Organization Name: The Fortune Society, C+GA
Project Title: Castle III
Project Location: East Harlem, NY
Castle III is a planned 15-story supportive-housing project in East Harlem for The Fortune Society to serve formerly incarcerated and justice-involved individuals. It will provide 82 units of housing and spaces for support, education, and socialization that will help foster empowerment and financial independence. The south-facing street façade includes masonry piers and window clusters that evoke the older commercial buildings that dot the neighborhood. The windows have a sculpted frame that provides shade and minimizes heat gain. The building is set back from the street, carving out much-needed green space for the residents and the community, including a rear yard with seating and space for recreation and exercise. The community and laundry room are co-located to encourage socialization and community building. Castle III will be all-electric and designed to Passive House standards. Natural light is used strategically throughout the building, including in the lobby, community spaces, and even in the cellar, where walkable skylights in the courtyard allow light into offices and meeting spaces below. The project includes a solar array that forms a visible solar "crown" on the roof.
In addition to the comprehensive support services provided to residents, The Fortune Society expects Castle III to serve as a broad resource for residents and the surrounding community. The ground-floor teaching kitchen, visible from the sidewalk, will be available for nutritional cooking demonstrations and free produce distribution. Conference rooms will be available for community meetings by sister organizations, neighboring tenant organizations, and the Community Board. Community events may include theater, music, and other arts activities or performances, as well as the Fortune-sponsored community block party, an event that has become a tradition at their West Harlem location. The front landscaped courtyard will provide green space and shade and a welcoming entry to the building.
The Fortune Society provides justice-involved people with the skills and services needed to break the cycle of crime and incarceration and to build productive lives in their communities. Fortune’s services include substance use and mental health treatment, employment services and emergency, transitional, and permanent supportive congregate and scattered site housing. Curtis + Ginsberg Architects is an award-winning architecture and planning firm with a mission to improve the built environment in a sustainable and socially conscious manner.
Client: The Fortune Society, Development Consultant: A. Larovere Consulting, Architect: Curtis + Ginsberg Architects, Structural Engineer: De Nardis Engineering, Energy: Bright Power