Project DescriptionThe Creston Avenue Residence is 10-stories of new affordable housing set amongst buildings half the size and nearly 80 years older. Amid a curtain of brick, broken by shadowed entry courtyards and adorned by fire escapes, this design reflects the neighborhood’s past and offers a vision of its future.
The building is divided into three smaller masses, two separate brick sections and a main body, slightly set back, clad in metal. This inset central portion includes the main entrance mimicking those of surrounding buildings. The brick sections are consistent in both material and proportion with the adjacent properties; but a tonal shift from warm red to cool grey yields a less saturated surface. Diminished color contrast deemphasizes the brick masses, reducing their perceived weight. There are also setbacks at the 6th, 9th and 10th floors. These obscure the height of the structure and limit the shadows it casts. The metal panels that stretch over the middle and top of the building also lessen the apparent size, as they are light in color and read as comparatively light in weight. They work in tandem with large windows creating reflections that brighten the façade.
Front facing windows are fitted with sunshades – a green design staple, but the metal, ladder-like pieces also serve as a visual analog. They repeat the form, façade layering and even cast shadows of fire escapes. It is a contemporary take on a traditional element that will mark the buildings of our time.
The property’s downward slope keeps the first floor apartments off the ground and allows the basement, with laundry and community rooms, to open onto a landscaped courtyard. There, walls and seating create the contours of gardens that form distinct spaces balancing light and shade, play and retreat.
Quality material and design are carried across the entire exterior ensuring that the attention to craft befitting a neighborhood with historic integrity is clear from all angles of this modern equivalent.