Evaluating Cross-Cultural Courtyard Housing for Social Well-Being in Manhattan, New York

Project Narrative

My childhood in Bangladesh inspired me to create a housing community. People avoided community spaces and lived alone in my neighbourhood. Housing impacts urban life's material and immaterial components, hence, it is crucial to the quality of life. My project site is East Harlem River Houses in Manhattan, New York, from the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). The housing is built in 1920s, and till date, it has not developed much. Due to security and restrictions, the residents do not properly utilise the internal courtyards. The concept of working on this project was to include many activities in the housing community area and engage residents in them. The main intention of the project was to design an urban platform inside the existing housing masterplan to involve the public in many activities with the community facilities and make life inside the housing easier. Another invention was to design a housing block on the east side that incorporates multilevel courtyard spaces to invite residents into those open spaces, and the large courtyard creates a hierarchy of different sizes. Urban spaces create place-making in different ways, such as basketball courts, evolution plazas, cultural event spaces, sculpture gardens, libraries, and art galleries. Besides the masterplan development, another intervention was made in the new housing block design. The new housing block includes different sizes of dwelling units that resemble the previous housing units. In order to encourage people to venture outside of their homes and interact in public places, the housing concept was created with an urban grid, open spaces, roadways, and connectivity with the internal common spaces.


Project Details

Submission Category

Landscape Architecture & Community Planning - Planning & Analysis Projects

Date of Completion

December, 2022