The Cooper Union
School of Architecture
 
 
 
 
 

MELROSE COMMUNITY CENTER

The Community Center’s users are children and teenagers and provides them with facilities such as athletics, arts and crafts, videos, and computing. The design of the Bronx South Classic Center reflects a desire to avoid a fortress-like solution and instead provide the community with a building that conveys a sense of openness and accessibility. The project calls for a strong formal solution to play a symbolic role in the community.

We chose to make the building as transparent as possible. Curtain wall glazing along the length of the bar exposes the interior to public view in both directions. Within the bar building, glass walls divide the classrooms from the double height circulation spine concentrated along the building’s periphery.

The gymnasium, separated from the rest of the program and with its elliptical configuration, addresses the need for holding the otherwise very open corner while affirming the fact that the center belongs to the Houses. The gymnasium with its strongly recognizable form is a symbolic element of identification for the entire community.

11 Melrose Community Center has received numerous awards including:

  • New York Municipal Arts Society
    MASterwork Award for the best new building in the city
  • New York State chapter of the American Institute of Architects
    Excellence In Design Award
  • New York City chapter of the American Institute of Architects
    Excellence In Design Award
  • New York Council Society of American Registered Architects
    Design Award of Merit

DIANA AGREST
Professor, Proportional-Time Faculty