BROOKLYN C.A.N. – a social and architectonic networking system in support of neighborhood change – is my undergraduate thesis project.
The name stands for Brooklyn Community Active Network, and the project is about examining architectural systems that can work with unexpected agility in the existing infrastructure of a city neighborhood.
BKLYN C.A.N. is a proposal for a Brooklyn community center that will begin to bridge the rift between Navy Yard, Fort Greene, and Clinton Hill by turning a disused through-block into a thriving point of connection between the area’s diverse population.
The building’s program combines service programs for people with or at risk for HIV/AIDS and a social enterprise business centered around educational recreation.
A wide lot on Carlton Avenue embraces diverse programs of education, treatment, and recreation, and focuses down to a narrow alley between the brownstones on Adelphi where residential apartments have their private entrance.
An architecture of connections will stitch together an area of New York City that is disjointed from a combination of disinvestment and overinvestment, and BKLYN C.A.N. would be a keystone around which the daytime occupants of the industrial park, the low-income families living in the Walt Whitman projects, and the younger affluent population migrating North of Myrtle Avenue can unite.
The service programs are financed by Housing Works’ social enterprise businesses, which act as connection points to root the organization deeply in the communities of NYC, spreading awareness of its mission and offering jobs to its participants, as well as getting the public involved.
A housing program for people living with HIV/AIDS and their children is much needed in this area, as well as access to information about prevention and treatment. A program that extends general health and organizational classes not only to people living with the virus, but to the general public would further the mission to slow and prevent HIV transmission, while the architectural network forged by BKLN C.A.N. would revive and connect an important midpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn.