In April, the AIANY WIA Committee was pleased to host women leaders of the Alafia team from Dattner Architects, as part of the April Committee Meeting pillar series on ‘Design & Leadership’. Jen Switala, AIA, Senior Associate; Deniz Secilmis, Senior Architect; and Kavyashri Cherala, AIA, Project Architect presented the award-winning Alafia, fireside chat style. Cherala posed questions to Switala and Secilmis, ranging from the design intent behind the wellness-oriented resilient development on a 25+acre decommissioned public site to the challenges and successes of the project under construction. The team spoke about the project features designed to address the chronic social, economic, and health disparities in the historically underserved area of East New York in Brooklyn, and spoke to the complex program of 575 affordable/ supportive residential units, a clinic operated by One Brooklyn Health, offices for Services for the Underserved, parking, and neighborhood retail spaces; and a maintenance hub, with on-site trash handling and composting in support of the entire new development. The presentation highlighted the Passive House features of the building and other sustainable features, including utilizing geothermal pumps, rooftop solar, and a wastewater heat-recovery system.

The audience enthusiastically participated in a Q&A, and we thank our speakers and everyone who attended the event for their support and engagement. You can find the agenda from the April committee meeting here.