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James Weldon Johnson Community and Children’s Center

The project includes a separate 21,500 sf Community Center, a 15,500 sf Child Development Center and a substantial area of site work. Zoning restrictions, existing site use and proximity to the Lexington Avenue subway limited flexibility of building locations and required an array of different foundation solutions; differing requirements of public and school play and assembly spaces necessitated careful integration with existing pedestrian traffic and building access points; and careful construction strategies were required to appropriately address building code ratings, mechanical systems, irregular subgrade conditions, and significant amounts of marked and unmarked utilities. Solutions to these issues were integrated into the creation of a quality building. Competing at grade activities resulted in the creation of additional play areas above grade; divergent building functions resulted in a project unifying fore court and introduction of a unifying architectural language; and conditions limiting expansive ceiling heights were mitigated through the generous introduction of different light transmitting building envelope materials. Utilization of light transmitting envelope materials also contribute to the high performance characteristics of the building and establishes interior/exterior relationships that connect the building to the site and enhances the locale security and sense of community.



NYC Housing Authority/ NYC Agency for Childhood Development



East Harlem, New York