Nestled on a hillside overlooking Fordham University, the 100 unit Marion Avenue Residence gave new life to a long disused vacant lot used for years as a local dumping ground and parking lot. Developed by the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health, the building features expansive ground floor program spaces opening up to a large rear yard. Taking advantage of the craggy rock forms in the terrain, the rear yard spaces feature terraces and patios at multiple levels providing zones for quiet contemplation, while overlooking a fully-equipped children’s playground.

With a color palette of dark, warm brick complemented by a lighter rainscreen and deep blue metal accents, the façade of the building is broken down to scale more humanely with the many frame homes that still line this residential stretch of Marion Avenue. Large window assemblies bring daylight into the apartments which also feature fully-equipped kitchens and bathrooms in cooler, white tones. At the rooftop a pergola-style solar array provides power to the common areas, which include a community room, youth room and laundry room all opening to the rear yard. These shared spaces are made visible from the lobby and entrance by large panes of fire-rated glazing, inviting residents to participate in the communal life of the building.

Although the property is large, access to the site was constrained by the narrow local streets as well as the fifteen foot height differential to the adjoining properties in the rear and an existing 100 year old hickory tree that had to be conserved. Additionally, subgrade issues including rock and water, and some uncooperative neighbors lengthened the construction process and forced some redesigning midstream.  Funding for the residence, which serves formerly homeless families and individuals as well as local community members, was provided by the NYS Office of Mental Health with additional funds from other state agencies including the Homeless Housing Assistance Program and Housing Finance Authority.

  • Location

    2681 Marion Avenue
    Bronx, NY 10458

  • Client

    Postgraduate Center for Mental Health

  • Agency


  • Completed


  • Cost

    $26 million

  • Team

    LMW Engineering Group, LLC
    Johnson & Urban LLC
    EPAC Buildings Consulting Inc.
    Dominick R. Pilla Associates, P.C.
    Liz Farrell Landscape Architecture PLLC
    Steven Winter Associates, Inc.
    Chris Cooper Photographer