Leroy Street Studio works with students to design a metal facade


Approaching 302 East 2nd Street from the west, the facade appears as a palette of stucco and aluminum panels. Crossing in front of the building and viewing it from the east reveals that the folded aluminum protrusions on the panels are yellow, which draws the eye’s attention up the facade. Metal mesh abstractions break the geometric array of each panel—their logic is the result of collaborative design process between architects and students.

Located on a former vacant lot, East Village Homes, designed by Leroy Street Studio and developed by the nonprofit Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE), is a 100 percent affordable housing building. Rising 14 floors, the building contains 44 units, ranging from studios to two-bedroom apartments. 36 of the units are available via New York City’s housing lottery at 50 percent, 80 percent and 140 percent of the Adjusted Median Income (AMI). The other eight units will house formerly homeless people, at 20 percent and 30 percent AMI, with Section 8 vouchers.

In an area that has been on the forefront of the city’s rapidly increasing rent prices, the 40,000-square-foot building is an important space for longtime residents, 50 percent of the units are reserved for residents of Community Board 3, which covers the area between Bowery, Baxter Street, and Pearl Street from the Brooklyn Bridge to 14th Street. The project is part of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s (HPD) Neighborhood Construction Program, which supports new affordable housing construction on infill lots.