This mixed-use building offers affordable apartments for residents living within the site plan of Columbia University’s campus expansion in Manhattanville. In addition to condominium units for residents of two affordable housing buildings, and residential accessory spaces, this project also includes sacred, office and educational space for a church which had occupied space next door. Church facilities are located in the basement, first and second floors, and a new sanctuary for 275 parishioners is at street level. A 2,000SF corner retail space sits below 42 affordable units and one superintendent’s unit.
Built on a steeply sloped site, the building steps down to meet adjacent townhouses on 148th Street following the grade change of the street. A contemporary design of stacked blocks responds to those townhouses and the material, color and massing also correspond to the facades along Broadway. The church and retail base sit at the streetwall and the building steps back at the condominium floors acknowledging the existing 6-story buildings nearby.
A visual partition in the design and brick color of the Broadway-facing façade distinguish the entrance and identity of the church from the ground floor commercial space. The division continues in the upper floors creating the appearance of two buildings and acknowledging the distinct program elements inside: two affordable housing condominium buildings. The residential lobby is located on the quieter 148th Street.
The building was designed to bring natural light and air circulation into all the interior spaces. Building systems and windows are high-efficiency and LED lighting and occupancy sensors are used throughout. With three planted roof terraces on the 2nd, 9th and top floors, the design answers Columbia University’s desire for a sustainable building that would provide a healthy environment and offer outdoor access to its residents. The building complies with the Enterprise Green Communities program, the first national affordable green building program developed for affordable housing.