Thanks to a very helpful chap at the Council (thanks Richard!), we’ve got some more images to show and tell regarding works to the Council Housing Upgrade Project. Post updated with rear views, for JP, see end of post.
There’s about $200 million to spend, but its sensibly being spread out over a decade or two, so not all the jobs are coming on stream now. While the DomPost has published a small photo and article about one of the projects, there are plenty more projects proceeding along at pace as well. The biggest of these projects, and the one that remains more prominently in the public eye, is the mustard-coloured tower block and podium of the Central Park Flats. Constructed (I think) in the 1970s, and still in pretty good nick, the Central Park complex nonetheless is in dire need of a decent upgrade. Here’s what it looks like now:
and here’s the new version after a thorough revamping by Novak & Middleton:
Gone is the nasty mustard for a start, but also gone is the completely flat facade. The rooms, as discussed here just a short while ago in a mild Minimus / Maximus spat, are small and not getting much larger – but some of them on the podium are getting some small balconies. In fact, quite a few are gaining a small amount of external space, to make up for the shortfall internally (but not, it seems, on the tower). We include here the following enlargement to show you what appears to be a women waving (sans cullottes), and a bored looking man reading a paper (in a snooty kind of way), both making use of the balmy Brooklyn hill morning weather:
We haven’t got any revised plans as yet, but the general intention appears to be to combine some flats where possible to make bigger units, to upgrade fire escape provisions and seismic requirements to stop them sliding down the hill, and to give the residents a much improved quality of living. There will have to be some clever staging of renovations to be able to gradually do up these schemes without just dumping the current residents out on the street.
The process shown above in the Central Park revamp, of adding extra space by going outwards, appears to be followed to a greater degree by architects Design Group Stapleton Elliott, who have tackled the current drab little boxes of Marshall Court and given them a massively changed appearance and considerably more external playspace. As far as I understand, one of the chief reasons for the upgrading is to bring the units up to current building code standards – so expect or hope for more insulation (even double glazing perhaps?) as well as some funky new balconies. I know that the amount of money sounds like a lot, but apparently it’s spread pretty thinly, so it’s good to see some major new architectural interventions. Here’s Marshall Court at present:
and here it is when addressed anew:
A vast improvement, wouldn’t you agree?
Addendum: relating to a comment from JP regarding the rear elevation of the Central Park flats (backing onto Brooklyn Hill), Richard MacLean has sent through the following before and after shots – as he says, probably not quite what you’re looking for, but an indication none-the-less.
In this current picture (above), the open plan car deck can be seen above the garage / lock-up / workspace below. My understanding is that these are the relatively unsuccessful car parks, that suffered from theft, and so are now largely unused. Not having seen the plans, I’m not sure what is happening to these spaces, but from the look of the renderings reproduced below, have they been transformed into something else? Is that more housing? Would Novak and Middleton like to reply?
and an enlargement of that area in question: