WAGNER HOUSES GARDENS

2019-2020 / Wagner Houses, NYC / Design Consultancy for Center for Court Innovation 

Team: Alaa Marrawi, Gabriel Vergara, Ramon Caba (Community Coordinator)

Wagner Houses open spaces are one of its greatest assets even though they are underutilized. For this reason, Wagner Houses NeighborhoodStat (NSTAT) Team has identified them as an opportunity to activate them and increase prosocial public engagement activities to promote community building and collective learning. 

This project focuses on a specific underutilized green space located near 435 East 120th Street between 1st Avenue and Paladino. The identified space is targeted for quality of life violations like unleashed dogs, dog waste, public urination, and graffiti. In the space are two NYCHA storage containers placed in a “V” shape on the grass, creating a “dead space” for anti-social nighttime activity.

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The Wagner NSTAT team has proposed to transform this vacant space into an open-air community space. New pathways create a central space where shipping containers are integrated into the design to store tables, chairs, inflatables, and any other equipment or supplies needed for programming. Placed together, the back of the containers form a natural wall to install a stage. The green areas are designated for gardens with native plants, planters and benches for daily life uses.

The management of the space will be coordinated between MAP coordinator and community stakeholders to maintain cleanliness of the area, create event schedules, and manage partners and vendors to facilitate recreational, educational, and informational multigenerational activities.

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Building Process