The Brotherhood/Sister Sol (Bro/Sis) was founded in 1995 to provide “comprehensive, holistic and long-term support” to children between the ages of 8 and 22. We were inspired by their mission:
“…to provide multi-layered support, guidance, education and love to our membership, to teach them to have self-discipline and form order in their lives, and then to offer opportunities and access so that they may develop agency.”
Having outgrown the brownstone they were in, they asked UAI to design a new center on the same grounds after demolition, widening the parcel to add an adjacent lot.
Viewed from a distance the geometry of the new center creates a visual movement that turns upwards. Overlapping sections of the front façade telescope outwards as they ascend. Simultaneously, glazing at the vertical center transposes to the left. This playful dynamism is reflected in the interior layouts, with angled walls at the teen lounge and art room, but also orthogonal spaces for weighty spaces such as the offices. Artifacts from the old brownstone are woven into the new center, such as doors which the children have decorated over the years, as well as stone details from the original facade.
Color combinations are consistent for public areas but vary for program spaces so that each space feels unique to the particular use. Every opportunity is taken to increase the amount of natural light entering the building, including added windows at the side yard facing the green thumb garden on the west.
512 W143rd Street
New York, NY
Brotherhood Sister Sol
LMW Engineering Group
Liz Farrell Landscape Architecture PLLC
Noel Building Consultants