COUNTS STUDIO

Dunbar Apartments

Historic Landscape/ Urban Housing Development New York, New York Built by John D. Rockefeller Jr. in 1928 to provide housing for African Americans, the Dunbar Apartments site was the first garden-complex in Manhattan. The complex is located in Harlem between 149 and 150th streets between Fredrick Douglas Boulevard and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard in New York City. Occupying an entire city block, the campus consists of six buildings with 511 apartments and is on the list of New York City Landmarks and the National Register of Historic Places. Named in honor of the African American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, the buildings center around an interior courtyard, the re-design of which protects and preserves all of the existing mature canopy trees, while transforming a centrally located 4,500 sf concrete slab into a vibrant new gathering space, and the re-shaping of central spine into a more socially and experientially dynamic urban corridor. The Clients goals involved the removal of the fences separating the people with plantings to offering opportunities for residents to sit and enjoy the spaces and providing a greater range of uses than the site currently accommodates. To accomplish this, the site is improved using three overall interventions including re-structuring the site around the protection of the canopy trees, the addition of new building program, and an intimate re-imagined active social network of garden spaces within the courtyard. Granular terraces with movable chairs are set under new leafy groves of canopy trees to provide flexible spill-out space for new cafes and office storefronts. The new paving, a custom-designed mosaic of bluestone, weaves a variety of stone slabs that fluctuate in length and width along a newly defined path network that is not only easy to follow, but minimizes blind corners and provides spaces for seating and movability for moving through the site as well as finding more private moments of respite.
Counts Studio Section Elevation Drawings of Happy Valley Garden
Counts Studio Section Elevation Drawings of Happy Valley Garden
Counts Studio Section Elevation Drawings of Happy Valley Garden
Counts Studio Section Elevation Drawings of Happy Valley Garden
Counts Studio Section Elevation Drawings of Happy Valley Garden
Counts Studio Section Elevation Drawings of Happy Valley Garden
Counts Studio Section Elevation Drawings of Happy Valley Garden
Counts Studio Section Elevation Drawings of Happy Valley Garden
Counts Studio Section Elevation Drawings of Happy Valley Garden
Counts Studio Section Elevation Drawings of Happy Valley Garden
Counts Studio Section Elevation Drawings of Happy Valley Garden
Counts Studio Section Elevation Drawings of Happy Valley Garden
Counts Studio Section Elevation Drawings of Happy Valley Garden
Counts Studio Section Elevation Drawings of Happy Valley Garden
Counts Studio Section Elevation Drawings of Happy Valley Garden
Counts Studio Section Elevation Drawings of Happy Valley Garden
Counts Studio Section Elevation Drawings of Happy Valley Garden
Counts Studio with Site Landscape Architecture