Willis Avenue

  • Neighborhood

    Mott Haven, Bronx
  • Use

    Mixed-Use Affordable Housing
  • Client

    • The Community Builders
  • Status

  • Budget

    Approximately $90 million
  • Size

    Approximately 102,000 sf / 92 Units


The site is part of the NextGen NYCHA RFP for Mott Haven in the South Bronx, within the Betances VI Housing complex, three blocks from “The Hub”. One of the most striking characteristics of the immediate surroundings are the under-utilized open spaces immediately adjacent to the property. 

 Diagram showing the connections to various proposed open spaces 

Our proposal extends beyond the site, upgrading and connecting these spaces together to create a mid-block “secret garden”, converting the existing fragmented spaces into a viable, connected open space resource for all tenants. 

For the new building, which houses 92 affordable units, our approach was to maximize the available floor area while creating as light a footprint as possible. The massing scenario holds the street edge on both street frontages while allowing maximum light into the shared open space between the neighboring buildings. The building’s base, which includes a childcare center and commercial storefront at the ground level, has a formal expression and is clad in brick.

Diagram highlighting the various sustainable design elements within the proposed building.

This base begins to peel away and change color at each setback, revealing a layer beneath it as it turns the corner. At each setback, another layer is peeled away, becoming freer in form and articulation, until the final setback reveals the inner core that flares out and frees itself from the base as it climbs to its final height of 16 stories.   

 Diagram highlighting the various active design elements within the proposed building.