Victor Body-Lawson, Architecture Fellow


Andrea Woodner, (former) Executive Director, Design Trust for Public Space


Design Trust for Public Space

South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation

Tenants United for Better Living

This report is the result of the Diego Beekman Houses Design Workshop, a program of seminars and fact-finding trips. Local residents worked with Design Trust Fellow Victor Body-Lawson and members of the African-American Architects Round Table to generate a proposal to renovate the Diego Beekman Houses, a 38-building Section 8 apartment complex in the Mott Haven section of the South Bronx.

Mr. Body-Lawson led a group of residents through field studies and an intensive design workshop at the tenant organization’s offices. Together they formulated an extensive problem summary, established a set of principles to inform design interventions, and developed a series of guidelines and recommendations addressing buildings, urban environment, safety, and social services.

Improving Quality of Life through Design, was published in both English and Spanish and submitted to HUD for consideration as part of its planned renovation and refinancing of the buildings. Based on its recommendations, HUD continued to fund Mr. Body-Lawson as a tenant representative on design development.

Ideas, design guidelines and recommendations are presented in three major categories: Open Spaces, Buildings and Services. While each category represents a unique aspect of revitalizing Diego Beekman Houses, together they present a comprehensive and holistic approach to the issues facing Diego Beekman residents.

Table of Contents

Guiding Principles
Urban Environment

Publication Information

Date: December 1996

Pages: 24

Status: Out of print; available as a PDF

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In partnership with

South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation and Tenants United for Better Living

Associated Fellow