NYS Homes & Community Renewal

641 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY

180,000 SF

Merging two agencies into one integrated community that highlights unity.
Located at 641 Lexington Avenue in New York City, New York State Homes & Community Renewal builds, preserves and protects affordable housing and increases home ownership while spurring related economic development activity to create business opportunity and strengthen communities across the state.

NYSHCR needed to merge two agencies and expand onto two additional floors in their existing location. Their goal was a robust renovation providing an integrated community that highlights connectivity, parity and transparency.

To achieve this, The Switzer Group developed an open plan with sit/stand desks, collaborative areas, and reduced number of private offices. The elevator lobbies open into lounge/collaborative areas, promoting social and work interaction while respecting the surrounding quiet working zones. The main interconnecting stair serves as a hub and is the primal focal point of the space for arriving guests.

The palette embodies bright whites and neutrals offset by accent colors and brightly colored wall coverings to create a residential atmosphere. The idea of “home” is emphasized through the furniture and finishes selections, such as Shaker style cabinet doors and wooden spindle-back Nub Chairs. Each floor has a central café with a unique theme referencing different regions of New York State. These include the Capital district, the Adirondacks, Hudson Valley, etc. Wall murals throughout the space expand upon these motifs.

Artwork and graphics pay homage to the client’s mission. Sizable B&W images of their projects frame seating nooks offset by pendant lighting. Portraits of people NYSHCR serves and their quotes accent the workstation area walls. Small and large meeting rooms, huddle rooms and phone booths are located throughout the space for easy access. The singular Conference Center, with a central café, has a Bond Storage Repository designed to protect against water damage should the sprinkler system activate.

“You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”

Walt Disney