Victor Body-Lawson, Architecture Fellow
Andrea Woodner, (former) Executive Director, Design Trust for Public Space
Trust for Public Space
This report is the result of the Diego Beekman Houses Design Workshop, a program of seminars and fact-finding trips. Local residents worked with Design Trust Fellow Victor Body-Lawson and members of the African-American Architects Round Table to generate a proposal to renovate the Diego Beekman Houses, a 38-building Section 8 apartment complex in the Mott Haven section of the South Bronx.
Body-Lawson led a group of residents through field studies and an intensive
design workshop at the tenant organization’s offices. Together they formulated
an extensive problem summary, established a set of principles to inform design
interventions, and developed a series of guidelines and recommendations addressing
buildings, urban environment, safety, and social services.
Improving Quality of Life through Design, was published in both English and Spanish and submitted to HUD for consideration as part of its planned renovation and refinancing of the buildings. Based on its recommendations, HUD continued to fund Mr. Body-Lawson as a tenant representative on design development.
Ideas, design guidelines and recommendations are presented in three major categories: Open Spaces, Buildings and Services. While each category represents a unique aspect of revitalizing Diego Beekman Houses, together they present a comprehensive and holistic approach to the issues facing Diego Beekman residents.