New Wales Avenue Residence opens

Located at 592 Wales Avenue, Wales Avenue Residence is a supportive housing complex serving at-risk youth aging out of the foster care system and formerly homeless adults.
Photo by Michael Grimm

A new supportive housing complex in the south Bronx is providing shelter to those who need it the most.

Located at 592 Wales Avenue, the residence designed by Gran Kriegel Associates, Architects + Planners for Volunteers of America-Greater New York and funded in part by the New York State Office of Mental Health, serves as a supportive housing facility for at-risk of homelessness young adults aging out of foster care and chronically homeless adults with special needs.

Opened in April 2015, Wales Avenue Residence contains 47 efficiency apartments and ten two-bedroom units which can accommodate 67 individuals who will have on-site access to social services improving their quality of life.

The facility provides residents with lounge areas, a common dining room, teaching kitchen, computer classroom, counseling rooms, administrative offices, a recreation room, laundry facilities and two roof terraces.

A day-light filled lobby welcomes residents while directing them to their respective wing served by separate elevators.

Each resident group has access to lounge areas with floor-to-ceiling windows and apartments separated by group-specific floors to best provide for the unique needs of each population.

Color aids in creating a vibrant atmosphere at Wales Avenue Residence, whose exterior displays blue glazed bricks, accent tiles and vividly painted resident lounge areas.

This residence’s individual spacious apartments contain dark wood floors and cabinets, neutral colored tiles, paint tones with open kitchens and large windows.

This is made possible by the Volunteers of America who furnish each unit and equips its residents with linens, cooking and cleaning supplies.

A landscaped rear yard offers residents a peaceful natural environment to relax and cultivate plant beds for community gardening while the residence’s roof terraces provide additional space for socialization.

Founded in 1965, New York City-based full-service architecture and planning firm, Gran Kriegel Associates, specializes in supportive housing, education facilities and public projects.

“Our goals in designing this kind of housing is not only to provide durable, high quality housing, but to also provide residents with the services they need as well as provide a variety of ways they can socialize with each other,” said David Kriegel, Gran Kriegel managing principal. “The residents in this building have all of the support they are going to need for independent living and we believe this will be successful project.”

Kriegel added, the Queens and Bronx Building Association has nominated the Wales Avenue Residence for the 2015 QBBA Building & Design Award for Residential and the annual QBBA awards ceremony set for Saturday, December 5 from 6 to 11 p.m. at Douglaston Manor.

He said Gran Kriegel is also collaborating with Comunilife and NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development on the El Rio Residence, an eight story, 65-unit single studio supportive housing complex for homeless adults and low-income seniors from the community located at 1041 E. 179th Street.

Wales Avenue Residence features a landscaped rear yard offering a relaxing environment for resident groups as well as raised planting beds to accommodate community gardening.
Photo by Michael Grimm

More from Around NYC