The Bronx Boulevard project is the renovation and conversion of a two-story, 20,000-square-foot manufacturing facility into a 108-bed homeless shelter for Project Renewal. The building was constructed in 1928 and most recently served as a factory for plastic and metal products. In addition to sleeping and bathing areas, the project includes space for medical and psychiatric treatment, social services, a dining room, recreation areas, and administrative components.
ESKW/A used the strict NYC DOB guidelines as an opportunity to supply natural light and air in an unusual way: five torqued roof structures atop each sleeping quarter, providing a special interior experience. The structures break down the scale of the 20-bed dorm rooms into perceptually unique components, creating a series of moments within each dorm.
Throughout the building, ESKW/A has infused the existing, rough manufacturing aesthetic with clean lines of the new architecture. Metal and plastic deposits have been sometimes left in place to preserve the muscular design. A local artist provided a decorative entrance grille that serves as the primary entrance to the building and as the visual interface between the local community and the shelter.
The project won the Housing Design Award from the Boston Society of Architects in 2014.