Van Sinderen Plaza, a gateway to the community
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Van Sinderen Plaza, a gateway to the community

The building offers affordable housing for neighborhood residents, acting as a stimulus for the redevelopment of the area


Van Sinderen Plaza, a gateway to the community
By Editorial Staff -

Even renowned and glittering metropolises have neighborhoods in which more than half of residents live below the poverty line. This is the case in East New York, a rapidly expanding neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. The majority of neighborhood residents are low income and marginalized, and the urban landscape of the area is fragmented, with vast abandoned or never built areas, outcast and degraded zones.

In this context, GLUCK+’s design for the mixed-used building Van Sinderen Plaza stands as a landmark to leverage for the redevelopment of the area and as a reference point for neighborhood residents.

A commercial corridor

Van Sinderen Plaza, Gluk+ ©Here and Now Agency, courtesy of GLUCK+

Sponsored by the Extremely Low and Low Income Affordability Program (ELLA) of the New York City Housing Preservation & Development, the project is composed of two separate buildings that respectively house 102 and 28 affordable housing units.

The volumetric composition of Van Sinderen Plaza stems from the urban complexity of the lot and from the desire of GLUCK+ architects to realize a gateway to New Lots Avenue, with the creation of a system of small plazas and outdoor public spaces that create a strong connection between the project and the community, increasing its human scale and the pedestrian experience.

The presence of the elevated subway line and train station, bus stops, and the corner location between New Lots Avenue and Van Sinderen Avenue divided the project into two buildings, that face each from the two opposite corners overlooking Van Sinderen Avenue.

The buildings rise seven stories in height, set back at the street level on the street-facing front, to increase pedestrian visibility and distance the two architectures from the subway lines. The project thus stands as a pedestrian gateway that provides access to a commercial corridor created by the presence of stores and services, located on the ground floor of the two buildings.

Finally, reinforcing the relationship between the project and the neighborhood is a community nursery school, located on the ground floor of the smaller building directly opposite the train station entrance.

>>>Discover the Downtown Brooklyn Public Realm, an urban redevelopment project by BIG

A colorful and intelligent façade

Van Sinderen Plaza, Gluk+ ©Here and Now Agency, courtesy of GLUCK+

The volumes are clad in colored fiber cement panels, with a pattern created by the gradation of gray, red, yellow, and orange tones. This visual texture gives substance and volume to the building, while forming a landmark in the panoramic perspective towards New Lots Avenue. Aluminum vertical fins provide solar protection for the openings, which are composed of a PTAC that integrates air conditioning directly into the windows.

The proximity to the subway line made the acoustic design an extremely critical step in building definition. The façade needed to meet indoor-outdoor acoustic transmission requirements set by the Environmental Assessment Statement (EAS), which required the installation of noise attenuation systems in the window components, wall facings, and air conditioning units.

The project has received LEED and Enterprise Green Communities Certification: two certificates that guarantee sustainability, design quality, and architectural comfort in the context of a social housing project, which in addition to the many other requirements, also needed to comply with specific construction and design costs.

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Location: Brooklyn, New York, USA
Client:  Macquesten Development
Architect: GLUCK+

Photography by Here and Now Agency, courtesy of GLUCK+

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