Serviam Gardens

When the economic crisis hit in 2008, one of the sectors impacted the hardest was architecture. Not content to sit back and wait for recovery, RKLA worked pro bono on one of the twelve pilot projects (one of the few realized) organized by designNYC, a nonprofit organization devoted to connecting community-based nonprofits with professional designers.

RKLA’s design for the sizable landscape at the Serviam Gardens low-income senior housing complex in the Bronx came out of an energetic collaboration between the non-profit clients (Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation and Enterprise Community Partners), the residents, and OCV Architects. Built on the campus of the Academy of Mount St. Ursula, the project started as an intergenerational garden and evolved into a multifaceted landscape that includes a community garden, walking paths for the residents, a gathering space for community events, intimate spaces for quiet relaxation, and a rooftop garden terrace in collaboration with an Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow. Native plantings, permeable pavers, a green roof, ample plant beds, and a rain garden are some of the sustainable design practices employed across the much used and cared-for outdoor spaces.

2012 ASLA New York Collaborative Design Honor Award

Francine Fleischer

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