general contractor, DP Group.

Project Architect Kimberly Murphy and team architect Marcella Yee were happy to attend the celebration for a project of which ESKW/A is very proud.

Read more about the event as it was covered by Bronx News 12 here.

St. Lucy’s Housing

ESKW/A traveled up to 103rd Street recently to snap some photos of our work on St. Lucy’s Housing, a pair of apartment buildings in East Harlem that provides 100 units for seniors and families.  Our team renovated the shared backyard landscape, corridors, cellars, community rooms + kitchens, as well as providing upgrades to the elevators, heating, and roofing systems.  We were pleased to have the opportunity to spruce up the shared backyard space for the residents, especially with the warm weather in full swing.  With the organic curves to the paths in plan and a natural aesthetic of concrete and wood, we’re proud of the results.


Ocean Wonders: Sharks! Gets Topped Out

Two weeks ago, a number of us from ESKW/A took the opportunity to visit the Ocean Wonders: Sharks! construction site at the Wildlife Conservation Society‘s New York Aquarium to celebrate the official topping out of the new building.

We gathered alongside dozens of workers from various trades for words of gratitude and encouragement from Jon Forrest Dohlin, WCS Vice President and Director of the New York Aquarium, and Sue Chin, WCS Vice President of Planning and Design and Chief Architect.  We then turned our attention to the highest point of the new building (over the sea of hard hats) for the raising of the American flag, symbolizing the ‘topping out’ of the project.  Everyone gladly dove in to the catered lunch, posed for press photos, mingled, and enjoyed the summer weather and astounding view.

The concrete structure is rapidly taking form both inside and out, and those of us who do not attend weekly meetings enjoyed a tour through the burgeoning exhibition space with Ildar Istarki, project engineer with Turner Construction Company. ESKW/A architectural team members Cary, Michael, Fialka, Carlos, and Martin are palpably excited to see their work become a reality – and next summer is sure to bring even more excitement to Ocean Wonders: Sharks! as the interior is fleshed out and the custom acrylic tanks that hold a combined 500,000 gallons of salt water become home to sharks, sea turtles, sting rays, and innumerable schools of fish.

The event was covered by the New York Daily News and noted in the Brooklyn Eagle.  A video of the ceremony can be seen on the Wildlife Conservation Society’s YouTube channel.

True Colors Bronx – Update

Project Architect & Associate Kimberly Murphy shared this photo update of the rear yard landscaping of the new True Colors apartment building, which is currently under construction in the Bronx.  The outdoor area is shaping up very nicely – we can already envision its future use as a great space in which the True Colors residents can hang out and relax.True Colors_ESKW Backyard 1

True Colors_ESKW Backyard render

Landscape design for True Colors Bronx is by Billie Cohen, LTD.

Designing Actively

Spring is here, and as we emerge from our winter hiding places, a lot of us are turning our attention to cultivating a more active lifestyle.

In light of that shift in attitude, it felt very appropriate to attend and participate in the AIANY’s 10th annual Fit City. The event provided a full day’s worth of presentations and panel discussions with architects, planners, designers, developers, government officials, community advocates, and public health professionals, all centered around one common goal:

How can we work together to create a built environment that keeps us healthy?

ESKW/A was happy to share our experience designing the New Settlement Community Campus (with Dattner Architects), which has recently been honored with an Excellence Award from the Center for Active Design.  Kimberly Murphy took part in the panel on Designing for Health in Affordable Housing to discuss how the Community Campus has been a life-changing boon for the residents of a largely low-income neighborhood of the Bronx.

Later that day, Amanda Sengstacken and Melissa Rouse of ESKW/A joined Kimberly along with Bill Stein and David Levine from Dattner Architects to accept the award which was hosted at the Steelcase showroom in Columbus Circle. Other honored projects were presented and the event was a great opportunity to visit with colleagues doing good work across the country. We enjoyed visiting with fellow panelist Bill Sabattini of Dekker/Perich/Sabatini Architects whose Casitas de Colores creates a community in downtown Albuquerque, NM, with an abundance of active living opportunities. We agree with Bill; active design isn’t rocket science, it’s just good practice.

We also appreciated the planning and design work that went into SWA Group’s Guthrie Green project in Tulsa, OK. We can relate to principal Elizabeth Shreeve’s appreciation for working with clients whose mission is truly inspired.

We thank Carol, Jack, and Megan from SHF and New Settlement for envisioning and now facilitating NSCC whose life post-occupancy is exceeding all expectations.  A good time was had by all, and we look forward to future active design opportunities.

New on Our Website: the Neighborhood Housing Services of Jamaica

We recently added one of our projects to the “Current” portion of our website: The Neighborhood Housing Services of Jamaica will be adding some much needed space to their Homeownership Center in Jamaica, NY, to better accommodate their ever-expanding home offices and community program facilities.  NHSJ is a multi-service counseling agency that has built its reputation in community development, and we are pleased to add them to our list of nonprofit clients who are dedicated to serving the NYC community.

While the design is still in progress, we are happy to share the current images of this small but complex project.  Check back for further development.