April 17, 2019
by AIA New York
Day of Service 2018. Image credit: Jake Frisbie.
Day of Service 2018. Image credit: Jake Frisbie.

With five ambitious projects and only one month to go, we are looking for volunteers to help with our service events around NYC. Each project is led by a different team of architects and supported by multiple partners and donors. The teams have paired with nonprofit organizations around the city to upgrade their existing facilities. Read more about the projects below and register here

Watch a video from last year’s Day of Service here

We also welcome any donations of materials or sponsorship of the events to help everything come together on May 18! Please see below for project descriptions, and email Kavitha Mathew, Director of Leadership and Engagement Initiatives, at kmathew@aiany.org if you want to learn more about how you can help make a difference! 

COOKFOX + Ali Forney Center 

The mission of the Ali Forney Center is to protect LGBTQ youths from the harms of homelessness and empower them with the tools needed to live independently. The Center was founded in memory of Ali Forney, a gender-nonconforming teen who fled his home at 13. Ali was dedicated to helping other young people and publicly advocated for the safety of homeless LGBT youth; this mission continues to inspire the Center today.  The Center’s services include the provision of medical care, counseling, housing, meals, and more for thousands of youths in New York. 

COOKFOX Architects is partnering with the Ali Forney Center to help with the renovation of one of their emergency housing sites in Brooklyn. The renovation will include updating a kitchen, countertop and backsplash; installing new flooring; and painting walls to make the site a more welcoming, comfortable, and functional space for residents and Center volunteers. 

Ennead Architects + Concrete Safaris 

Concrete Safaris is a nonprofit organization rooted in East Harlem whose mission is to enable healthy living for youth through outdoor education, play, and community engagement. In 2012, Concrete Safaris received approval from NYC Housing Authority to start a community garden at Jefferson Houses after they successfully built the largest children’s garden on public housing property in the Washington Houses. Today, the two gardens provide over 2,000 pounds of produce for the community and local restaurants.   

Ennead Architects and Clune Construction are partnering with Concrete Safaris to expand their programming space in Jefferson Gardens by building a central gathering space composed of benches and planters. The raised planters, adjacent the benches, will enable users with less mobility to contribute to harvesting. The new space will allow Concrete Safaris to host a range of educational and community activities, such as lessons on harvesting and poetry readings, and will contribute to Concrete Safari’s mission to enable healthy living for youth.   

Francis Cauffman Architects (FCA) + AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA) + Bowery Residents Committee 

The Bowery Residents’ Committee (BRC), one of New York City’s leading nonprofit organizations, provides housing and health services to thousands of vulnerable New Yorkers. The BRC Jack Ryan Residence, located at 131 West 25th Street and funded by the NYC Department of Homeless Services, is a 200-bed shelter for homeless men and women living with mental illness. The shelter provides a complete range of mental and medical health stabilization, medication management, case management, and medical services through two BRC programs: the Chemical Dependency Crisis Center (which offers 24 beds of supportive, medically monitored detoxification services) and the BRC Reception Center (the only clinically-based transitional residence for homeless individuals with persistent mental illness in the city). The programs aim to place clients in appropriate, supportive housing within nine months.  

FCA and ENYA are partnering with the BRC Jack Ryan Residence to visually renovate essential high-use common areas at the CDCC and Reception Center. Through close collaboration and a charette process, FCA and ENYA aim to improve the environment and brighten the experience for clients during their residence. 

FXCollaborative + NBBJ + Perkins Eastman + SGV + Rebuilding Together NYC 

Rebuilding Together NYC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of affordable housing for low-income residents of New York City. The organization accomplishes this with the help of volunteers and skilled trades people through a variety of program initiatives that are specifically designed to keep residents safely in their communities. The Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center serves the greater Lincoln Square neighborhood with programs that include an Early Childhood Center and a range of youth, adult and senior services. 

For the 2019 AIANY Day of Service, FXCollaborative, NBBJ, Perkins Eastman, and SGV will be painting the Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center’s gym and day care rooms and reconfiguring the reception desk to make it ADA accessible. 

Urbahn Architects  + Bowery Residents Committee 

The Bowery Resident’s Committee, or BRC, aims to serve New York City’s most vulnerable by providing them with housing and other necessary services. With 30 locations throughout the city, the BRC provides a number of services including mental and physical healthcare, treatment for substance abuse, workforce development, and opportunities for both transitional and permanent housing, just to name a few. The BRC’s many locations and exceptional outreach programs allow the organization to serve more than 10,000 people in New York City every year. 

Urbahn Architects is focusing on one of the BRC’s 30 locations in an effort to update a space with great potential. A recreational rooftop at the BRC’s Women’s Residence experiences too much heat and sun, limiting its use. To reimagine this rooftop environment, the scope of work includes adding a new fabric shading system, updating existing furniture, painting pavers and furniture, and adding planters to liven up the space.


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