TONA designs $13 million Lorraine Montenegro Residence

November 20, 2018 - Design / Build

TONA designed the glass-roofed cafeteria of the Lorraine Montenegro Women and Children’s Residence to maximize the flow of natural light into the space. Photo by Whitney Cox. 

Bronx, NY Terrence O’Neal Architect LLC (TONA) has completed its work for the newly constructed Lorraine Montenegro Women and Children’s Residence, a $13 million five-story building offering 38 residential treatment beds and multiple counseling and training services for women with substance use disorders and daycare for their children. 

Terrence  O’Neal FAIA, LEED AP, managing principal of TONA, noted, “Our design goal was to serve multiple purposes at the same time – to create a space that offers a warm and welcoming home setting while fulfilling all institutional needs.” 

TONA design principal Heather Philip-O’Neal, AIA, focused on the health and well-being of the residents. She said, “The design intent is to convey the spatial sense of a family in a household contrasting with a more institutional layout. We also maximized flexibility for the residents and the children by having many of the spaces serve dual purposes.”

Raul Russi, CEO of Acacia Network, the health and housing organization operating the recently opened facility located at 773 Prospect Ave., said, “Terrence O’Neal Architect LLC did a wonderful job meeting the needs of our clients and their children, and in honoring Lorraine Montenegro and her mother Evelina Antonetty, who founded United Bronx Parents. We applaud their efforts.” Lorraine Montenegro, a much-heralded member of the community who led United Bronx Parents for 30 years, died in Puerto Rico in the fall of 2017 during a visit following the devastation of Hurricane Maria. 

In addition to housing mothers and their children, the facility provides parenting, vocational, and life skills training, plus primary healthcare, recreational activities and daycare.

The TONA design includes a glass-roofed cafeteria that maximizes the flow of natural daylight into the space and also accommodates special events; lounges that provide a comfortable setting that can double areas for group counseling, plus brightly-colored indoor play areas serving various program needs. Common areas include the sky-lit cafeteria (with a commercial kitchen); counseling offices; a doctor’s office; a library; and an art room. A second-floor greenhouse for gardening activities provides fresh, healthful food and serves as a symbol exemplifying the healing qualities of food choices. An outdoor playground and a classroom dedicated to after-school programs for children focus on the enhancement of family life. 

All residential areas optimize the use of natural light, a signature of TONA designs, and complement an environment that employs energy-conscious mechanical equipment. 

“With this investment, New York continues our commitment to expanding and enhancing lifesaving services for people suffering from addiction,” a press release quotes NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo with saying at the facility’s opening. “This new facility will ensure families stick together, while improving access to treatment and delivering services women need to lead a quality life.”

Part of the State’s $1.2 billion investment in prevention, treatment and recovery services for addiction, the facility was funded through OASAS (the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services), with project management services provided by DASNY (the New York State Dormitory Authority). 

TONA, a full-service architecture and design firm founded 25 years ago, focuses on affordable and supportive housing, schools and healthcare facilities. 


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