A New Community Center in Brooklyn, With New Ideas

Architect George Ranalli's new Saratoga Avenue Community Center attempts to redefine the form by focusing on permanence and design.

January 15, 2009, 5:00 AM PST

By Tim Halbur


"For the past decade, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) has been on a community center building binge. In the face of current economic conditions, many that are now ready to open their doors are facing the economic crunch, but remain optimistic that they will become active and important components of their communities.

Among them is one we've been following for several years (not unusual considering the bureaucracy and politics of a major metropolis). It is the Saratoga Avenue Community Center in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. NYCHA commissioned New York City-based George Ranalli, Architect to renovate an existing 1,500-square-foot community facility that is part of the Saratoga Village Apartments, a typical 1960s 16-story, mixed-income housing tower. The project, which serves the existing housing block and several other buildings sharing the site, also included a 3,500-square-foot addition located on Saratoga Avenue.

'This building attempts to look at the very idea of what civic buildings represent," says Ranalli. 'The design is a re-evaluation of public architecture and construction seen as durable, strong, and permanent.'"

Wednesday, January 14, 2009 in ArchNewsNow.com

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