The Northeast Bronx YMCA addresses the critical need for recreational space in this corner of NYC, fulfilling a 30-year dream of the community for a multigenerational community center and hub. Developed in partnership with a broad coalition of community leaders and elected officials, it is a powerful reminder of the good that can come when our leaders, institutions, and community work together. Set on what was a wooded 3-acre site, the building program is organized into three separate pavilions placed gently on the site, preserving existing mature trees and respecting the natural sloped topography. Their open arrangement is a gesture of openness and transparency, as if the building was welcoming you in a warm embrace. The pavilions are linked by a glass corridor, with windows placed to augment lines of sight, knitting the building to the neighborhood beyond, and offering a connection to the outside wherever you are in the building. A holistic approach to sustainability was key to the design. Of note, a whole building energy simulation was used to explore and optimize the design of the high-performance thermal envelope and select the mechanical systems. As a result, the building is expected to reduce annual site energy consumption by 33%. The building is expected to receive LEED v4 Gold certification. The NE Bronx YMCA is a powerful symbol of the importance of making lasting investments into the health, wealth, education and wellbeing of overlooked communities, and will serve and strengthen this community for decades to come.

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