Trinity Commons: Home for inclusive congregation

New York, NY, USA

Reaching twenty-seven stories into Manhattan’s skyline, Trinity Commons is a modern extension of historic Trinity Church — once the tallest building in New York City and a vibrant part of its history for over three hundred years.  The first ten floors of Trinity Commons is home to a community center, an inviting and uplifting space for people to gather, learn, connect with one and other, and build nurturing relationships.

The building’s exterior wall references Trinity Church’s Gothic expression with a tartan grid of painted aluminum piers and horizontal accents. As light shifts during the day, the color changes from copper to bronze, complementing the church’s brownstone.

Mission-focused architecture is born from deep community engagement

In a series of six open-forum sessions, Lower Manhattan community members convened to brainstorm ideas and contribute to the vision for the Commons. Through a deeply engaging process, we listened to community members passionately share hopes, needs, and dreams for their new building. We transformed what we discovered from these lively sessions into the guiding precepts for the project design.

Each component of the Commons was deeply considered to support Trinity’s mission to thoughtfully and actively engage people on the issues of our time by providing opportunities for holistic exploration and growth.

10,000+
community members provided insight to the project

A place for all ages to connect, transform, and thrive

Embodying Trinity’s deeply held values, the Commons is an inclusive
public gathering space with an inviting public lobby, community outreach spaces on the ground floor, a full-court gymnasium, a restaurant-training kitchen, dedicated places for children and teens, art and dance studios, and classrooms. At the heart of the Commons is Parish Hall—a flexible space that accommodates 300 people for events and worship.

The building’s transparent façade embodies Trinity’s commitment to openness and integrity. Inside the Commons, the church is visible from all vantage points.

Outdoors, its reflection against the exterior façade is ever-present.

A sweeping terrace is a welcoming place for community members and visitors to connect and relax outdoors.

A sky bridge connects Trinity Commons to the church, inviting parishioners and visitors to gather together after services and continue the conversation.

Mission-driven wellness and community refuge 

The design of the new building reflects the ideals and aspirations of the New York City community and contributes significantly to much-needed support in the neighborhood. It was important for this new facility to be a place of refuge during times of emergency through a flood-proofed infrastructure at the Greenwich Street level and a robust backup-power system. A meaningful approach to sustainability and wellness is integrated into the building, with environmentally-sound design and cost-effective energy efficiency that focuses on the health, comfort, and well-being of occupants. 

More About the Project

Project Team

Principal Collaborators

  • Architect of Record: Stephen B. Jacobs Group
  • Structural Engineer: Gilsanz Murray Steficek
  • MEP: JB&B

Project Information

  • Location: New York, New York, USA
  • Client: Trinity Real Estate New York
  • Size: 316,930 sq. ft. / 29,444 sq. m.
  • Height: 445 ft. / 135 m.
  • Completion: 2020
  • Certification: LEED Gold Objective
  • Firm Role: Design Architect

Awards

  • 2021, Honor Award, AIA New York State
  • Principal Project Photography: Jeff Goldberg/ESTO

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