1331 Jerome Avenue
David E. Gross AIA
1331 Jerome is a 15-story mixed-use, multi-family building anchored by a charter school. Located in the Bronx, the 187,000 SF building designed by GF55 Architects provides state-of-the-art transitional, supportive, and affordable housing. The Doe Fund, a non-profit organization, provides on-site supportive services to residents which include comprehensive case management, linkages to health care, and other critical services such as employment training. Zeta Bronx Mount Eden, a 19,000 square foot charter school located on the ground and cellar floors of the building, caters to 300 students between Pre-K and First grade.
The building program is complex in the types of functions that it contains and is described by GF55 Partner-In-Charge David E. Gross AIA, as urbanistic and a reflection of the city around it. “New York is not a one note song. It’s a complex symphony of competing forces and this building with its varied program is a microcosm of that diversity we enjoy in New York.” Jerome Avenue is a clutter of one-story tire shops and auto-repair garages. “Quintessentially NY,” according to Gross, “we were working with a noisy and loud environment” both visually and acoustically. The building façade is composed of stucco, brick, glass and metal panels arranged asymmetrically along the length of the building along Jerome Avenue. The asymmetry is a nod to the movement of the train as it rushes past the building. The vibrant palette of materials allows the building to visually compete in this cacophony of visual clutter.
Along with the complex program of the building, several site-specific challenges influenced the design. 1331 Jerome itself is at one point, located 25 feet from the elevated train. The site is a rock ledge making excavation difficult. Any construction had to respect the location of the sub-surface foundation of the subway bridge. Due to the proximity to the train and the difficult logistics of accessing the site with a crane or building equipment, the construction schedule had to be limited and more efficient. The final design solution utilized a steel structure with truss like brace frames. Floors were made of precast concrete and the fundamental structure of the building was made off-site. Triple pane windows reduce the noise that residents and students would hear from the lively city and sound of the subway trains.
1331 Jerome was one of the first new structures to be built because of the Jerome Avenue Neighborhood Re-Zoning Plan and is an example of public policy transformed into physical form for a desired outcome. From the playful charter school anchoring the corner of Clarke and Jerome, to the high quality affordable and supportive residential units, 1331 Jerome engages and extends the energy of this Bronx community.
1331 Jerome is a LEED Silver building.