The Jewish Board of Family & Children’s Services, Inc. (JBFCS) is a New York City based not-for-profit mental health and social services agency. At the Ittleson Center, JBFCS provides residential and day services for 50 children and early adolescents who are emotionally and developmentally challenged. While the original Henry Ittleson Residence initially served the program well, several additions, including a residential cluster, have been added over time. Unfortunately, the building complex lacked a master plan and suffered from many circulation problems inherent in buildings converted from other uses.
JBFCS approached Magnusson Architecture and Planning, PC (MAP) with a program to provide four new classrooms, administrative areas and most critical, a new gymnasium. This new multi-purpose space was to serve the indoor recreational needs of the students and to provide a public face for community events involving parents and fundraising.
MAP investigated several options for building location considering future growth, parking, and very importantly, an appropriate architectural scale and massing that would be sensitive to the existing residence and the immediate residential community in Riverdale. The final scheme is comprised of classroom and gymnasium wings linked by a glazed circulation spine with an open stair that allows views of the landscaped campus.