Greenhope Services for Women is a non-profit organization with a mission to empower women affected by substance abuse and the criminal justice system and help them to reclaim their lives. Kandake House is the organization’s new 43,000 sf facility, which operates three programs: Residential Treatment, Day Treatment, and Outpatient Services, including an ambulatory medical suite open to the general public. The facility’s complex program includes administrative offices, classrooms, sleeping quarters, a daycare, a cafeteria, a terrace garden and a greenhouse.

The front facade is a rich weaving of metal, brick, and stucco that draws on the patterning of West African textiles, called Kente Cloth. The facade curves to the East, toward the Harlem River, invoking the billowing of colorful fabrics in the wind. A custom mural was designed by Leroy Cambell for the entrance lobby. It is meant to symbolize the support of women working to draw themselves out of a vortex of addiction with the help and support of other women. Environmentally responsible design has been integral to the building from the early conceptual stage. The building exhibits both passive and active energy-saving methods, earning the Energy Star Building certification by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

The desired program for this building, the first new construction project for Greenhope Services for Women, was much larger than could be accommodated by the site and the budget. Since the cellar was not counted as a floor area under zoning regulations, UAI was able to optimize the space and utilize every inch of the property’s underground effectively. Additionally, the program spaces were designed for flexible use, allowing daytime and nighttime functions to co-exist within the same space. In order to pay for increased built area, inexpensive materials such as Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS) and polished concrete were employed rather than more costly alternatives. These materials served the project well, without sacrificing appearance or durability.

  • Location

    435 E 119th Street, New York, NY

  • Client

    Greenhope Services for Women

  • Agency


  • Completed


  • Cost

    $13.3 million

  • Team

    EMTG Engineers
    LMW Engineering Group
    Hudson Planning Group
    Design 2147
    Galaxy General Contracting Corporation