Make the Road New York

Queens, NY, US

Make the Road New York is a 23,000-member organization that seeks to empower underserved individuals by offering leadership in education, immigration, and health, environmental, and housing justice. To establish a hub for the members and let the city at large know that Make the Road is here to stay, the organization needed a permanent space that was visible, accessible and embodied the mission of this civic-minded community. The design creates a strong connection with the neighborhood by conceptually extending the public streetscape into the building, providing the community with a civic landscape for change, exchange, and an inviting connection to resources.

This internalized landscape steps up to create terraced seating and will serve as the town hall—hosting staff meetings, large member gatherings, community dinners, job fairs, and a wide range of activities supporting the organization’s mission. Above this main hall, open work areas and private offices enable members to work together in a light-filled space. Three large glass volumes, which act as light wells, bringing natural light to the conference rooms, informal meeting areas, and communal dining space, rise above the roofline and adjacent train tracks to serve as a beacon to the surrounding city.

Credit: TEN Arquitectos/Enrique Norten with ASA/Andrea Steele