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Livonia Avenue InitiativeClient: Madison Realty Capital
Services Provided: Architectural Design, Urban Planning
Livonia Avenue is a street with a long history of being a strong retail corridor in a largely residential area. The retail stores that once occupied this area provided services, goods, and job opportunities for local residents. This is the type of vibrant economic environment our proposed development seeks to revive. To facilitate this revival, we are proposing a project that holds the housing, commercial, and community facility uses in equal regard - with none being an afterthought. The success of this endeavor hinges on the various components seamlessly complimenting each other. We believe our design does this. We see the fact that there are four sites as a unique opportunity: we are using the four sites as anchor points in a re-stitching strategy, whose goal is to link the urban fabric on either side and along the elevated rail into a cohesive housing community, shopping experience, and recreational destination. Our programmatic narrative and retail plan describe the uses in depth, but the strategy is embedded in the aesthetics of the project as well. We are embracing the presence of the overhead train trestle along Livonia Avenue as an architectural element that can give a distinct character to this corridor. Each of our proposed buildings has a steel canopy at the second floor level that is continuous around the building, pulling the exposed steel character of the train line down the side streets. This canopy is an armature on which ample sidewalk lighting can be hung at a level below the rail, so as to not be filtered through the tracks. Our design has been carefully plotted out to the point that we are designing the light fixtures and canopies in such a way that they will provide a connecting theme amongst the sites to add to the distinct character of this stretch of Livonia Avenue. The buildings themselves are designed to be related but not identical. Each of the apartment buildings is designed with a philosophy of dichotomy of materials. They are anchored by brick facades very much in line with a traditional Brooklyn aesthetic, but as the building arrives at the corner of Livonia Avenue, all materiality is changed to a more industrial feel of metal panels and a less predictable window layout parti. Our Site 3 recreation center design is decidedly athletic announcing that there is a safe place for residents to go exercise and play sports on Livonia Avenue and the children in the community need not sit at home after school anymore.