NYC: Building Community

A diverse group of leading New York City-based architects and designers gather to discuss a series of innovative community projects across the 5 boroughs.

November 15, 2022
7:00 p.m.

Rogers Partners Architects + Urban Designers | Madison Square Boys & Girls Club, New York, NY, 2019. Image credit: Albert Vecerka

Current Work is a lecture series featuring leading figures in the worlds of architecture, urbanism, design, and art.

The fall 2022 Current Work series examines projects and firms enacting new modes of architectural practice, collaboration, and community engagement.

As a counterpart to the League’s recent PILARES program, this event explores several new New York City community spaces and the diversity of programs, stakeholders, and constraints that have shaped their designs. Currently in various stages of completion, the featured projects represent a wide breadth of typologies, from large-scale athletic facilities to temporary neighborhood activations.

The program will consist of five presentations by the projects’ architects and designers, followed by a moderated roundtable discussion.

The presenters will include:

Andrea Steele Architecture
Bagchee Architects
di Domenico + Partners
Rogers Partners Architects + Urban Designers
Sage and Coombe Architects

Learn more about the presenters and their featured projects below.

Andrea Steele Architecture
Make the Road New York Community Center

Make the Road New York is an organization that offers leadership in education, immigration, health, environmental, and housing justice. Currently under construction, the organization’s new Queens location—designed by Andrea Steele Architecture—conceptually extends the public streetscape into the building, providing the community with a highly accessible civic landscape.

Bagchee Architects
H.E.ARTS Community Center, The Laundromat Project, Queensborough People’s Space

Bagchee Architects’ design for the H.E.ARTS Community Center aims to reactivate the former site of a historic medical facility in the Bronx. Owned and managed by a local community land trust, the proposed community center would accommodate the neighborhood’s health, education, and arts needs. The firm will also discuss designs for The Laundromat Project, an arts nonprofit in Brooklyn that supports BIPOC artists, and the Queensborough People’s Space project, a feasibility study for the activation of a public building in Queens.

di Domenico + Partners
The Chinatown Night Market

The Chinatown Night Market is an open-air festival that activates an underutilized plaza in Chinatown. An umbrella project under the Neighborhoods Now initiative organized by Van Alen Institute and the Urban Design Forum, the festival features an intergenerational collective of Chinatown-focused programming alongside local art and food vendors.

Rogers Partners Architects + Urban Designers
Madison Square Boys & Girls Club

Designed by Rogers Partners, the new Madison Square Boys & Girls Club facility in Upper Harlem provides a diverse mix of recreational and educational spaces for the neighborhood’s young people. The clubhouse includes athletic facilities, age-specific program spaces, tutoring and quiet learning spaces, arts studios, and digital media and technology labs.

Sage and Coombe Architects
Conference House Pavilion, Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex

Sage and Coombe’s track and fieldhouse for Ocean Breeze Park includes seating for 2,500 people, a fitness center, and a terrace overlooking the park. To minimize site disturbance, the facility was designed to sit significantly above the floodplain, helping to protect one of the few remaining areas of native upland coastal grasslands on Staten Island. The firm will also present Conference House Pavilion, a multifunctional outdoor community space located in a historic park at the southernmost point of Staten Island.


Nandini Bagchee is the founding principal of Bagchee Architects and an associate professor of architecture and the director of the master of science in architecture program at the Spitzer School of Architecture.

Alan Chan has worked on several architectural and urban design projects at di Domenico + Partners in Long Island City. He is currently leading the design team for the Chinatown Night Market.

Peter Coombe and Jennifer Sage are the founding partners of Sage and Coombe Architects. Coombe is a member and former chair of the Harvard GSD Alumni Council. Sage was recently appointed as the chair of the board of trustees for the Center for Architecture in New York.

Rob Rogers is the founding partner of Rogers Partners Architects + Urban Designers. He is president of the board of Open House New York and chairs the advisory board for the Rice School of Architecture.

Andrea Steele is the founding principal of Andrea Steele Architecture. She is an advisor to both the Urban Design Forum and Pioneer Works.

The program will be moderated by Mariana Mogilevich. Mogilevich is editor-in-chief of Urban Omnibus and the author of The Invention of Public Space: Designing for Inclusion in Lindsay’s New York.


This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

The event is co-presented by The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union.