Kae Schwalber

Kae Schwalber

Anchorage, AK, US


Into the Streets

Flatbush has solidified itself as a culturally seismic community– producing musical elites like Biggie and Busta Rhymes – and housing some of the most renowned Jamaican food in the country. This expressive community – though often marred by underfunded schools, unhealthy living conditions, and an excess of crime – has proven itself to be the site of greatness, specifically for the African Diaspora. For the past ten years, gentrification has gripped Flatbush, and with the influx of higher socioeconomic standards, the current community has spoken against many of the proposed changes, fearing a degradation of their community and way of life. We propose an avenue of our own, one that mobilizes both the old community, and the incoming community into a vertical hub of street life. On this vertical avenue, we are incorporating vendors, restaurants, health clinics, community space, and improvisation alleys into the fabric of the core. Each floor plan has its own sidewalk cutting through the apartments, forcing interaction between the heavily economically and ability mixed community required of each floor. The ground plane exists as a cacophony of elevations typologies to allow for a diversity of play, while the 7th floors allow for a multitude of cuisine styles. Flatbush has always been a melting pot of culture, but a new type of street is needed if the existing community is going to survive while the economic diversity increases. This building shall force a new melding of communities, and continue as an impetus for creative revolutions in America.

This project was a highly collaborative team effort by the NOMAS Syracuse design team for the 2019 design competition, winning first place. I was co project manager with Benson Joseph

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Status: Competition Entry
Location: Flatbush, NY, US
My Role: Co- Leader, Lead presenter
Additional Credits: Benson Joseph, NOMAS, design team