During the summer of 2015, Tricia Martin, Kaja Kühl (youarethecity) and urban design students and faculty of Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP) Summer Studio had the opportunity to collaborate with a group of young Brownsville, New York residents on the design for a pop-up community clubhouse at Marcus Garvey Village. The residents, part of a program at Brownsville Community Justice Center (BCJC), developed a set of mental maps of their neighborhood to identify potential sites for the community center. Made in Brownsville, a local design not-for-profit, led the initial effort with BCJC that included the retrofit of a shipping container. Nicolas Fernando Del Valle Russell, one of our Columbia students from the summer 2015 studio, continued to assist WE Design with the project once a site was approved by L&M Development Partners, the owners of the housing development. Nicholas developed a site plan that included a stage for events, porous paving for paths, and a row of constructed nooks with custom benches and planters to be used for seating or other pop-up activities. The new facility will host a range of events such as movie nights, classes, and panel discussions.
This project demonstrates how collaboration between many experts and people of different backgrounds can have a meaningful impact in underserved communities.
Recent press on the project: