Heritage Health & Housing Headquarters

Location: New York, NY
Date of Completion: 2002
Program: Housing + Social Services
Size: 8,000 sq ft.
Client: Heritage Health & Housing Headquarters
Sustainability: Maximized reuse of existing building

Hope is the message that Caples Jefferson wanted their Heritage Health & Housing Headquarters to convey. Thus the architecture becomes the symbol of this agency’s noble mission, which is to provide social services for ex-convicts battling addiction and mental health problems. Joy is expressed externally by Nathan Joseph’s patchwork installation which covers the facade of the building, formerly a simple garage in New York City. The bright colours of the artistic piece project optimism towards the community and attract the attention of the passers-by. Once through the small door that is overhung by the entry canopy, the interior environment could not be more different. A sense of peace pervades the space. The all-white interiors are lit by a soft light that comes from the small windows and the four skylights that cut the building crosswise. Each skylight is formed by a void prism lined with polycarbonate sheets which confers a high sense of abstraction that gives rise to poetry. These light wells allow to appreciate the daylight within the building, amplifying the sense of time. They are spaced rhythmically along the corridor that brings one from the entry to the opposite end of the building which opens toward the next street. This path across the building proceeds with a non-linear direction, through dark and light,  almost like the soothing journey back to the community of the people that come here asking for help.

– Simone Corda


Citation: Architecture
AIA Design Award New York Chapter
Citation, National Awards for Excellence in Design
National Organization of Minority Architects
AIA National Honor Award for Architecture 

Photographers: Blandon Belushin, Thibault Jeanson, Albert Vecerka