Organization Name: Urban Quotient
Project Title: 2142 Amsterdam
Project Location: Washington Heights, Manhattan
The goal of the project was to develop a building that fits within its context while also transforming its block and neighborhood by standing out through the detail and character of its design. By careful proportion of the masonry work, large, deep window openings, and the use of decorative stainless steel panels that enliven the streetscape, the building conveys a sense of both belonging and uniqueness that are well-suited to its function as supportive housing and to the mission of its owners and sponsors.
2142 Amsterdam is a new six story building developed by Community League of the Heights (CLOTH) and Alembic Community Development that provides forty-four studio units of affordable housing. The building is conceived as a series of layers, each with a separate function. The outermost layer reflects the materials, scale, and detailing of the surrounding architectural character and frames the building within its physical context. The second layer is revealed through the composition of the window pattern and decorative screens which subtly shift along the façade. The variation of this second layer over time and in different lighting conditions reflects the vibrancy and complexity of the surrounding urban context and character. Together, the tension between these two layers gives the building its elegant dynamism, fitting in while standing out.
The project provides much needed affordable housing to the area while also providing supportive housing and services for adults with serious mental illness who are at risk of chronic homelessness. The building program includes common spaces and supportive service office spaces managed and staffed by Services for the Underserved. The tenants of the building will be new additions to CLOTH’s existing community of residents while its programming adds to the organization’s network of neighborhood services.
Urban Quotient (UQ) is a full-service architecture firm whose focus is to design and promote equitable urban environments. Through our multi-disciplinary approach, which includes urban design, landscape, planning, and development, we seek to create work that expresses both the specificity of place and the complexity of forces that shape the built environment. We believe that thoughtful, intelligent architecture encompasses a rigorous approach to producing high-quality design, a thorough knowledge of construction in the field, and an advocacy role for social responsibility and sustainability in policy and urban development.