An affordable housing complex at 690-738 Albany Avenue in East Flatbush known as Camba Gardens is nearly done and now accepting applications. The two buildings were developed by Camba Housing Ventures Inc. and designed by Brooklyn-based architecture firm Harden + Van Arnam Architects. LEED-certified, they will feature living walls in the lobbies, landscaped roof terraces and green roofs, courtyards in the back with landscaping and play areas for children, an area for tenant gardening, a teaching kitchen, computer and multipurpose rooms, a social services area, parking, 24-hour security, and solar panels on the roofs. There will be a total of 209 apartments, including studios and one-, two-, and three-bedroom units. Kitchens have solid surface countertops, porcelain tile floors and decorative tile backsplashes. Studios come with built-in wood wardrobes and pantries. Living rooms are equipped with ceiling fans. The exterior design was partly inspired by surrounding historic buildings, said Harden + Van Arnam Architects principal and architect Cindy Harden. The blue cladding is made of pre-patinaed copper panels, which references some of the buildings on the campus of Kings County Hospital, where they are located. Some of the buildings there have copper detailing. In other ways, the design of Camba Gardens is modern, with curtain walls, spandrel glass, sunscreens and canopies. The height and setbacks were dictated by zoning, Harden added. The complex was developed as “a partnership between a public hospital, non-profit community developer, a social service provider and community stakeholders to redevelop underutilized hospital property into much needed affordable and sustainable housing,” said a press release about the development. It was also designed to create revenue for surrounding businesses. Camba, also based in Brooklyn, chose the architect. “Buildings need to be contextual and fit into a community and the last thing we ever want to do is to create a building that looks institutional or that someone would point to and say oh that must be an affordable housing project,” said Camba Executive Vice President David Rowe. Harden + Van Arnam specializes in low- and moderate- housing and supportive housing, and has become known for its contextual building designs.
Groundbreaking for Flatbush Affordable Housing Build [Brownstoner] GMAP
Photo via Harden + Van Arnam Architects