Urban Life + Self and Society

Apiaries on the exterior of the building to support the gardens within the towers in UE6.

Apiaries on the exterior of the building to support the gardens within the towers in UE6.

In the Fall of 2020, students in the Senior class designed multiple-unit housing within the Bedford Stuyvesant district of Brooklyn, New York. The semester focused on the urban dwelling as a threshold between self and society, between local and global, and between nature and culture. This project aimed to develop connections in the student’s mind about context and developing systems of housing that would relate to a greater social, technical, cultural, political, and economic understanding of urban space.



Andrew Callard, Jacob Hutton, Blayne Burnside, Allison Faux



ARC 403
Fall 2020


BS Arch


Students Andrew Callard and Jacob Hutton propose a supportive ecosystem for housing the Bedford Stuyvesant homeless population. To approach this issue, the two students designed the first two floors to be the center of the targeted population’s support system. These interstitial zones involve both community and residential interaction with programs including a community center, food bank and pharmacy. SHELTER also offers temporary resources to the homeless population who do not want to seek housing; it instead provides them with a place to receive mail, shower, and have access to the internet and a space to relax.

Section showing views, natural ventilation, in SHELTER.

Section showing views, natural ventilation, in SHELTER.

The project offers diverse options for housing including long-term re-housing, rapid re-housing, affordable family housing, multi-generational family housing, and housing for social workers. There are a total of 24 affordable units in the space with 64 bedrooms. For re-housing, the building offers 12 units with 152 bedrooms. Between units are many shared spaces and balconies that create a neighborhood-like feel.


Students Blayne Burnside and Allison Faux took an alternate approach, blending ecology and the urban landscape in their multi-family housing design named, UE6, to represent urban ecology within six residential towers. They aimed at blending natural processes with efficient technology to target the needs of the adjacent community including a direct connection to IMPACCT Brooklyn to develop the ecology center and a farmer’s market. They also hope to pair with Cornell to supply learning spaces for both teachers and students.

One of primary goals of UE6 is to deploy the technology of John Todd Ecological Design to provide six water filtration tanks that supply greywater to the building’s rooftop gardens and units. 

The building contains apiaries, providing a large contributor to the complex, pollinating gardens and producing honey for the community. Each building corresponds to the color of the plants intended to be grown there, generating a facility wide ecosystem for the community.

Within the building, supporting programs and residential units overlap within the various levels of the project. Ecological workshops and exhibition areas are scattered through the building to provide an array of social, economic, and environmental benefits for the community. There are a total of 90 units, a majority of which include outdoor balconies. These units are designed to encourage residents to participate in ecological practices of recycling, food production, water reuse and energy saving.