The Zion Hill Senior Apartments project, located in Rochester, New York’s Bull’s Head District, provides safe, affordable, accessible housing for neighborhood parishioners, a realization of Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church’s dream. The project replaced vacant lots and condemned building with a new home community, addressing the street edge in a positive way.
Project collaborators include architect, landscape architect, interior designer and structural engineer SWBR, owner and developer Rochester Management, site and civil engineer Bergman Associates and mechanical and electrical engineer Kennedy Mechanical.
According to New York Housing Conference, a neighborhood church partnered with a local non-profit housing company to plan a new apartment community that would allow aging residents to stay in the neighborhood they love, with supportive services and accessibility features that address their changing needs. The team assembled a site of vacant parcels and condemned structures next to the church. The site links a busy commercial street on one end to a quiet residential street on the other. Site dimensions dictated an L-shaped building with a three-story wing facing the front street and a two-story wing on the side street. This stepped-down massing bridges higher density commercial uses and lower density residential uses and is further broken down into vertical elements echoing the rhythm of the nearby homes. Fiber cement siding evokes traditional residential forms without creating false history, with brick highlighting the main entrance. Support and amenity spaces include a community room, greenhouse, and rooftop patio with garden. These spaces, together with community support services and 45 apartments with enhanced accessibility features, create a rich community where residents can gracefully age in place.