Press | November 1, 2005

Affordable Senior Housing Complex Opens in Brooklyn

Caribbean Life


Gates Gardens, an award-winning residence for low- and middle-income seniors, has opened its doors to residents of the Ridgewood-Bushwick section of Brooklyn, one of New York City’s most underprivileged neighborhoods, announces Magnus Magnusson of Magnusson Architecture and Planning (MAP), the designers of the building.


The seven-story building has 62 rental units totaling 54.000 square feet and features generous landscaping, spacious community rooms for recreation and gatherings, and other amenities.


Gates Gardens, which was funded through the U.S. Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HUD) Section 202 program. was sponsored by the Ridgewood-Bushwick Senior Citizens Council (RBSCC) and a range of public entities, including local New York State Assemblyman Vito Lopez and the City of New York Department of Housing Preservation and Development.


The exterior design features various shades of brick and stone, with the entry marked by a vertically accented tower topped by a “butterflied” canopy stucco roof. The tower provides a vertical central element that houses main circulation space and resident lounges.


“This feature provides large areas of glass affording light and view for the residents in the expanded area adjacent to the elevators.” explains Magnusson. “Thus, a social area or dayroom was created as a special resident amenity that was not otherwise a part of the program.”


The project was awarded the 2004 Citation of Merit from DESIGN Senior Environmental magazine, and The Society for the Advancement of Gerontological Environments.


Among the features given special attention in the awards were “sensitive linkage between building and street,” and “great space organization and layout.”


In front of the building, a landscape buffer at the sidewalk and an open space with seating create what is effectively a front porch, where residents can safely observe the street and maintain social connections with the urban neighborhood. In the rear, a yard provides an outdoor gathering area and required parking.


The ground floor contains a modern lobby and two spacious community rooms. Also provided are a building management and social services office, the superintendent’s apartment and an ample laundry room, all adding up to a range of on-site features crucial to maintaining seniors’ independence.


MAP, whose offices are at 853 Broadway on Union Square, specializes in housing, educational facilities, and master planning and community development.


The firm’s current projects include several new housing developments in the Melrose Commons section of the Bronx, new mixed-use housing developments in Brooklyn and Manhattan, as well as Trenton, New Jersey, and a senior housing complex in Middletown. New York.