Final thesis title and description

Shape a community & Coop in the Crown Heights grid
How a community center and a cooperative housing project can cross-fertilize each other.

The existing real estate crisis forces us to rethink building typology so they are more resistant to fluctuations in the economic market. Cooperative housing is a good example of this kind of typology but it is a difficult project to realize. By combining the Coop with a community center, the existing structure of the community can be used as the fundamental basis to set up the project. The mix of these features in one site creates a tension between the microculture and the community culture respectively created by the Coop and the community center. The generic grid of Crown Heights creates the perfect condition to rethink this new housing typology.



The City Concealed: Weeksville from Thirteen.org on Vimeo.

Pin Up 8

Programme definition:

I want to work on a medium scale (between the scale of the block and a building). The housing stock is aimed at the average family of two parents with two children but by the many shifts in society is the exception rather than the rule. Therefore there is need for more variety. This can be obtained by designing and flexible types, specific types of design. A thorough typological research is the beginning of this design element.


I moved my particular site because it is illogical to think about the types of the block to an exception / boundary of the grid. So I have moved to the generic grid. The specific block located between St Marks Ave, Buffalo Ave, Prospect Pl and Rochester Ave. The block has very diverse neighbors and has a very important historical value. On this block is namely the Week Ville Heritage Center which houses one of the first free African Americans in New York. This is the origin place of Ville Weekly. After the rediscovery of this place is growing as a community with very diverse activities. On the vacant lot next to the protected buildings they currently build a 19,000 square foot community center.

I want to design on that spot a building for both residential and community functions and so look for how they can reinforce each other.


Crown Heights - Exploring the grid

This presentation is about the site Crown Heights, and in this analysis, we are exploring the grid. During our analysis we have seen a potential to improve the livability of the grid. That’s why we asked ourselves some questions related to these topics.
Our first approach was to define the borders of Crown Heights, between which we collected all kinds of data. But after a while we came to the conclusion that neighborhoods that are located in the grid don't have specific borders. The aspects that form these borders can change in a very short period of time. That is why we changed our area of analysis to a larger area, including parts of adjacent neighborhoods such as East Flatbush, Brownsville, Prospect Heights and Bed-Stuy.

Presentation made by Antrees Engelen, Koen Moesen, Pieter Van den Poel, Arnout Van Soom, and Sofie Verjans.


Presentation by Studio Brooklyn at GSAPP Columbia University

- intro -

- city ecology -

- transformation moments -

- official respons on part 1 -

- collective culture -

- living models -

- official respons on part 2 -

- final discussion -