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Neighborhoods Now:
Cooper Square Committee

Proposed adjustments to the Cooper Square Committee office that would establish better partitions between employees and external visitors while improving natural ventilation. Courtesy: Thornton Tomasetti and Curtis + Ginsberg Architects
Employee-view of a proposed lightweight partition system to be installed in the area where the office receives visitors. Courtesy: Thornton Tomasetti and Curtis + Ginsberg Architects
Vistor-view of a proposed lightweight partition system. Courtesy: Thornton Tomasetti and Curtis + Ginsberg Architects

In collaboration with the Urban Design Forum, Neighborhoods Now connects neighborhoods hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic with leading design firms. In Bed-Stuy, Jackson Heights, Kingsbridge, Washington Heights, and the Lower East Side these working groups are collaborating to develop safe and effective reopening strategies.

The outcomes are a set of design recommendations, prototypes, and installations empowering communities to respond to their immediate needs, while contributing to the city-wide strategy on pandemic response. In some neighborhoods, prototypes have already been implemented, and Van Alen and Urban Design Forum are actively fundraising to support additional implementation.

Learn more about Neighborhoods Now.

Working Group

Serving the Lower East Side, Cooper Square Committee identified the following priorities:

  • Select dedicated space for consultation to receive visitors and provide physical barriers of staff to visitor space
  • Improve consultation room based on recommended COVID-19 guidelines
  • Guidance on the use of natural ventilation vs. mechanical heating and cooling
  • Long-term improved thermal comfort in the office space

Cooper Square Committee occupies a 1,700-square-foot ground floor commercial space and the current layout did not aid for a safe reopening. Curtis + Ginsberg Architects worked with CSC to find cost-friendly ways to increase ventilation and improve their current consultation room to accommodate social distancing. They plan to replace windows to allow for natural cross ventilation, upgrade the current particle ventilation system, and install lightweight and adjustable partitions to divide the space between visitors and staff.

The use of the information contained in this proposal document, “Neighborhoods Now: Cooper Square Committee” is at the sole risk of the user, and Van Alen Institute shall not be responsible for, or liable in any way for, the accuracy, completeness or any other matter with respect to the contents herein. The user hereby assumes all risks of the use of the information, and irrevocably and unconditionally waives, releases and discharges Van Alen Institute and its direct and indirect members, directors, officers, employees, agents, affiliates, volunteers and representatives, from any and all liability of any kind or nature whatsoever, in connection with the matters contained herein, and the use of the information contained herein.