Independent Project Residency

The Independent Project Residency allows Fellows to bring their own interests and projects to the Block House on Governors Island.

Over the 11-week program, Fellows receive opportunities to present their work to the public on Governors Island and in a variety of public and professional forums in New York City.

Fellows are among the first to stay overnight at the island since the Coast Guard’s exit in 1996, and are immersed in the culture of the various other organizations taking up residency in the island’s historic structures. Open to international applicants.

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Selected Topic Fellowship
Offered: Fall

The IPA’s signature Selected Topic Fellowship focuses on issues specific to New York City and has explored many critical themes over its 7+ year course.

Over the 8-week program, selected teams of Fellows have daytime access to workspace and shared amenities at the Block House. A series of panels, research trips and team meals are organized to enhance ongoing projects. 

At the conclusion of the Fellowship, teams are invited to participate in several public presentations to share their findings. Open to applicants based in the New York City greater metro area.

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Past Residencies

Reconnecting Communities Across the BQE
︎︎︎ Selected Topic

Teams considered sections of the BQE that might be removed, reconceived as boulevards, or decked-over, with an opportunity for communities to decide which programs—housing, community space, urban farms, recreation, schools, green industries—might occupy this potential “land bank”
along the BQE corridor.
Summer 2022 Residency
︎︎︎ Independent Projects

The inaugural Block House Residency had four Fellows living and working on Governors Island. Fellows worked on independent projects and participated in a series of Open ‘Block’ Houses throughout the summer to share their work with the public, culminating in a final presentation and public exhibition.
To BE or not to BQE
︎︎︎ Selected Topic

Five teams of Fellows were asked to envision a future without the Brooklyn Queens Expressway; considering strategies and a re-use of the land it currently occupies in “a broader vision for the future of the highway.”


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Block House

In 2021, the Institute for Public Architecture moved into its new home: the Block House on Governors Island. The house is a stone-trimmed registered landmarked, designed in the Greek Revival style by architect Martin E. Thompson in the 1840s. Located on the historic Nolan Park campus,  it is currently the only building that supports overnight accommodations on the island.

The IPA operates a public library at the Block House, including a collection of literature on art, architecture, urban planning and more. Also visit our exhibition space, new for the Spring 2023 season.

Opening hours:

March 4 - April 1, 2023

Saturday - Sunday: 11am-4pm
Monday - Friday: closed

9 Nolan Park,
Governors Island, NY

︎︎︎ Visiting Info

Institute for Public Architecture
45 E 20th Street Suite 500
New York, NY 10003