Three affordable housing developments by Magnusson Architecture and Planning among the winners of New York State’s Buildings of Excellence Competition

The awarded projects exemplify MAP’s commitment to high standards for design, health and sustainability in affordable housing

Three affordable housing developments designed by Magnusson Architecture and Planning (MAP) were among the winners of the First Round of the Buildings of Excellence competition. The competition, administered by The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, recognizes the design, construction, and operation of very low or zero carbon emitting multifamily buildings and awarded $18 Million to 28 visionary projects in New York State. MAP’s three winning projects – Rheingold Senior Housing, 2050 Grand Concourse and Linden Boulevard, Phase 2 – exemplify the firm’s decades-long commitment to great design and great performance in affordable housing.

Rheingold Senior Housing

Located in a rapidly changing, mixed-use area of Bushwick, this new development will bring 94 units of affordable senior housing. Designed to meet Passive House standards, the building uses low embodied carbon insulation, is clad in a fiber reinforced concrete rainscreen and capped with a solar canopy that follows the angled set back and is visible from the street, making sustainability a prominent feature of the architecture. A large rear garden in close proximity to the community room and lobby will offer the tenants opportunities to garden and the potential for hydroponic farming has been planned for the north-east wing of the roof.

2050 Grand Concourse

This new, 13-story mixed income building will contain 25 units for low income families, 15 units for moderate income families, 30 units for single adults living with HIV/AIDS, and 25 units for single adults with chronic mental illness. With a goal of LEED Platinum, and NYSERDA Tier 2, sustainability measures include: A high performance building envelope and systems including UPVC windows, high efficiency heat pumps for heating and cooling, a large photovoltaic array, sunshades, daylit circulation spaces and LED lighting throughout, plus green roofs, on-site water retention, low/no VOC paints, primers, finishes, and materials with recycled content.

Linden Boulevard, Phase 2

Located at 573 Emerald Street in Brooklyn, this 160-unit affordable housing is the second in a three-building development that will bring much needed amenities, community services and robust pedestrian activity to the high-traffic (vehicular) avenue in South Ozone Park. Currently in the early design phase, Linden Boulevard aims for zero site generated carbon through total electrification. This will be completed through highly efficient, electric heating, cooling, ventilation, and domestic hot water systems. The project team is also pursuing Enterprise Green Communities certification and the building will comply with all requirements of the EPA Energy Star Multifamily High Rise program.

“Each of these Buildings of Excellence projects will act as proof of concept and help drive the innovations that we need to see in the coming years,” said Sara Bayer, MAP Associate Principal and Director of Sustainability. “We are so proud that with New York State and our clients we can help lead the way toward a more sustainable, healthier and ultimately safer future for our communities.”

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority Senior Vice President, Strategy and Market Development Janet Joseph said, “Magnusson Architecture and Planning’s projects exemplify how visionary architects are leading New York State’s transformation to a low carbon future. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, Buildings of Excellence projects serve as models that can be replicated statewide, showing that beautiful design can be combined with energy efficiency measures to produce clean, affordable and healthy homes that reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions in our communities.”

Launched in March 2019, Buildings of Excellence supports Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading Green New Deal and the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act which put New York State on a path to economy-wide carbon neutrality and an 85 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.


For over three decades, Magnusson Architecture and Planning (MAP) has worked with non-profit groups, municipalities, and for-profit developers to improve the lives of those who live and work in their communities. MAP’s award-winning buildings and urban revitalization projects serve as the foundation for vibrant and healthy neighborhoods. Since our founding in 1986, we have been at the forefront of quality housing, sustainable building and urban design.

MAP offers comprehensive architectural and planning services that blend design excellence with technical and planning expertise. The firm specializes in mixed-use developments including: affordable, supportive, senior, mixed-income, and market-rate housing; urban design and, community-based planning projects.

In 2015 MAP established a Volunteer Program. Every month a team of staff, friends, and family donate personal time to projects that serve residents of the buildings the firm has designed, improve features in those buildings or support the clients of MAP’s nonprofit partners.

Media Contact: Christina Allan