The innovative eight-story, Third Avenue mixed-use development, with thirty units of affordable rental housing and an Early Childhood Development Center, is designed for Passive House and LEED Platinum, and will be one of the first certified Passive House projects in the Bronx.
Addressing the challenge of a narrow and deep site, the building is divided into a front and back, with a central court viewed from units and each floor’s residential corridor outside the elevator and stair. Implementing and expanding on the NYC Active Design Guidelines, promoting healthy living, circulation patterns within the building are given special consideration. Every residential corridor has floor to ceiling glazing that provides natural light from the interior courtyard. Each landing has a direct line of sight to the staircase, creating a vibrant space that is more than a means of circulation and encourages use of the staircase as a primary means of movement. The exterior colors correspond to these internal circulation spaces, including brightly colored super graphics to encourage stair use and a clear identify for each floor. The green roof and roof terrace each provide accessible open space to all residents.
The exterior façade consists of ground face concrete block, metal panel and EIFS, allowing the tall and slender structure to be proportional to the surrounding neighborhood. The playful façade and photovoltaics are visible from a distance.
The Little Scholars Early Childhood Development Center, located at the first and cellar floors, is designed to encourage each child’s creativity and exploration of their environment, following the Reggio Emilia educational pedagogy. Natural light is provided to each classroom by windows or skylights, and extends the visual continuity of education beyond the classroom. Playful interior windows of various shapes allow for interaction between the classrooms and common spaces. The Little Scholars Lobby doubles as a common classroom, with a direct connection to an exterior classroom at the courtyard. An additional outdoor classroom at the rear of the cellar expands the child space. The classroom spaces themselves are designed to be flexible with movable furniture and a variety of hard and soft surfaces.