2013 Recipient | AIA Housing Awards

Page Tools

Via Verde - The Green Way | Notes of Interest

This mixed-use complex provides healthy, affordable urban living for low- and middle-income residents of the South Bronx. As the winning entry in the New Housing New York Legacy Project competition, Via Verde reflects a commitment to creating social housing that addresses poverty, health, and the environment.

Built on a former brownfield site, the project comprises three building types: a 20-story tower, a 6- to 13-story midrise duplex apartment component, and 2- to 4-story town houses. The 222-unit complex includes 151 rental units for low-income residents and 71 cooperatives for residents earning 80–100% of the area median income.

The ground floor features retail, a community health center, and, in response to suggestions from the community, live-work units. Sun-shades projecting from the street-side elevation diffuse solar radiation. Large windows, typically on two exposures, allow cross-ventilation and provide abundant daylighting. Natural lighting and colorful finishes in stairwells promote use of the stairs, complementing New York City’s Active Design program to encourage physical activity. The building envelope, a prefabricated rain screen panel system, provides a well-insulated enclosure with a contemporary aesthetic.

The garden begins as a courtyard on grade and steps up through a series of south-facing roof terraces. The terraces, many of which are accessible to residents, feature a small apple orchard and plots for growing vegetables while also providing storm water control, enhanced insulation, and mitigation of the urban heat island effect. Rainwater is collected and recycled for irrigation.

Energy efficiency and sustainable living are integral to the design. Photovoltaic panels, mounted on south-facing facades of the stepped roofs and on roof trellises, provide sufficient power for lighting in common areas. The project is on track to receive LEED® NC Gold certification.

Additional Credit

  • Competition Sponsors: New Housing New York; AIA New York; New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development; NYS Energy Research and Development Authority and Enterprise Community Partners
  • Consultant – Code: William Vitacco Associates
  • Consultant – Exterior Wall: Front Inc.
  • Consultant – LEED/NYSERDA: Association For Energy Affordability
  • Consultant – Solar: Bright Power
  • Contractor: Lettire Construction
  • Engineering – Civil: Langan Engineering and Environmental Services
  • Engineering – Geotechnical: Pillori Associates
  • Engineering – MEP: Ettinger Engineering Associates
  • Engineering – Structural: Robert Silman Associates
  • Landscape Architecture: Lee Weintraub Landscape Architecture
  • Lighting Design: Domingo Gonzalez Associates
  • Specifications: Robert Schwartz Associates

Photo Credit

  • ©  David Sundberg/Esto 
  • ©  Ruggero & Valentina Vanni/Vanni Archive 
  • ©  Dattner Architects 

Via Verde - The Green Way

Category Three: Multifamily Housing

Jury Comments

The site plan is terrific, and the design is very spirited.

The way the building is broken into manageable units instead of being one continuous flow reflects and mimics the vibrancy of the surrounding neighborhood buildings.

2013 AIA Housing Awards Jury

  • Kathleen Dorgan, AIA, Chair
  • Dorgan Architecture & Planning
  • Storrs, Connecticut
  • John Isch, AIA
  • RWA Architects, Inc.
  • Cincinnati
  • R. Thomas Jones, AIA
  • California Polytechnic State University
  • San Luis Obispo, California
  • Stephen Sharpe, Hon. AIA
  • Austin, Texas
  • Charles L. Travis, AIA
  • The Housing Studio, P.A.
  • Charlotte

Footer Navigation

Copyright & Privacy

  • © The American Institute of Architects
  • Privacy