La Terraza is an 8-story, 107-unit, mixed-use affordable rental building in the Bronx. Situated on the eastern edge of the Melrose Commons Urban Renewal Area, La Terraza has been developed on a brownfield site that had been contaminated by a dry cleaning business that had been formerly located there. The building, located on a full block front faces a New York City Parks Department playground. In response to this situation, we articulated the long street wall varied masonry tones, storefront, special features such as balconies, and setbacks. Special efforts were necessary to accommodate the foundations to an adjacent abandoned railroad tunnel.
The focal point of the building is a recessed tower that rises prominently from the corner of Third Avenue and East 158th Street. This tower mimics existing buildings across the avenue and serves to anchor the building on the block. Large glass canopies delineate residential and retail entries.
Additional features distinguishing the building include the corner balconies, wide windows that admit ample daylight into the apartments, bamboo flooring, and several fully handicapped units. A richly landscaped courtyard at the ground floor encloses the ground floor and provides outdoor space for all residents. After the mitigation of the contaminated soil, a vapor extraction system as well as a monitoring station for ground water has been incorporated into the building.