Sugar Hill housing by
Adjaye Associates

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Sugar Hill housing by Adjaye Associates

Dezeen Wire: work starts today on an affordable housing development in Harlem by architects Adjaye Associates

Sugar Hill housing by Adjaye Associates

The twelve-storey block will contain 124 apartments, a children's museum and a nursery, and is scheduled for completion late next year.

Sugar Hill housing by Adjaye Associates

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Adjaye Associates’ Sugar Hill housing project in Harlem breaks ground

Adjaye Associates’ Sugar Hill affordable housing scheme breaks ground today at a ceremony attended by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, community representatives, benefactors, elected officials and city and state commissioners. Located near the famed Coogan’s Bluff at West 155th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue on the border of West Harlem and Washington Heights, the scheme integrates a wide urban and cultural programme within a dark slab building that crowns a 76ft glass-and-terrazzo base.

Scheduled for completion in late 2013, the complex features 124 units of affordable housing, an early education centre for 100 pre-school children and their families, and the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling, which was recently named the nation’s highest-ranking recipient of 2012 ArtPlace grants, awarded to transform communities through strategic investment in the arts. Adjaye Associates worked closely with the client, Broadway Housing Communities (BHC), and the local community to ensure the design is tied to its history, practical and aesthetic requirements, while complementing its surrounding environment of Gothic revival row-houses.

The 13-storey scheme steps back at the ninth floor to create a 10ft terrace and cantilever on opposite sides. The dark cladding is achieved with rose embossed pre-cast panels, which are inexpensive while achieving a textured, ornamental effect. Saw-toothed fenestration fans across both façades, referencing bay windows that are a common feature of the area. These windows also frame views of the Hudson River and the new Yankee Stadium. Terraces are placed on the roof, third and ninth floors. At the base of the building is the Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling, while the second floor houses a 12,196 square feet, light filled day care centre and offices for BHC.

David Adjaye said:
“Sugar Hill represents a new social engagement, which is at the heart of my practice. It is a symbol of regeneration for the community of Harlem that will integrate housing with a cultural and educational element – this is a real reinvention of the traditional model and I am thrilled to see the project break ground.”

Ellen Baxter, Founder and Executive Director of BHC, said:
“Sugar Hill is the culmination of Broadway Housing Communities’ 30-year commitment to create opportunities to strengthen individuals, children and families, and communities with access to affordable housing, early childhood education and cultural opportunities – three integral components of a sustainable and vibrant community.”

  • john

    Another black building by David Adjaye!

  • Gordon

    Hmm…a wee bit Pruitt-Igoe, perhaps? In strictly aesthetic terms only!

  • Robert

    Plans and sections please.