FXCollaborative joined Gotham Organization, Covenant House International, and Monadnock Construction at a ceremonial groundbreaking yesterday for a new state-of-the-art residence for homeless youth for Covenant House New York. The firm is providing planning, architectural, and interior design services for the new 80,000-square-foot, 11-story building at 460 West 41st Street, its current location.
The 5 p.m. ceremony also celebrated the kick-off of Covenant House’s $128 million campaign, “Take Notice NYC,” to raise awareness about the city’s homelessness problem, which annually affects more than 33,000 young people.
“Covenant House New York’s new purpose-built facility supports their mission of providing homeless youth with shelter and access to support services, giving the residents opportunities to work toward stable, re-engaged lives,” said Heidi Blau, FXCollaborative’s Partner-in-Charge of the project.
“The design of the new building balances the dualities at the core of Covenant House’s mission: to be open and welcoming, yet safe and secure,” Blau said. “To celebrate community and never forget the individual; to stand out yet blend in; and to serve a specific purpose yet be flexible enough to allow for change.”
“The building’s exterior envelope is composed of brick, metal and glass: strong materials that speak to the organization’s lasting presence in the community. A large expanse of windows on the second floor invites interactions and connections to the city. Throughout the interior, highlights of wood create feelings of warmth and comfort. We want to create a place where the youth feel at ease and can begin to heal,” Blau said.
The facility is being built on a phased-development plan to ensure that existing Covenant House residents will not be displaced nor lose essential services. The estimated construction completion date is 2021.
“The new Covenant House New York will put housing support, shelter, health care, educational services, job training, and civil legal services under one roof,” said Covenant House President Kevin Ryan. “It will be a place where young people overcoming homelessness and human trafficking in New York City can come to build their new lives.”
“For over four decades, young people overcoming homelessness in New York City have found safety and shelter from the streets at Covenant House,” said Sister Nancy Downing, executive director of Covenant House New York. “Now, for the first time in our history, we are designing a new residential facility to address all of the specific needs of our youth, allowing us to provide robust services and coordinated care, expanding the scope of our work and the number of young people that we can serve.”
The “Take Notice NYC – the Campaign for the New Covenant House New York” initiative is being launched with a $10 million gift from Strauss Zelnick and his wife, Wendy Belzberg. Zelnick, a longstanding Covenant House Board member, is the founder of ZMC and Chairman and CEO of Take-Two Interactive Software.
FXCollaborative leverages its broad experience in architecture, interiors, and planning to enrich the world with responsible, intelligent, and beautiful design. Recently ranked as the ninth-largest in New York City in Crain’s annual list of the metropolitan area’s top architecture firms, FXCollaborative’s holistic approach integrates client aspirations, urban sensibilities, and a celebration of the craft of building. The firm’s work ranges from the scale of individual buildings and interiors—office towers, multi-family residences, cultural facilities, workplace, K-12, and higher-education institutions—to the planning of the city, addressing infrastructure and transportation.
About Covenant House
Founded in 1972, Covenant House is the largest privately funded agency in the Americas helping youth overcoming homelessness, providing 24/7 crisis care and ongoing support in 31 cities across six countries. For more information about Covenant House, including ways to contribute to the campaign, visit https://www.covenanthouse.org/ or contact Tom Manning, Vice President of Public Relations, at (212) 727-4920 or at email@example.com.