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The Block House Residency 

on Governors Island, New York

Download the 2022
Call for Applications
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The application for the 2023 cycle will open in the Winter





June 15, 2023 -
September 15, 2022  


About the Residency

A 12-week Residency in The Block House on Governor’s Island provides Fellows with work space and living space for independent research, and:

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Access to informal, formal and peer review critiques by colleagues and experts in the field 

Informal in-house team meals with invited guests 

Informal events with the other Block House residents 

Access to local design and research libraries, including Avery Library at Columbia University, The Pratt Center, and the New School

Introductions to and interactions with NYC officials at the Department of City Planning, Department of Transportation, Department of Buildings and other relevant agencies/offices


Opportunities to present and discuss work in public settings, both on Governors Island and throughout the City. IPA promotes all Fellows’ work to the NY and National press, City agencies, and other audiences where its impact will be recognized​

Field trips organized by the IPA to private, culturally significant sites 

Opportunities to attend and participate in presentations and panel discussions hosted by the Block House and at sister organizations on Governors Island, including the Billion Oyster Project, Shandaken Projects, Harbor School, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and more

Access to IPA partner programs and events off-island, including discounted admission to programs of the Architectural League, Urban Design Forum, Municipal Art Society, and CUP 


The residency culminates with:

Access to publication of research and design work in the IPA book series 

Potential to exhibit research outcomes at The Block House to the public and invited guests

Presentation of research and design work in a public lecture or symposium

About the Facility

The Block House is a landmarked, stone-trimmed Greek Revival building designed in the 1840s by architect Martin E. Thompson. The building derives its dignity from its well-disciplined scale. During the decades during which Governor’s Island was a U.S. Naval Base, the Block House served as a General’s headquarters, Officers' quarters, a hospital and a Prison. The Block House contributes to the vibrant, culturally diverse and verdant Nolan Park and today stands as one of the oldest structures on the Island.

Residency at the Block House provides Fellows with:
  • Private bedroom (heating and cooling) with shared bathroom

  • Shared laundry with washer and dryer

  • A kitchen and dining room on each floor shared by four fellows 

  • Workspace and lounge on each floor shared by four fellows 

  • 24-hour security and full-time in-house program and facilities staff 

  • Transportation on the island via bike and golf cart 

  • Transportation to and from the Island via ferry service connecting the Island to Lower Manhattan with access to public transportation connections to all points in New York City and connections to major transportation hubs serving the East Coast of the United States and beyond

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Governors Island

Governors Island is a 172-acre island in the heart of New York Harbor. Just minutes from Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn waterfront, the Island is a popular seasonal destination open to visitors from May to October. An award-winning park complements its dozens of historic buildings, year-round educational and cultural facilities, rich arts and culture programs and 22-acre National Monument managed by the U.S. National Park Service. 

The Block House Residency is part of the IPA's long-term vision on Governors Island that focuses on expanding public access year-round by enlivening it with transformative public art and culture, extraordinary recreational and open space, and research and education dedicated to addressing the global climate crisis. With unparalleled historic, natural and waterfront resources, Governors Island will be activated as a year-round, vibrant, and constantly evolving public place and resource for all New Yorkers to enjoy.


The Trust has partnered with and hosted public artworks and events by cultural organizations from across New York, including the IPA, Public Art Fund, Creative Time, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Storm King Art Center, Performa and Film at Lincoln Center. The Trust also hosts approximately 25 cultural, educational and environmental organizations in its historic houses in Nolan Park and Colonels Row, which are used to present collaborative exhibitions, public programs and artist residencies that serve communities from New York City.

Today three entities act as stewards and advocates for the Island : the Trust for Governors Island, the National Park Service and the Friends of Governors Island.

How to Apply

The Residency welcomes global applicants of any age. The program is especially well-suited for those on sabbatical or other funded projects, in that it provides low-cost housing and project support for a period of approximately 12 weeks. 

Please see the Call for Applications packet for fee and expense information and the IPA's ability to support residencies and other funding opportunities.


The application for the 2023 cycle will open in the Winter 2022-2023. Please email all questions to

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