Housing and health played a large role in the development of this project. Central Park’s provision of a fresh air green oasis in Manhattan provided insight into how health relates to housing in an urban scale. The project aimed to provide the residents of the project a naturally lit and ventilated interior public space as well as provide a public access point to the riverfront park system, the former being accomplished through a system of interrelated bands that allow daylight deep into the interior, and the latter being accomplished by the lowest of those bands spurring off and linking to a pedestrian overpass across the highway.

The building is a set of five of these interrelated rings, surrounding a light court. Each ring holds approximately 60 housing units. The rings have a relationship that creates a changing thickness in each band based on views, daylighting and circulation. In the center of each ring is one larger public space that serves as the circulation and access to each of the three levels of a ring. On the roof of the rings there are programmed public spaces that vary based on the marketing strategy of each given housing ring.

Expanding upon Central Park’s role as a fresh air and green oasis in Manhattan, the city has begun a plan to redevelop its coasts into a continuous greenway for pedestrian and bicycle recreation and access to the riverfronts. In its current state, the East River is largely inaccessible for pedestrians, with only sporadic overpasses allowing access. In the stretch of river adjacent to the project site—131 St. and Park Ave.—there is no riverfront access, and the city’s plans for coaster redevelopment exclude this region in its continuous greenway plan.

The tower proposed on the site acts as an access hub for East Harlem, providing a much needed pedestrian and bicycle access point to a proposed extension of the greenway. Additionally, the public podium at the base of the tower is programmed with recreational aid and infrastructure, including amentities for greenway users such as bicycle rentals and repair, shops, and general information.