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