Roscoe C. Brown, Jr. Apartments

3952 Third Avenue, Bronx (Bathgate), NY
Client: Phipps Houses/RCB Associates, LP
Size: 255,000 gross square feet
Cost: $80,000,000
Status: Completed 2011
Project Sheet: Download

Part of the design challenge grew out of an attempt to redefine the design vocabulary of this, once industrial, corridor.  The site was deemed un-buildable due to the expense of removing a 30’ high rock outcropping dominating the southern third of the site.  The final design strategy involved segmenting the complex into three, independent buildings.  This included selective coring of rock for lobby placement at street level for the southern-most building, while the majority of the building mass rests above it.

The street wall employs a three-color palette of brick that creates an animated expression along the façade.  Its durability and cost effectiveness were key to the realization of this venture. Setbacks and dormers were used to further articulate the scale of the 9-story, near 500-foot long complex.  Brick made a natural match for the strong geological features of the exposed rock-face as well as for the residential character of the adjacent neighborhood.  The design recalls a vibrant community that once thrived along this corridor, near Crotona Park.

The 279-unit project, made up of primarily of two- and three-bedroom units, includes an early childhood center, retail and parking for 35 vehicles at grade.  There are also outdoor recreation spaces and adjoining community rooms.  Twenty percent of units will be set aside for those earning 40% or less of area median income (AMI) while the remaining will be reserved for those earning 60% or less of AMI.

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