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URBAN QUOTIENT

THE OFFICE OF SAMIR S. SHAH, ARCHITECT 231 FRONT STREET SUITE 211 BROOKLYN, NY 11201 646.837.5499 info@urbanquotient.com


Firm Profile & Qualifications

Urban Quotient (UQ) is a full-service architecture firm whose focus is to design and promote equitable urban environments. Through our multi-disciplinary approach, which includes urban design, landscape, planning, and development, we create work that expresses both the specificity of place and the complexity of forces shaping the built environment. We believe that thoughtful, intelligent architecture encompasses a rigorous approach to producing high-quality design, a thorough knowledge of construction in the field, and an advocacy role for social responsibility and sustainability in policy and urban development. The firm has developed an expertise in working with community development organizations and non-profit developers to design facilities with a wide range of programming needs. UQ is known for its sensitivity in handling complex programs and providing value to our clients through our approach to design whether we are working on new buildings, renovating existing facilities, or providing analysis and input on an organization’s portfolio of properties or long-range vision. Our portfolio of projects have included community centers, day care centers, office spaces, performance spaces, art galleries, houses of worship, medical clinics, and mixed-use housing. UQ has designed over 100,000 sf of community facility space since it was founded in 2009 and has a growing portfolio of institutional and cultural work. The firm has also designed over 1000 units of housing including completed projects, those in construction, or projects in the design phase. The firm has also established a consulting practice in planning and development services that is a direct outgrowth of its architectural practice.

[UQ is a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) with New York State & New York City]


Areas of Expertise

Planning & Development At UQ, we are interested not only in buildings, but in how the process of urban development shapes the built environment. In our planning and development work, we are a valuable partner to our clients by helping to shape long-range development goals as well as project-specific development strategy. Combined with our expertise in design, we can carry a project through to completion with full understanding of budget priorities and the needs of both our clients and the surrounding community. Working in the Public Sector UQ has extensive experience working on projects receiving public funds, shepherding them through the process of public approvals and the oversight of municipal agencies involved. Our projects have included day care facilities, community centers, historic landmark renovation, schools, foster care agencies, and urban design master plans all geared towards our mission of promoting and designing equitable environments. Finding Elegance Within Complexity Our approach to design is both open-ended and rigorous. We carefully study of the opportunities and constraints presented by each project while drawing inspiration from all sources ranging from urban context to biology to literary allusion. Our goal, however, is consistent for all of our projects: to formulate a design problem that is a synthesis of this careful study, and to find a solution that is a narrative thread tying together the building’s experience, context, and design concept. New Technologies - Adoption and Adaptation In the development of our design work, we embrace the environment of rapidly evolving technology in the design industry, constantly evaluating which tools to implement in order to provide better service to our clients. For instance, UQ has implemented BIM, or Building Information Modeling, in all of our projects which gives us efficiency, speed, and accuracy in producing design and contract documents and the ability to use the embedded data in the building model to analyze and meet cost and performance targets. Policy & Advocacy UQ believes that public policy and design should be considered together, and have an essential impact on one another. Through design competition entries, scholarly and editorial articles, and independent proposals, an important part of our work is advocating for policy and design that promotes equitable, sustainable urban environments.


Project Experience

Harlem Dowling - New York, NY 60-Unit Mixed-Use Affordable Housing & Community Facility (Completed 2016) 2142 Amsterdam Avenue - New York, NY 44-Unit Supportive Housing Facility (Completed 2015)

Glenmore Commons - Brooklyn, NY 44-Unit Supportive Housing Facility (Completed 2015)

Cedars - Bronx, NY Affordable Housing, Historic Restoration, & Adaptive Re-Use Completed at UAI (2009)

Willis Avenue - Bronx, NY Mixed-Use Affordable Housing & Urban Design (Proposal) Urban Farm & STEM Educational Center - New York, NY Educational & Community Facility for Urban Farming (Proposal)

15th Street Meeting House - New York, NY Interior Renovations

Proteus Gowanus - Brooklyn, New York Art Gallery & Event Space, Adaptive Re-Use

SUS Offices - Manhattan, NY Interior Commercial Renovation (Completed 2014) Keith Haring Medical Center - Dobbs Ferry, NY Renovation of an existing medical clinic for a youth foster-care agency (Construction to begin December 2016)

HANAC Community Center - Queens, NY Community Center and Support Offices (Concept Study)

142nd Street Senior Center - Bronx, NY Mixed-Use Senior Housing & Community Facility (Proposal) Bronx Tow Pound Swap Project - Bronx, NY Large-Scale Mixed-Use Planning Study (Proposal)


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Harlem Dowling New York, NY 60-Unit Mixed-Use Affordable Housing & Community Facility (Completed 2016)

Budget: Client: Completion Date:

70,000 sf/$20M Harlem Dowling, Childrens’ Village Alembic Community Development May 2017

This new building is located in the center of Harlem and includes 60 units of affordable housing. It also includes the executive and program offices of Harlem Dowling & Children’s Village, two well-respected foster care agencies and communitybased organizations. The building massing and facades are designed to evoke the tradition of elegant New York City residential ar-

chitecture. The red metal panels and pale yellow metal panels on the facade act as a counterpoint to the more traditional brick, providing an outward vibrancy reflecting the program and mission inside. At the ground floor, a double facade is employed, with the first floor elevated and setback from the facade to allow light to the cellar spaces below. These two facades together create a rhythmic syncopation, evoca-

tive of Harlem’s rich cultural history. At the lobby, this facade becomes a gallery space in which Harlem Dowling can showcase its history and engage the community of Harlem. This syncopation is repeated in the window and mullion design on the top floors, where studio units are set aside for young adults aging out of the foster care system, but who still need assistance and housing.


Harlem Dowling New York, NY 60-Unit Mixed-Use Affordable Housing & Community Facility (Completed 2016)

Typical apartment unit interior

Lunch Room


Harlem Dowling New York, NY 60-Unit Mixed-Use Affordable Housing & Community Facility (Completed 2016)

Skylight and lunch room in the open office

Central stair in the cellar open office


Harlem Dowling New York, NY 60-Unit Mixed-Use Affordable Housing & Community Facility (Completed 2016)

Interior detail of exam room double-facade

Residential roof terrace

Metal panel facade detail


2142 Amsterdam Avenue New York, NY 44-Unit Supportive Housing Facility (Completed 2015)

Budget: Client: Completion Date:

25,000 sf/$8M Community League of the Heights (CLoTH) October 2016

Completed in 2016, this new building is in the heart of Washington Heights, along the main commercial corridor of Amsterdam Avenue. It is an infill building that seeks to both fit into the general context of the surrounding masonry residential structures as well as reflect the vibrancy of the neighborhood around it. The building is conceived as a series of layers, each with a separate function. The outermost layer reflects the materials,

scale, and detailing of the surrounding architectural character. The second layer is revealed in the window openings in a series of subtle shifts along the facade. Viewed from a variety of angles, the composition of these layers will vary the building’s aspect over time, reflecting the variety and complexity of the urban context. The building will provide housing and supportive services to adults with seri-

ous mental illness who are at-risk of chronic homelessness. The two layers also support this program: the first provides a sense of belonging while the second acts conceptually as a filter, proving both contact with and protection from outside influences. In this way, the building is designed to support both its program and its urban context.


2142 Amsterdam Avenue New York, NY 44-Unit Supportive Housing Facility (In Construction)

Interior of a typical unit

Exterior Facade Detail

Panel Detail


Glenmore Commons Brooklyn, NY Mixed-Use Urban Development Plan (Proposal) Affordable Housing, Tech Incubator, & D Well Co-Living

Client: Omni New York, LLC Size: 241,000 SF / 212 Units Budget: Approximately $70 Million

This mixed-use proposal activates a vacant parcel of city-owned land to knit together different threads of activity in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Through streetscape improvements and the activation of street-end plazas, the plan connects the new uses in our building to the open spaces, institutions, and the artistic and entrepreneurial spirit already pulsing through the community. The

new building and its urban landscape literally carve out a new public commons where innovative start-ups and social change-makers from within Brownsville can gather to develop their businesses, and where local youth can receive job training in technology. The building massing begins at a 3-story height at the northern end of the site and slowly steps up to

11-stories at the corner of Mother Gaston Boulevard and Glenmore Ave. At this corner, the building lifts three stories and is carved away, creating an urban front porch.. D-Well’s coliving space occupies this prominent corner. It is the heart of our proposal and is an innovative housing typology that helps to bind the various users and their commitment to social and economic empowerment.


Glenmore Commons Brooklyn, NY Mixed-Use Urban Development Plan (Proposal) Affordable Housing, Tech Incubator, & D Well Co-Living

Street View Rendering

East Brooklyn Business District Daycare Center

Workforce Development Solar PV and Rainwater Capture

Houston on

Green Roof Rainwater Capture Infiltration Basin and Garden

Powell o Playground ay

D-Well Co-Living

Permeable Plaza

Howard H Ho ar r Playground gr Public Library

Streetscape Bioswale Improvements

Howard Houses Farm

Permeable Plaza

Cultural and Resiliency Diagram

Co-working Space


Sumner Gardens Brooklyn, NY Senior Housing and Community Center (Proposal)

Client: Omni New York Size: 155,000 SF / 200 Units Budget: Approximately $60 Million

This proposal was developed in response to an RFP from the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) for a large parcel of land in the midst of one of its largest superblock developments from the 1960’s. Sumner Houses has a total of 13 buildings, 1088 units, and 2400 residents, within its 22 acres of land. Much of the area is fenced off, with most of the activity hidden from the street or

from the pathways that wind through the superblocks. The proposal leverages the development of a new building here to connect the two halves of Sumner Houses together, to draw residents into the new intergenerational community center planned here, and to reorganize and upgrade the landscape and its public amenities. The building massing is

designed as two volumes that intersect one another. The larger 11-story portion is pushed back to create an inviting, sunny front court and has a varied window patterning that creates a playful movement in contrast to the lower volume. There are also large colorful punctures in this façade that create porosity deep, plum that read as penetrations through the volume.


Sumner Gardens Brooklyn, NY Senior Housing and Community Center (Proposal)

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GAME TABLES

COURT

COURT

CHILDREN’S PLAY AREA

RES. TERRACE (8 FLOORS)

THERAPY TRAIL RES. ENTRY

4

11 AMPHITHEATER

COMM. CENTER ENTRY

SOCIAL GARDEN

ROOF (11 FLOORS)

8

Site Plan

Garden View Rendering

Marcus Garvey Boulevard (80' - Wide Street)

COMMUNITY GARDEN

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Cypress Hills Community Childcare Center Brooklyn, NY Childcare Center and Admin Offices (In Design) Gut Rehab & Adaptive Re-Use

OFFICE

MEETING ROOM

PLAYROOM

TERRACE

3RD FLOOR

PLAYROOM

2ND FLOOR STAFF LOUNGE

LOBBY

PLAYROO

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COOK IN

GROUND G SPA CE & S TORAG

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FLOOR

SERVIC E

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Client: Cypress Hills Childcare Corporation Size: 12,000sf Budget: $4M

Cypress Hills Childcare Corporation (CHCCC) is a bedrock communtiy institution, providing high-quality affordable early childhood education to Cypress Hills, Brooklyn. CHCCC acquired a vacant building near their current offices with the idea of creating a new facility. UQ was one of 5 firms selected to interview for the project and was awarded the commission in early 2017.

We worked closely with the CHCCC staff on a series of visioning and programming charettes to help develop the buildiong program. The design calls for a complete gut of the existing building and structure, re-using only the building shell and facade. The new facility will include five playrooms for ages 2-5 along with a permanent home for the organization’s admin offices on the top floor.

Innovative features include an open egress stair which ties the school community together and mzximizs the tight space. We are also proposing a lightwell at the top floor which will bring more light into the playrooms while mitigating sound at the offices and creating a visual landmark on the roof visible from the adjacent train platform. The building will also meet LEED Silver Criteria.


Cypress Hills Community Childcare Center Brooklyn, NY Childcare Center and Admin Offices (In Design) Gut Rehab & Adaptive Re-Use

Playroom Sketch

Elevation


HANAC Skills Building Queens, NY Community Center and Admin Offices (In Design) Feasibility Study and Schematic Design

Client: HANAC Size: 23,500 - 45,000 SF Budget: $10M - $25M

Urban Quotient has been workig closely with HANAC, a Queens-based community development organization, to visualize future development and expansion possibilities for their community center building in Astoria. HANAC plans for the new design to consolidate their existing operations under one roof and generate income from renting out space to nearby partner facilities.

One option is to expand outward and upward while retaining the historical features that are present in the existing building. Another option proposes to expand into an adjacent lot and wrap around the existing building, but strategically connect to it at various points. A third option proposes to remove the existing building altogether and build a brand new facility.

In our work on this project thus far, UQ has conducted a full programming analysis of the social services HANAC provides on site to help optimize space needs. We have also conducted a physical assesment of the historic building, advised on various financing scenarios and has developed multiple design scenarios with cost estimates as we continue to assist HANAC in finding the best solution.


HANAC Community Center Queens, NY Community Center and Admin Offices (In Design) Feasibility Study and Schematic Design

PROP. DEV. OFFICE

PROGRAM OFFICE

ADMIN OFFICE

ADMIN OFFICE

CONFERENCE ROOM GARDEN TERRACE

BREAK AREA

YOUTH SERVICES OPEN OFFICE

FISCAL OPEN OFFICE

COUNSEL

FAMILY COUNSELING

COMPUTER LAB

GARDEN TERRACE MULTI-PURPOSE ROOM IMMIGRATION LAWYER STORAGE AND MECHANICAL

STORAGE

Perspective Section

Schematic Axon

FISCAL OFFICE

COUNSEL


KOTA World Center For Women New York, NY Mixed-Use Community Facility and Affordable Housing (Proposal)

Client: KOTA Alliance, Covenant House, Alembic Community Development, JMR & Co. Size: 8 Stories, 55,000 sf Budget: Approximately $30 Million Our proposal for this mixed-use building includes two main occupants and derives its design from the potential mix of program between them. The KOTA Alliance World Center for Women, inhabit the first three floors. Their spaces include a shared co-working space for small social entrepreneurs who share Kota’s mission, rentable event space, and additional commercial office space for rent. Above KOTA’s space on

floors 4 – 8 are twenty-five (25) permanently affordable housing units managed by Covenant House. There are play rooms and exercise areas on each floor along with a large central lounge for the residents. All the programs and users mix at the street level where there is a restaurant on one side and on the other a shared lobby leading to a daycare space, rear garden, residential lobby, and the Kota atrium

– a two-story glass-enclosed sculptural lobby. It is here at the street entrance to the shared lobby and the Kota atrium that the shared ideals and potential crossprogramming and interaction of these two groups find form. Together, the glass curtain wall, lattice screen, and floating stair in the KOTA atrium, along with the restaurant, engage the street and welcome people in.


KOTA World Center For Women New York, NY Mixed-Use Community Facility and Affordable Housing (Proposal)

Street View at Main Entry

COMMERCIAL DIAGRAM

Extensive Green Roof

Kota Atrium Shared lobby

Public bicycle racks Commercial storefront windows Adjustable high performance wooden daylighting louvers. Spacing, angle, and orientation set to optimize daylight vs. sun shading in each programmed space.

Axonometric Diagram of Commercial Facade & Uses


Brownsville South NCP Brooklyn, NY Affordable Housing & Resilient Urban Design (Winning RFP Entry - In Design)

47 NEW LOTS Passive House + Net Zero

609 OSBORN Passive House + Active Design

Client: JMR Group, Alembic Community Development Size: 46,000 sf, 42 units Budget: Approximately $13.8 Million The Brownsville South cluster of sites form a threshold in the urban fabric between industrial uses to the south and predominantly residential uses to the north, near the edge of the city’s Transit Zone, and at the edge of low-lying areas that are at higher risk of coastal flooding. While each of the sites is relatively small, they collectively define a larger area and represent an opportunity to seed a new type of resilient urban development in the area. By making the sites’ connectivity at the urban scale an important

part of our design, we are projecting a framework for future development in the area in which a new urban context is resilient and adaptive, guided by Passive House principles with a goal of net zero energy usage where possible, and an overall theme of healthy food & living. The three buildings are designed to both be seen as individual entities and to be seen as a connected whole. All three building facades share a similar patterning of fenestration and façade rhythm though the materials are different for

each. Each building has a different massing unique to its site conditions, yet when seen along the whole street frontage of New Lots Avenue, the buildings gradually increase in height from 3 stories at 609 Osborn to 4 stories at 47 New Lots, to 5 stories at 95 New Lots getting higher and denser closer to the train line. The colors of each building are also different, yet again across the New Lots Street frontage there is a gradation of color from brighter and lighter tones to darker and more saturated hues.


Brownsville South NCP Brooklyn, NY Mixed-Income Housing and Urban Design (Proposal)

Street View - 95 New Lots

Street View - 609 Osborn


Willis Avenue Bronx, NY Mixed-Use Affordable Housing (Proposal)

Client: The Community Builders Size: Approximately 102,000 SF Budget: Approximately $90 Million The site is part of the NextGen NYCHA RFP for Mott Haven in the South Bronx,within the Betances VI Housing complex, three blocks from “The Hub”. One of the most striking characteristics of the immediate surroundings are the under-utilized open spaces immediately adjacent to the property. Our proposal extends beyond the site, upgrading and connecting these spaces together to create a mid-block “secret garden”, converting the existing fragmented spaces into a viable, connected open space

resource for all tenants. For the new building, which houses 92 affordable units, our approach was to maximize the available floor area while creating as light a footprint as possible. The massing scenario holds the street edge on both street frontages while allowing maximum light into the shared open space between the neighboring buildings. The building’s base, which includes a childcare center and commercial storefront at the ground level, has a formal expression and is clad in brick that breaks

down the bulk. This base begins to peel away and change color at each setback revealing a layer beneath it as it turns the corner. At each setback, another layer is peeled away until the final setback reveals the inner core that flares out and frees itself from the base as it climbs to its final height of 16 stories. The base is clad in brick with a formal arrangement of fenestration before changing colors and becoming freer in form and articulation as the building rises to 16 stories along Willis Avenue.


Willis Avenue Bronx, NY Mixed-Use Affordable Housing & Urban Design (Proposal)

Vegetated Terraces

POCKET PARK

COURTYARD

New Public Art Wall Mural

RECREATION PLAZA & AMPHITHEATER

Controlled Access Points

Public Access Residential Access Day Care Access

PLAYGROUND

Concept diagram for public open space

Aerial rendering of the public open spaces


Urban Farm & STEM Educational Center New York, NY Educational & Community Facility for Urban Farming (Proposal)

Client: Community League of The Heights (CLoTH) Size: 2,585 SF Budget: $1,660,000 This proposal calls for the Dorothy McGowan Memorial Community Garden on West 158th St to be transformed into a high-productive urban farm and an educational / community center that serves both students in the nearby Community Health Academy STEM classes and clients of Community League of the Height’s Food Pantry. The facility will be built with re-purposed shipping containers on two levels. The first level will house

educational greenhouse beds and an aquaponic tank in the concrete foundation while the second level will house specialty high-productive urban agricultural systems such as NFT Beds and vertical farming tower systems.

healthy fresh food. Crops from the urban farm would be used in school meals and for stocking the food pantry and providing choice to its clients while the connection between the block frees up space that could be used for a local Green Market.

An accessible ramp from the rear of the Food Pantry on W. 159th Street connects through to the facility and knits the neighborhood together around the idea if

The project is undergoing review by the Parks Department and will be submitted for city capital allocation in early 2017.


Urban Farm & STEM Educational Center New York, NY Educational & Community Facility for Urban Farming (Proposal)

Exploded Axon Diagram

Street View


142nd Street Senior Center Bronx, NY Mixed-Use Senior Housing & Community Facility (Proposal)

Client: The Community Builders Size: 8 Stories, 87,000 sf / 104 Units Budget: Approximately $37 Million Our proposal for this NextGen NYCHA RFP site is a senior housing development in which the buildings and its spaces are organized around community and social interaction where seniors can age in place and age with grace. By setting both buildings back from the sidewalk, we create a semi-private porch space where residents can safely and securely mingle with life on the street. At the same time, the buildings are inwardly focused towards the accessibly-designed private courtyard space between the buildings. All of the community spaces including a

senior center with a kitchen and dining area, are adjacent to the courtyard. The project also includes raised planter beds on roof terraces for community gardening. The majority of the street facades are clad with brick and the courtyrad side is clad in a light-color metal panel. At the residential entries to both buildings, the faรงade changes as the two materials begin to interact with each other. On 142nd Street, the passthrough lobby entrance is folded back from the bulk of the building with an undu-

lating plane of metal panel weaving its way through the upper floors. On 143rd Street, the lobby is pulled inward on the street level and faces the side passage into the courtyard. The corner of the building mass above is cantilevered out creating a canopy with metal panel woven through the brick above. These features help to accent the importance of the connection and the transition between the public life on the street and the private communitycentered life of the courtyard.


142nd Street Senior Center Bronx, NY Mixed-Use Senior Housing & Community Facility (Proposal)

Interior Community Courtyard

View on 142nd Street


Bronx Tow Pound Swap Project Bronx, NY 723-Unit Mixed-Use Planning Study (Proposal)

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Community Garden Plots

Playground and Handball Court

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Client: Community Access Size: 900,000 SF / 723 units The NYPD’s Bronx Tow Pound exists on a 4.2 acre, under-utilized parcel of land between the Mott Haven residential neighborhood and Port Morris. UQ has developed a proposal to facilitate a land swap between this site, located in a more residential area, and a nearby parcel in the industrial zone south of the Bruckner Expressway. UQ conducted a planning study and zoning analysis for both parcels, which has the potential of netting over 700 affordable housing units, 93,500 square feet of

commercial space, and provide the NYPD with an efficient and state-of-the-art tow pound facility on a new site. Our initial urban design scheme was presented to elected officials and city agencies which concluded with a positive response and a plan to move the project further towards development. UQ is now coordinating with Hester Street Collaborative to facilitate community visioning sessions with residents of Mott Haven. This community feedback and

input will guide us as we develop an updated proposal that will serve as the basis for further discussions and negotiations with the city over the final development plan. The firm has also partnered with the UNC-Charlotte School of Architecture on a multi-year graduate design studio that will research planning and design possibilities for the project to be compiled into a publication.


Bronx Tow Pound Swap Project Bronx, NY 723-Unit Mixed-Use Planning Study (Proposal)

UNC-Charlotte Student Proposal

Community Visioning Meeting

Massing Diagram


E111 Gardens - SustaiNYC East Harlem, NY Passive House Mixed-Use Development (Proposal)

Client: The Community Builders & Lott CDC Size: 670,000 SF, 652 Units, Approximately $175 Million Design Team; Collaboration with EDI International & Paul Castrucci Architects UQ was invited to join the design team for this project as an urban design consultant to guide the overall site planning. The proposal called for the development of affordable housing, commercial, and community facility uses on an entire city block of East Harlem that is currently being used by community gardens. Knowing the importance of these gardens within the community, we wanted to relocate them within the development and retain as much of their character as possible. Our

research focused on “Latino Urbanism� which scholar and urban planner James Rojas coined when studying how Latino immigrants had altered the urban fabric of American cities to make their new neighborhoods more reflective of their culture. Consistent with this theoretical framework, the scheme resulted in community gardens being placed within the courtyard of the new housing, adjacent to a public plaza, with the pathway through the site running along and adjacent to the garden fences. In

this way, while each garden maintained its own identity and space, the lively activity and programming of the gardens could spill out into the plaza and the activities in the plaza could be extended into the gardens. This overall concept helped to drive the vibrancy and form of the architecture and complemented the massing and orientation needed to achieve Passive House design, thus creating a model for sustainable and equitable development.


E111 Gardens - SustaiNYC East Harlem, NY Passive House Mixed-Use Development (Proposal)

Community Courtyard Rendering

Street View


BAM North Site II Brooklyn, NY Mixed Use Affordable Housing and Dance Rehearsal Facility (Proposal)

Client: Shen Wei Dance Arts, Lisa Giobbi Movement Theater, Alembic Community Development, Fifth Avenue Committee Budget: Approximately $30 Million

BAM North Site II represents a unique opportunity to build upon the synergy of existing performing arts facilities in the Brooklyn Academy of Music Cultural District while providing high-quality affordable housing. Our proposal calls for a dance rehearsal and training facility to be shared by two world-class performing arts companies: Shen Wei Dance

Arts & Lisa Giobbi Movement Theater (LGMT). Above that are eleven floors of affordable residential housing totaling ninety-one (91) units and ranging from studio to three bedroom apartments. The building takes it cues from the work and process of the artists and a narrative reading of the urban context here. The solid and rectangular masses of the housing above shift and cre-

ate movement as though the building is using the energy of the artistic endeavor it houses to push against its constraints. Overall the design is a conversation between the quality and type of space needed for the artists and their work, the building’s massing and repetition, and the opportunity to enhance the urban fabric through interaction with the public realm.


BAM North Site II Brooklyn, NY Mixed Use Affordable Housing and Dance Rehearsal Facility (Proposal)

Interior Rehearsal Space

Street View


Livonia Commons Brooklyn, NY Urban Design & Development Plan (Proposal)

Client: Alembic Development & The Sabaoth Group Budget: Approx. $150 Million Design Team: Collaboration with Bernheimer Architecture & Peter Woll, Architect

Livonia Commons is an urban design and development plan for a section of Livonia Avenue in East New York that was prepared as a response to a request for proposals sponsored by New York City’s Department of Housing, Preservation, & Development (HPD) in late 2011. Three of the four development sites are proposed as 207 units of affordable and supportive housing

with ground floor commercial space. The fourth site will be developed as a new Boys’ Club of New York recreational facility. In creating this new corridor, the design team focused on a consistent design approach while allowing the individual character of each building to be emphasized. This was achieved through the use of a shared palette of materials. The window ar-

ticulation, brick, and metal panels form the palette, employed in subtly different ways, with the buildings’ form and massing varying on each site. The glass storefronts and window frames at the ground floor tie the buildings together along with the streetscape design and urban lighting scheme. These elements form the design guidelines for the new Livonia Avenue commercial corridor.


Livonia Commons Brooklyn, NY Urban Design & Development Plan (Proposal)

Street View

Aerial View

Interior View


Livonia Green Brooklyn, NY Urban Design & Development Plan (Proposal)

Client: The Community Builders & Alembic Development Size: 329,000 SF, 240 Units Budget: Approx. $75 Million The goal of our team’s proposal is to remake Livonia Avenue into a corridor of healthy urban living and a model for the implementation of green infrastructure. The four sites in the proposal would be developed around the idea of complementing 240 new units of affordable housing with varying scales of urban food production, renewable energy, stormwater management, climate resiliency, and civic place-making improvements that encourage physical activi-

ty and healthy lifestyles while enhancing the area for all. Our proposal envisions the last site, a challenging site that is currently a “dead end” space at the intersection of the two train lines, as an opportunity for significant improvement in public infrastructure. Groundswell in partnership with Covenant House, would propose a public art mural installation at the MTA Livonia L-Train station. The design team would

also propose to DOT a paving change and speed bumps within 50’ of the intersection of Van Sinderen and Livonia, to slow down traffic and make this a pedestrian friendly area. The building at Site 9 is designed to work together with these improvements to make a new transit-oriented civic space that would serve as a punctuation point to the Livonia Avenue corridor and would help to truly revitalize the area.


Livonia Green Brooklyn, NY Urban Design & Development Plan (Proposal)

Street View

Street View


CEDARS Bronx, NY 95-Unit Affordable Housing Development & Historic Restoration (2009) Completed at UAI

Client: The Lantern Group/Friends in the City Budget: $21 Million Distinctions/Awards: LEED Gold Rating, Landmark Conservancy Grant Winner Cedars is a new 95-unit residential building and community facility for low-income and formerly homeless families. Located in the Longwood Historic District in the South Bronx, the project includes the exterior restoration of the landmarked Denison-White Mansion, now dedicated for the residents’ supportive services and community gathering space. Cedars is designed to achieve a LEED Gold rat-

ing and was also selected as a pilot project for the New York State Energy & Research Development Authority’s(NYSERDA) Energy Star Program for multi-family residential buildings the state’s first concerted effort to change building practice in regard to energy consumption in residential buildings. Among the key features implemented were a ground-source geothermal well system for heating and

cooling, a green roof, and other energy-saving measures, which together will reduce the energy consumption of the building by more than 40%.


CEDARS Bronx, NY 95-Unit Affordable Housing Development & Historic Restoration (2009) Completed at UAI

Interior Stair in Community Center

Meeting Room at mezzanine of Community Center


CEDARS Bronx, NY 95-Unit Affordable Housing Development & Historic Restoration (2009) Completed at UAI

Street facade adjacent to neighborhood context

Green roof of the new building


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15th Street Meeting House New York, NY Interior Renovations

Client: New York Quarterly Meeting Size: 15,000 SF Budget: $300,000 The 15th Street Meeting House is a Landmark Historic Structure across from Stuyvesant Park on Manhattan’s East Side comprised of three components: the original Meeting House built in the 18th Century, the Central Building, and the Old School Building. This campus of buildings is shared between the Friends Seminary and the New York Quarterly Meeting and has been renovated over the years to suit

new and evolving functions. The Quarterly Meeting hired UQ to investigate design options for renovating portions of the buildings’ interiors and to propose a new arrangement of spaces and programs to better suit the Meeting’s needs as a community. This includes creating a new library space and event space, redesigning the common room that currently serves as a gym for young children in the day-

time and a homeless shelter in the evenings, proposals to better utilize office and storage spaces and to create better egress options throughout the buildings. Construction will be done in stages with the first phase of renovations set to begin in 2013.


15th Street Meeting House New York, NY Interior Renovations

Renovated Library/Event Space

Interior of Meditation Room


Master-Plan and Prototype Housing for Post-Tsunami Reconstruction Kirinda & Anderagasyaya Villages, Sri Lanka (2005) Other Team Members:

Pradeep Kodikara, Sanath Liyanage, Varuna da Silva, Arosha Perera

Client: Government of Sri Lanka, Village of Kirinda, Architecture for Humanity Budget: Prototype Homes: $1500/house Planning & Reconstruction: Unknown Distinctions/Awards:Among Most Notable Projects 2005-SLIA. Published in various journals On December 26, 2004 the worst natural disaster in South Asian History occurred. A tsunami resulting from an earthquake of magnitude 9.0 struck Sri Lanka particularly hard, affecting over 800,000 people and destroying over 90,000 buildings and homes. UQ Principal Samir S. Shah joined with a group of Sri Lankan colleagues to offer his assistance to the planning and reconstruction effort.The

team of five architects volunteered to conduct damage assessments and to provide Sri Lanka’s National Planning Authority with a reconstruction master plan for Kirinda and surrounding areas. At the same time, the team formed a partnership with Architecture for Humanity to help raise over $500,000 in donations to implement the master plan. In preparing the master plan, the team also designed

prototype housing for the different religious and cultural groups in the area. This is one of ten model prototype homes for permanent shelter built to specifications for the Muslim community of Kirinda by Zonta II Club of Colombo. Over 100 homes were eventually built from these plans with modifications.


Gowanus Lowline - A Network of Edges Brooklyn, NY Urban Design & Planning Scheme (Competition)

Collaborators: John Merritt, Landscape Architect Jury Selection for Exhibition - 2011

The Gowanus is a waterway, a neighborhood, and an ecosystem that for much of its length is disconnected from the urban fabric in which it is embedded. Neither wholly man-made nor wholly shaped by nature, the canal in its current state is a cumulative result of both forces. This proposal straddles the line between the natural and the man-made by carving away, incising, adding to and blurring the canal’s

edge in order to create new spaces around it and inside of it that connect people to the water and to the larger urban systems and ecosystems of which it is a part. This proposal was conceived as an opportunity to apply our ongoing research in computation and algorithmic design methods to urban design and planning.Our process was to allow the design and program to evolve in response

to a set of concepts based on the localized conditions of each region of the canal while maintaining a consistency of approach that is legible at the planning scale. To accomplish this, we created a design tool employing agent-based logic. This gave us the flexibility to explore many design options at different scales and parameters using the same underlying conceptual framework.


West Harlem Ag-Lab + Transport Hub New York, NY Urban Design, Landscape, & Adaptive Re-Use Strategy (Competition)

Collaborators: Haecceitas Studio Jury Selection for Exhibition - 2012

Viable urban agriculture has the potential to transform old buildings and outdated infrastructure into vibrant and productive places repurposed for new industry. That idea, along with urban agriculture’s need for scale and access to light and air, were the rationale for inverting the former 135th Street Marine Transfer Facility,and turning its program inside out.

What was once an enclosed structure whose function was to collect garbage from the adjacent community and send it away, is now a transportation and agricultural hub producing food, jobs, and education to send back to that same community. The old shed structure is split into quarters, inverted, and slid along the existing platform structure so that what was formerly the central indoor space becomes an out-

door pier for recreation and ferry loading. New volumes are attached to the old to allow for program insertions that constitute a community center and urban agriculture laboratory that connect back to West Harlem via a range of outdoor spaces. The facility blends industry, infrastructure, recreation, and good food together into a multi-layered idea of healthy urban living.


Teen Youth Club New York, NY Brownstone Renovation & Conversion (Proposal)

Collaborators: Community League of the Heights

As part of CLoTH’s (Community League of the Heights) ongoing community development efforts in Washington Heights, Urban Quotient was asked to study development possibilities for an abandoned brownstone on West 159th Street. UQ’s proposal would convert the residential structure into a community facility for teen and youth programs, including art programs, after-school programs, and counsel-

ing services. The renovated brownstone would provide a safe place for teen and youths in the area to gather, socialize, and receive assistance and advice. In the current proposal the building acts as a focal point for the interaction of community activity on the street with the new youth-related facility and programs. At the ground level, outswing doors open

up the first two levels of the building, where all of the performance and social gathering functions will be held. Inside, the typical residential floor slabs are opened up, allowing for a visual and spatial connection vertically through the building between all of the elements.


WPA 2.0 - Information Filtration Washington, D.C. An Alternative Master Plan (Competition)

Lincoln Memorial

the Oval

Smithsonian Museums

Supreme Court

Lincoln Park

RFK Stadium + Park

the Mall

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Library of Congress Smithsonian Museums Washington Monument

Capitol

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SSOCIA OCIAL FEEDBACK LOOP

Collaborators: Amelia Rose Magida, Landscape Architect 2009 Jury Selection for Exhibtion

UQ’s proposal focused on information infrastructure and urban sustainability. As the demand for information becomes greater and greater, so does the demand for storage, and the energy needed to support it. Yet access to this information is not equal in all places or for all people. In some parts of our urban centers, this lack of access to the new economy has added to longstanding problems of unemployment,

poverty, and a deteriorating environment. This proposal seeks to leverage demand for new information infrastructure to tackle these seemingly intractable issues and to think holistically about urban sustainability. Among the elements proposed are the conversion of the National Mall to a server storage belt cooled by a water loop that pulls in polluted water from the Anacos-

tia Watershed, filters it as it cools the servers, and is eventually released as clean water into the Potomac. Also proposed is a new Department of Urban Sustainability, headquartered in the now defunct RFK Stadium. This new department would have satellite offices and green markets in the most economically depressed and underserved parts of the city, acting as engines for economic development.


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UQ Portfolio & Work Samples  
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