BKSK

Menu
Show Grid Guide

Sephardic Community Center

Project Type

Community
Education

Occupancy

2010

Location

1901 Ocean Parkway Brooklyn, NY

Client

Sephardic Community Center
"Emerging from the bulky tan and textured concrete Sephardic Community Center in south Brooklyn is a modest new light-filled expansion. With it, BKSK Architects has shown a 30-year-old center of Syrian and Middle Eastern Jewish history and culture a way to be a bit more extroverted and inviting to the neighborhood of brick homes and apartment buildings on Ocean Parkway."
Jim Wegener for The Architect’s Newspaper

The new 100,000 sf Sephardic Community Center on Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn, NY is a transformative expansion of its 30-year old original facility, symbolic of the central role it now plays in the surrounding neighborhood as an inter-generational facility. BKSK’s design expands upon the first Center’s stated mission to “preserve and nurture the rich history and culture of the Sephardic Community,” and offers coherence to their ever-widening program of educational, athletic and social services, and above all it extends a legible, clear invitation to all for participation in community events.

The new facility houses a sports and fitness complex, early childhood center, specialized teen, adult and senior lounges, administrative offices and meeting spaces. The new facades infuse light into interior spaces and gracefully weaves an institutionally-scaled structure (gymnasium, preschool and community room) into the residential urban fabric. An emphasis on spatial legibility extends a sense of welcoming order to the multi-story Heritage Hall entry lobby, from which the full range of activities becomes evident. The community’s shared lineage has become a true centerpiece of the lobby, with hundreds of ancestral images sandwiched between layers of glass.

AWARDS
Center for Active Design Excellence Award, 2014
Built by Women New York City Winning Site, 2014

PUBLICATIONS
Four award-winning buildings that nudge people to live healthier lives,” Fast Company: May 2014
“Parachuting into a world: Creating Jewish architecture,” The Jewish Press: January 12, 2011
BKSK makes good connections in south Brooklyn,” The Architect’s Newspaper: November 29, 2010
BKSK Architects transformative addition to the Sephardic Community Center in Brooklyn,” ArchDaily: October 29, 2010

COLLABORATORS
E.W. Howell – general contractor; Weidlinger Associates – structural; Lilker Associates Consulting Engineers – MEP; Michael Wein – civil; H.M. White Site Architects – landscape; Horton Lees Brogden – lighting design; Israel Berger & Associates – exterior envelope consultant; Shen, Milsom & Wilke – acoustics; Poulin & Morris – graphics and way-finding design

Photos by Jonathan Wallen