YAYB - Field of Dreams

Seungbin Jeong
Jesse Bongiorno
Kilian Poon
Emmy Flemmen
YAYB's mission is to take a forward-thinking approach to spatial modeling, developing an ever-evolving platform to provide the needs of the local community, and embracing the students' expertise, consequently, maintaining flexibleness, adaptability, and sustainability.

Youth Action Youth Build is an organization to engage neighborhoods in rebuilding and reshaping the local community. YAYB is a strong power to transform and nurture Youth into responsible members of society. However, hearing from their wishlist and improvements that were wanted from students and staffs, we saw hiccups are coming up from 'inflexibility' to catch up with the constantly evolving community. This all had close relationships to what 'space' that current YAYB is possessing.

The spatial model that YAYB is should take is not a renovation of 'better quality of space.' We suggest YAYB think about the step further, the future, where should take this chance of altering the space into 'Reinvention of the YAYB's Space.'


The concept of the 'Field of Dreams' connects to the 'Object & Field Condition' spaces.

Object is defined by similar programs tied together for a strong direction of focus in each individual cluster.

‍Field is the negative space between ‘Objects’ being flexible to be an extension of programs

Currently, YAYB has lots of different programs in their space. Among them, programs that needed privacy or to be in a room condition get the characteristics of 'object.' Field-conditioned space between the objects are Opened, Public, Transformable, and Reconfigurable Space that can be an extension of the programs inside the objects and flexibly alter having multi-purposes.


The objects are designed with different structural systems (light frame wood construction, heavy timber frame, steel studs, I-beam, cmu, and more) which relates to the student's main program of learning building construction in YAYB. It brings the contrasting materiality (wood, metal, concrete) for each object to emphasize its own 'objectness'. It becomes educational for the student to notice its form of structure and joineries in their daily life. Moreover, some ideas of utilizing the structure's form into the function are throughout the space, so that it is not just structured standing to make the objects but to make students intimate and familiarize the different structure systems.

Our proposal for YAYB is to obtain this field condition as an exposed space with just columns and exterior walls remaining. In this field, objects are placed thinking of relationships between them. Our idea of using Field conditioned space is by spilling space out from the objects. Ideas are like bifold doors, or swinging doors to open and expand the space which could be used for a whole different purpose.


The site is located at East 118th Street in East Harlem. It is the first story of a walk-up apartment, in which the residence's entryway in the middle divides the floor into a U-shaped space with two entrances. This becomes an idea of dividing the entrances for the public and students, just like the current community has.

Red areas are the spaces that change daily or weekly which is about expanding space for accommodating a large number of people. This includes enlarging the conference room or opening the classroom door to merge the larger area with the field-conditioned space near them. Orange areas are capable of flexibly changing by accepting the community's growth, needs, and preferences. Yellow parts are what represent 'objects' that are meant to be standing for a long-term period, but thanks to structural systems that are able to disassemble and rejoin, when the community finds it necessary to change the plan, it can be easily torn down and reused.

Knowing how the neighborhood looks like becomes important for designing the community space. The facade of the building is non-communicative, uninviting, and not engaging with the people on the street. There is a beautiful community inside, but there is no chance that pedestrians will know about it. Since the building is located in the residential district, the whole street and building try to protect their properties with spiky fences and barriers. It gives a feeling of pushing away the people clearly to the street.

YAYB's Front Facade
To be contrasted from the street, and be noticed as a community space, the left front corner of the space is pushed inward and used as a public inviting space. The actual facade is now pushed into the building and this space can be exposed to the street or closed with the bi-fold doors by what activities and programs will be held here. It has many different possibilities of being an art gallery for local artists, or any community-related programs like food markets, selling goods, and more.

Achievement walls are where the 50 years of YAYB's history can be proudly displayed. The space is exposed to the street, attracting people to know more about the community. The left side is filled with the past 50 years, and the right side's empty wall will be filled with the next 50 years of YAYB, to make people imagine how this community and themselves will change in the future.

The office space for the admin team wanted private room offices, which were built with 2x4 wood stud framing. Between the studs, people can hang the metal shelves to customize the wall with art, and books and use them as storage space. Polycarbonate clerestories emit the light out from inside to tell if the office is occupied.

The conference room can be opened with bifold doors for large numbers gathering, merging the area with the 'field' near the space.

Multipurpose areas are used as large open spaces for students hanging around, lunch-time, and studying with the reconfigurable modular cube design that can be chairs, dining tables, sofas, and more.

When there are events like morning circles, alumni meetings, and public gatherings, the swinging door from the classroom can be wide open to double the gathering spaces. Placing light-framed chairs that could be moved around easily, a quick gathering space can be formed. The swinging door from the pantry can be also opened to serve the guests with coffee and pizza.

Classrooms are built with heavy timber frames, with steel beams. Keeping the existing skylight, and the polycarbonate clerestory let the daylight come much deeper through the space.
The Common Pantry is the most vibrant space here, working as a core space. Most of the time it is used for students to have their meal and hang out with their friends. When it becomes the time to serve the public during the events, the door on the right opens towards the multipurpose area to be used as a common pantry.

The space for the Computer room has the possibility of being altered for different purposes. The community's needs will change this space into another classroom, lounge space, or anything else.

This is the view from the student's entrance. The one in the middle built with steel stud framing with the felt panels are project manager's office with the counseling area next to it. He wanted a clear view of the entrance for security and to check up on the students coming in. The window in the middle of the wall works for students to say hi to him whenever they walk in. The space inside the bifold doors are counseling area for student's emotional support and future consulting.

The student lounge uses the simple wood construction method where students can participate in the space. It can be easily disassembled and rebuilt quickly to reform and repurpose the space any time it needs to.