Webster Avenue

Residences
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Bronx, NY
Webster Avenue - exterior
Webster Residence and the adjoining Park House complete the streetwall on a formerly vacant brownfield site. Photography by James Ewing.
Webster Avenue - exterior
The new supportive and affordable residences are located adjacent to a commuter rail station. Photography by James Ewing.
Webster Avenue - exterior
The simple, retrained contemporary massing reflects the rhythm and proportions of nearby early-1920s masonry apartment blocks. Photography by James Ewing.
Webster Avenue - exterior
The streetscape incorporates large retail windows, awnings and a historically inspired rhythm of masonry piers. Photography by James Ewing.
Webster Avenue - exterior
Textured brick at the entrance to 411 East 178th Street. Photography by James Ewing.
Webster Avenue - lobby
The Park House lobby is daylit and filled with plants, connecting residents with nature and natural cycles. Photography by James Ewing.
Webster Avenue - elevator vestibule
Elevator vestibules are daylit, providing an orientation feature to residents and a connection to the outdoors. Photography by James Ewing.
Webster Avenue - courtyard
Residents of Webster Residence and Park House share an expansive garden courtyard to inspire a sense of community. Photography by James Ewing.
Webster Avenue - planted roof
A green roof helps to mitigate stormwater runoff, reduce solar heat gain, and provide a habitat for pollinators. Photography by James Ewing.
Residences
Bronx, NY
Webster Avenue - exterior
Webster Residence and the adjoining Park House complete the streetwall on a formerly vacant brownfield site. Photography by James Ewing.
Webster Avenue - exterior
The new supportive and affordable residences are located adjacent to a commuter rail station. Photography by James Ewing.
Webster Avenue - exterior
The simple, retrained contemporary massing reflects the rhythm and proportions of nearby early-1920s masonry apartment blocks. Photography by James Ewing.
Webster Avenue - exterior
The streetscape incorporates large retail windows, awnings and a historically inspired rhythm of masonry piers. Photography by James Ewing.
Webster Avenue - exterior
Textured brick at the entrance to 411 East 178th Street. Photography by James Ewing.
Webster Avenue - lobby
The Park House lobby is daylit and filled with plants, connecting residents with nature and natural cycles. Photography by James Ewing.
Webster Avenue - elevator vestibule
Elevator vestibules are daylit, providing an orientation feature to residents and a connection to the outdoors. Photography by James Ewing.
Webster Avenue - courtyard
Residents of Webster Residence and Park House share an expansive garden courtyard to inspire a sense of community. Photography by James Ewing.
Webster Avenue - planted roof
A green roof helps to mitigate stormwater runoff, reduce solar heat gain, and provide a habitat for pollinators. Photography by James Ewing.
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Webster Avenue is a new residential community for low-income families and formerly homeless individuals in the Tremont neighborhood of the Bronx, New York. Developed by Breaking Ground, an innovative non-profit organization dedicated to ending homelessness, the two residences are designed to provide healthy and sustainable housing by incorporating high-performance building systems and biophilic design. Supporting Breaking Ground’s innovative programming and essential services, the residences meld social and environmental sustainability, creating a safe space from which to build positive change.

The community is located on an empty, formerly industrial site, sandwiched between Metro-North’s Harlem Line and the busy, residential thoroughfare of Webster Avenue. The two adjacent buildings occupy 411 East 178th Street (Webster Residence), which includes supportive housing with on-site social services, and 4275 Park Avenue (Park House), providing a mix of affordable efficiencies to three bedrooms. Designed as a seamless composition, the two buildings blend into one another, filling the gap in the urban fabric. To create a more pedestrian friendly street and enliven the neighborhood, the street wall is restored using brick and stone and a deep façade inspired by the neighboring early-20th-century buildings. The simple, elegant façades are a combination of warm red and dark rich-oxide brick, and alternate rows protruding and receding by half an inch, creating an undulating biomimetic surface reminiscent of ocean sand or tree bark patterns. The heavy masonry conveys a sense of permanence and allows a highly efficient exterior envelope, qualifying for Zone Green benefits that allow additional floor area for affordable housing.

The residences meld social and environmental sustainability, creating a space from which to build positive change.
Webster Avenue - kids
Our goal for designing healthy, biophilic housing is to create a better city for the next generation of New Yorkers, like these young neighbors on Webster Avenue. Photography by Alex Ferrec.

Creating safe, secure, and healthy residences was the highest priority. The interiors are designed to ensure a healthy indoor environment with low- or non-VOC materials, access to nature and natural light, and elements of biophilic design including natural analogue finishes. Daylit exposures in the elevator vestibules and common areas are oriented to outdoor green spaces to promote resident well-being through restorative connections to nature. Sections of the exterior wall are recessed to create small public gardens and the two buildings are linked by a planted central courtyard shared by residents. Both structures feature green roofs and Webster Residence’s roof is accessible for recreational use with views towards Julius Richman Park and the Manhattan Skyline. The buildings are designed to earn their Enterprise Green Communities certification through sustainable design strategies.