Site Research

As my contribution to the class' remote site research, I looked into the location and frequency of public transportation in the East Village. The Village View site is located in the center of the East Village, with a bus stop nearby. At best, the bus departs from this stop every 10 minutes, but more often (and especially on weekends), a passengers could be waiting for 20 minutes if they do not plan ahead.

Public transportation study

Site Visit

outside the University Settlement Center

Outside the Unviersity Settlement Center (no pictures allowed inside)

Nearby Facility: University Settlement

During our site visit to New York we were able to visit the site in Village View, along with some of the current older adult facilities in the surrounding East Village.

We were able to speak to the coordinator of the University Settlement facility and she provided insights into the needs and wants of their older adults that challenged our biases:

  • The older adults at University Settlement are very physically active--their favorite activity is ballroom dancing.
  • The facility has tried to promote gardening activities but no one was interested -- it required too much crouching and kneeling.
  • The largest issue the facility runs into is lack of space. The older adults attend classes all day long and there is more demand for classes than there is space, even though some of the classes have one or two (very passionate) participants. One older woman reserves the space to sing karaoke by herself.
  • The current multi-purpose room can get very loud, due to the acoustics of the room (painted cinder blocks) and the some heated mahjong games.
  • University Settlement is a day-time facility, serving breakfast and lunch everyday. Most of the older adults leave by the afternoon to pick up their grandchildren from school.
  • Many of the older adults come to University Settlement not out of financial need, but out of a need for a place to go and a desire for community.

From this experience and my previous research, I decided that I wanted design an older adult center that provided the older adults with creative employment opportunities, a series of flexible rooms in which to hold classes, and a larger cafeteria in which they could continue their current multi-purpose room activities while interacting with others from the East Village.

Looking South into the parking lot

Looking South into the parking lot

The Site: Village View parking lot

The site appeared quite small in person, with the whole area fenced off and many cars occupying spaces. I was taken by the scale of the Village View high rises. You can feel the contrast to the 5-story buildings across the street from interior of the complex (pictured center below), because the parking lot does not obstruct the view.

Looking South down 1st Ave

Looking South down 1st Ave

outside the University Settlement Center

From the interior of the Village View complex

outside the University Settlement Center

Looking Southwest from 6th Avenue


In my massing models, I aimed to

  • activate the southwest corner of the site (closest to the bus stop)
  • provide a clear diagonal axis across the site to maintain an unobstructed view from the interior of the Village View complex
  • create a tall mass along the length of the site to provide a buffer from the busy 1st Avenue
  • provide a variety of of public- and private-feeling spaces to allow the older adults to interact or not interact with the public depending on their preference

massing 1
massing 2
massing 3

Final Design

site axon

My final design places the majority of the center programming in a mass along 1st Ave to provide a buffer for the public plaza below. This public plaza, along with the cafeteria on the 1st floor, provides transportation users a place to spend time between the infrequent bus departures, and a comfortable way for the older adults to interact with the larger community. The plaza is broken up by small studios / storefronts to which the older adults can retreat to create items that they can later sell.

Floor Plans
floor plans
sections sections
elevations elevations
Incubator Detail
Final Model
final model
final model
final model
final model