Quality of life is related to quality of space. Sadly, organizations that provide life-changing social services to individuals in need often end up with sterile, cold environments that are counterintuitive to the work they hope to accomplish. Such was the case with Anna Gonzalez Apartments, a development that provides housing and social services to people with special needs including residents with mental illness and HIV/AIDS, as well as those who are in transition from chronic homelessness.
desigNYC connected Sohbr Studio with Enterprise Community Partners and CAMBA to redesign the building’s lobby, community room, and solarium to make them warm and inviting, as well as adaptable enough to be used for tenant meetings, counseling sessions and recreation.
The design team led collaborative design sessions with both residents and building staff, which provided valuable insights about how the current spaces are perceived in use and condition. The abundance of ideas and suggestions showed how large a role these spaces play in the daily lives of residents and staff and focused the designers on a solution that provided comfort, flexibility and sustainability.
“Our partnership with desigNYC is an example of the innovative ways in which Enterprise, with our other partners, is taking a holistic approach to affordable housing development,” said Abby Jo Sigal, Vice President and New York Director, Enterprise Community Partners. “The residents of the Anna Gonzalez Apartments now have beautiful community spaces that support their health, safety, and stability, and a place they can be proud to call home.”
The project installation would not have been possible without generous in-kind contributions by numerous suppliers and vendors. Thank you Blik, CB2, Krown Lab, Lillian Heard Studio, Restoration Hardware, Valspar, and Virco Mfg!