Architecture for Humanity New York Chapter project team:
Client: Broadway Community Incorporated
Appending words such as "sustainable" and "green" to a project often brings praise as if merely being environmentally sound is sufficiently responsible. Large projects may have the benefits of a budget for expensive materials and sexy marketing, but the definition of green should also encompass thinking about the greater implications of our actions in the world.
Located in Morningside Heights, a neighborhood in Manhattan, Broadway Community Incorporated (BCI) is a non-profit organization serving the city's homeless population. Art therapy, job training, and a nightly women's shelter are only some of their programs. BCI aims not only to provide meals or a bed, but to build a community, assistance for individuals to rebuild their lives, and educate the public about poverty and disenfranchisement.
Faced with growing demands for their services, BCI needed a plan to fulfill programmmatic elements while also reimagining their space in the basement of a church. As members of the New York chapter of Architecture for Humanity, we worked for several years in after-hours and weekends on a design to enhance a space that many consider a home.
BCI considers environmental care as a consistent part of their mission and this project. As a volunteer-run project with no budget, the team worked exhaustively to secure donations from compatible companies, and to source local and re-used materials to the greatest extent possible.