Affordable Housing Brownsville, New York

Camber Property Group approached ORE to join an established team as the Design Architect on an affordable housing project in the Brownsville Brooklyn neighborhood.

The allowable site plan per zoning did not take advantage of views of the green procession of mature trees and historic library along Glenmore Avenue and the colorful mural of the Brownsville Community Justice Center to the West. ORE saw a design potential in what seemed like a weakness of the existing scheme: the unaligned entrances leading to a public courtyard from streets with historical importance to the neighborhood.

We chose to insert community organizations at each corner of the access way to activate the public areas on ground level.  Angling the facades and adding reflective covers (polished stainless steel) to the building’s structural piers we created a “lateral para-scope”, allowing passersby to look through one entrance and see reflections of the view from the other entrance.  We felt it was important for this building to stitch the neighborhood together and highlight the activities of the community artist organizations on the ground floor.

Conceptual image of the “perisope” collaging neighborhood views, tenant art organizations and local residents as one moves through the courtyard.


Mixing green into the courtyard and adding reflective blocks (in magenta at the right) to reflect interior of courtyard

Client: Camber Property Group, Curtis Ginsberg as Architect of Record
Location: Brownsville, New York
Program: Affordable Housing + Community Facilities + Landscape
Area: 280,000 sf