The Bruce Avenue Youth Houses, or BAY houses, are comprised of a pair of two family homes, one each for young women and young men, at the southern edge of the city of Yonkers. Developed and run by Westhab, and specifically designed to house people 18 to 22 years old aging out of foster care, the buildings provide a supportive environment to live in while studying or working during these formative years. The modern, vibrant aesthetic is intended to reflect and fuel the aspirations of these young adults as they build their skills and develop the relationships needed to find their places in the world.
Located in a hilly and verdant residential neighborhood just north of Van Cortlandt Park, these 3 story buildings are surrounded by a mix of large Victorian-style houses and apartment buildings. The sloped site presented challenges to the development team, ultimately overcome by a series of retaining walls terracing up the hill to Bruce Avenue. On-site parking was required by the city’s zoning ordinance, and so was integrated into the rear yard areas to keep the building front entries connected to the street. This allows the parking areas to serve as informal patio areas in the back yard, accessible from the basement.
Using a classic red brick to harmonize with the surrounding urban fabric, the buildings employ bright red metal accents and a modernist sensibility to provide a refreshing take on city living. Each 4 bedroom apartment has two shared bathrooms and a large living room / kitchen. By far the largest room in each apartment, the living rooms are airy and open to encourage frequent use while the bedrooms are cozy, private areas for solo time. The basement areas of each building include on-site laundry and recreation spaces where the Westhab program staff will provide guidance and support.