Sumner Gardens

  • Neighborhood

    Bushwick, Brooklyn
  • Use

    Senior Housing and Community Center
  • Client

    • Omni New York
  • Status

  • Budget

    Approximately $60 Million
  • Size

    155,000 SF / 200 Units


This proposal for 200 units of housing and a large community center was commissioned in response to a city-sponsored RFP. The site is a large underused parcel within a superblock of public housing. Our design was to create housing as a connector - leveraging the new building and its program to knit the entire housing campus and its urban landscape together into a single coherent whole.

This proposal was developed in response to an RFP from the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) for a large parcel of land in the midst of one of its largest superblock developments from the 1960’s. Sumner Houses has a total of 13 buildings, 1088 units, and 2400 residents, within its 22 acres of land. Much of the area is fenced off, with most of the activity hidden from the street or from the pathways that wind through the superblocks.

The building massing is designed as two volumes that intersect one another. The larger 11-story portion is pushed back to create an inviting, sunny front court and has a varied window patterning that creates a playful movement in contrast to the lower volume. There are also large colorful punctures in this façade that create porosity deep, plum that read as penetrations through the volume.

Part of our proposal is to provide community garden plots that will tended by residents of our building  and residents of Sumner Houses through a gardening program run by BCS.        

Punctures through the building provide light and airy public spaces for senior residents that, along with the intergen-erational community center, support an overall theme of health & wellness 

The two main open spaces along the two frontages are further connected together by the strategic transparent glazing of the ground  floor community center. This allows residents and visitors to literally see what is happening on all sides of the building as the new center and building create a new place of active uses.