Brooklyn, New York
Christian Cultural Center
Parking, Civil, and Environmental: Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc.
Master Plan: 11 acres
Buildings: 2,191,000 GSF
Residential Units: ~2,100
East New York is a neighborhood of Brooklyn undergoing a vast amount of change. With high numbers of new construction permits being granted regularly, opportunity abounds as does worry over gentrification, displacement, and transit access. For longtime residents of the area, the Christian Cultural Center, a pillar of worship, learning, and social service, has provided a sense of stability as their neighborhood transforms around them. For the CCC’s leader, Reverend A. R. Bernard, it is important not only to give back to the neighborhood, but to make sure that any new growth is sustainable and beneficial to current residents.
The Gotham Organization and PAU are working with Reverend Bernard to create an equitable community and cultural hub for this rapidly changing part of Brooklyn. The 11-acre site, currently occupied by the church and a surface parking lot, will be reconceived with a performing arts center, school, and social services joining the existing Christian Cultural Center to form the cultural heart of the campus. A new interior street lined with quality income-based housing for the local community will connect to extensions of the surrounding street grid to tie the development to its context. This holistic program outlines a new model neighborhood that balances density through a range of building typologies and heights with a pedestrian, communal scale of living.
Residential towers will provide approximately 2,100 income-based apartments, with space for a host of community facilities at the ground level. The new school will serve the neighborhood, and the performing arts center will provide a much-needed venue for existing East New York cultural organizations, offering a variety of programming. Along the interior street, two-story maisonettes with front stoops will back up against the residential towers; the avenue sides of the towers will be lined with ground-level space for a variety of retailers, including a fresh-food grocery store and small shops to meet community needs. A wide piazza at the corner of Flatlands and Louisiana Avenues welcomes the public into the campus. Seamlessly connected by walking paths and green spaces, these services and spaces combine to create a collaborative, accessible, “urban village” lifestyle for longtime as well as new members of the neighborhood.