The Mother Arnetta Crawford Housing Project in Bronx, NY, would have an entirely different look if it followed the original plans for a brick and block structure. Research brought the construction team to a new material and appearance via Dri-Design wall panels.
Rella Fogliano and Joseph Breda, president and principal of Pelham, N.Y.-based Macquesten Development LLC, respectively, thought this low-income housing building could be much more to the community. “Joseph and I researched the Dri-Design products and applications. The design goal was clean modern lines and the use of custom colors. Dri-design offered both,” Fogliano says. Macquesten Development also served as the panel installer.
The 8-story structure is clad in 0.080-inch aluminum wall panels in Dark Gray, Medium Gray, Light Gray, Cloud Gray and Cream. Dri-Design perforated panels also were installed to enclose air-conditioning units. The architect was Michael Depasquale RA Architect & Planner PC, Mount Vernon, N.Y.
“We liked the metal for its smooth, luminous aesthetic, as well as a way to avoid the many pitfalls of a brick rainscreen,” Fogliano said.
Dri-Design wall panels create a true dry joint pressure equalized rainscreen system. They are not constructed with caulk, sealant or gaskets like competing products, so buildings do not have material stains and streaks. These manufacturing characteristics also add to the sustainability of Dri-Design products. Available in various metal materials, colors, profiles and sizes, Dri-Design capabilities are far-reaching.
“We enjoy working with partners like Macquesten because they recognize the capabilities and qualities of metal,” says Brad Zeeff, president of Dri-Design. “Dri-Design goes beyond what other metal manufacturers can do, and we appreciate when someone calls on us to turn a basic idea into something that can change a community.”
The $27 million, 78,000-square-foot building opened in May 2015. Designed to LEED Silver standards, the building has 84 rental units and 21 parking spaces. Low-income families and people with special needs can take advantage of the specially constructed units; there are five units that are fully accessible and fully adapted for the mobility impaired, and two units are fully accessible and fully adapted for the vision impaired. The building also features two indoor recreation rooms, a laundry room and an outdoor play area.
Photographs by Mark Kempf, St. Louis