Former New York City Church Site Turned Affordable Housing Development Named Multifamily Community of the Year in National Design Competition

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 23 – St. Augustine Terrace, a 112-unit LEED Gold building built on the site of a former church in the Bronx, N.Y., was named the Multifamily Community of the Year in the 2019 Best in American Living™ Awards (BALA) by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The Multifamily Community of the Year award was sponsored by Monogram Appliances.

The design, by Magnusson Architecture and Planning PC, was inspired by the notion that a house of worship is a beacon of light in its community. From that idea came 12 floors of large, fully glazed elevator lobbies, which provide spectacular views by day and become a glowing tower at night.   

Photos by Ari Burling Architectural Photography, Esto Photography & Seong Kwon Photography

Builder Mega Contracting Group LLC, developer New York Institute for Human Development and landscape architect terrain-nyc landscape architect p.c. uncovered rock formations during construction that were incorporated into the landscape, providing a connection with the area’s natural environment. The boulders also supply an organic complement to the straight lines and right angles of the building.

Decking extends out over the rocks to a lookout point, where the topography slopes downward toward the west, revealing more views. The bell and stones from the original church, placed throughout the landscaping, celebrate the site’s history.

“The amount of natural light in each unit is remarkable, and the preservation and incorporation of the site’s many boulders into the landscaping adds to the project’s ‘fit-right-in’ design feel,” said Don Ruthroff, Principal at Dahlin Group Architecture Planning, NAHB’s 2019 Judging Chair and 2019 Best in American Living Awards Subcommittee Chair.

About BALA:

In its 36th year, BALA recognize outstanding achievement by builders and design professionals in all sectors of the residential housing industry including single-family production, custom, rental, affordable, interiors, remodeling, community and international. Award winners were announced at the annual NAHB International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.

Additional information about the 2019 BALA winners, including photographs of the projects, can be found in the winners’ gallery.


About NAHB:

The National Association of Home Builders is a Washington-based trade association representing more than 140,000 members involved in home building, remodeling, multifamily construction, property management, subcontracting, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing and other aspects of residential and light commercial construction. NAHB is affiliated with 700 state and local home builders associations around the country. NAHB’s builder members will construct about 80 percent of the new housing units projected for this year.

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