E111 Gardens

  • Neighborhood

    East Harlem, New York
  • Use

    Passive House Mixed-Use Development
  • Clients

    • The Community Builders
    • Lott CDC
  • Status

  • Budget

    Approximately $175 Million
  • Size

    670,000 SF / 652 Units


UQ was invited to join the design team for this project as an urban design consultant to guide the overall site planning. The proposal called for the development of affordable housing, commercial, and community facility uses on an entire city block of East Harlem that is currently being used by community gardens. Collaboration with EDI International and Paul Castrucci Architects

Knowing the importance of these gardens within the community, we wanted to relocate them within the development and retain as much of their character as possible.  

Image courtesy of EDI International

(Left) Initial concept sketch of the landscape strategy (Center) Sketch rendering of sloped landscape (Right) Sketch rendering of patio and planting.

Consistent with this theoretical framework, the scheme resulted in community gardens being placed within the courtyard of the new housing, adjacent to a public plaza, with the pathway through the site running along and adjacent to the garden fences. 

In this way, while each garden maintained its own identity and space, the lively activity and programming of the gardens could spill out into the plaza and the activities in the plaza could be extended into the gardens. 

Diagram that highlights the garden infrastructure

This overall concept helped to drive the vibrancy and form of the architecture and complemented the massing and orientation needed to achieve Passive House design, thus creating a model for sustainable and equitable development.