The new Covenant House New York, a crisis shelter for homeless youth in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, provides a temporary home and multiple services for young people. The 80,000 sf structure includes 60 residential units and numerous amenities.
Designed by FXCollaborative, the structure offers a safe and respectful place to live, access to legal, physical, and mental health services, along with educational and spiritual support. The 12-story building is humanely scaled to contrast with the glass towers surrounding the site. Opaqueness and transparency are balanced, with more visual connections to the city within common spaces and more sheltered spaces in private areas. The building shell is composed of strong materials—brick, metal, and glass—while inside, elements of wood and fabric create warmth and comfort.
Services and administration are housed in the lower five floors, with residential rooms on the upper six floors. About 54,400 sf is above grade and 26,100 sf below grade. The main lobby welcomes people into the building, providing a singular identity and a central security point. A welcome center, a wellness center, and the CovCafé are located on the first floor. The café opens to a landscaped courtyard.
At the top of a gracious stair, Pride Hall, bathed in natural light extends out to a large, landscaped terrace with a variety of seating types and groupings. An art room and hope room are provided for youth expression and contemplation.
A gymnasium and small workout room occupies the lowest level of the building, along with a music room that includes a digital music production area. The building also includes dedicated classrooms, a computer room, and space for staff to support the employment and educational portions of the Covenant House’s mission. The fourth floor include spaces for behavioral health services.
Ten rooms on each residential floor offer a manageable neighborhood experience. With most rooms accommodating two people, the rooms can be configured for three or four if demand increases. A living room with a kitchenette is provided on each residential floor.
Throughout the building, individual bathroom and bathing facilities accommodate the gender identity of all who may come. This detail embodies the core values of Covenant House.
Owner: Covenant House International
Developer: Gotham Organization
Design architect: FXCollaborative
Architect of record: FXCollaborative
MEP engineer: Cosentini Associates
Structural engineer: DeSimone Consulting Engineers
General contractor/construction manager: Monadnock Construction