CCCE was engaged to assist the National Congress of Neighborhood Women, a long-term non-profit women’s organization based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to articulate its vision for the future and the use of the building they own at 249 Manhattan Avenue. More specifically, this effort included several meetings with the group to explore the thoughts of the NCNW Board members and key stakeholders on directions for the future of the organization and the possible uses of their building. To facilitate decision-making about the building, CCCE prepared a zoning analysis and a preliminary building analysis that proposed design layouts/massing based on what the zoning would permit, and the group’s programmatic directions identified in the initial conversations. A report summarizing the findings and preliminary design options was submitted to the group and was discussed by CCCE and the Board and stakeholders in early 2021. The report’s recommendations also served as the basis of subsequent meetings on next steps held by NCNW.
The design alternatives included space for the organization itself, community uses and potential rental apartments, which would raise revenue to support the organization and the management/maintenance of the building.
These uses, rental apartments and NCNW office with community access, and how they appropriate space within the building have been studied in section diagrams. Considering egress requirements, Alternate A was recommended for vertical continuity and presence on Manhattan Avenue, especially direct handicap access from the street and sidewalk.
Alternate C dedicated the ground level as rental space and kept the upper floors for NCNW offices. The nonprofit organization has full access to the rooftop terraces which they were interested in developing as gathering spaces.