The Refreshing Waters

A Cooling Center for Tiffany Street




The Bronx, NY

Project Team:

Georgeen Theodore, Daniel D'Oca, Tobias Armborst, Georine Pierre, Joe Giambri, Andrew Wald

Interboro partnered with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) in an effort to promote active design and healthy behaviors in a neighborhood in the South Bronx. DOHMH’s Active Design program amplifies the role of architecture and urban planning in promoting healthy behaviors and reducing the burden of chronic disease in NYC. Starting with robust community engagement and careful observation of the neighborhood, Interboro developed health-oriented public space interventions that align with both DOHMH’s expanding Active Design program and DCP’s ongoing Southern Boulevard Neighborhood Plan initiative. 


One of these interventions, The Refreshing Waters, is a temporary outdoor cooling center adjacent to the NYPL’s Hunts Point branch. Working closely with Southeast Bronx Community Organization (SEBCO), Interboro turned the Tiffany Street plaza into a refreshing place to stay cool while the library and other indoor cooling centers were closed due to COVID-19. Interboro added a misting line, fans, and socially-distanced custom seating—all painted Tiffany (Street) Blue—to provide a safe and comfortable summer gathering space for the community.

A South Bronx boy gives his approval under the Refreshing Waters

Two South Bronx residents have a lively conversation under the Refreshing Waters


Urban Design