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Type: big ideas for small lot COMPETITION


Program: affordable housing

Location: 113 west 136th st, nEW yORK

Budget: -

Area: 1700 SQFT

Calendar: 2019


community living on small lot





Affordable housing is an opportunity to create mixed neighborhoods. When

surrounded by 1 and 2 family residences, the challenge to maximize the affordable

housing on narrow lots is to bring in different standards while weaving into the

fabric of the surrounding community. To create a place that builds on the neighborhood’s

life, habits and familiar aesthetics, we questioned how the features of the

surrounding brownstones and private houses could be reinterpreted. We introduce

the idea of equality through the use of symbols, that once shared across different

type of income, calls for the same dignity.



Key design features:


We looked at the bay window as a feature populating the prominent brownstones

across the city. While not present in the neighbor buildings of the site, the feature is

easily recognizable and represent the idea of a greater house. The massing is

inspired by those bays and use them to further break down the massing

We used the symbol of the house, with the pitched roof the way we drew since we

were children, to introduce the idea of a building gathering several household

encouraged to interact with one another. Symbol and familiar shapes, such as the

bay window and the symbol of the house are powerful in that they instantly call out

for a sense of ownership to the future residents.

To connect the residents to the community, we looked at the existing social spaces

that are the stoops and the parlor floor, the grand social salon that connects the

front and the back of the building as a feature that could connect the residents

together and with the life of the street. We created a visual corridor that promote

physical movements and provide the opportunity of social interaction with the

existing neighborhood.

This idea of a ground floor connecting the front and the back of the building can be

transferred to many neighborhoods and site, with the apartment typical layouts

above that can be modified to fit 2 thirds of the sites the competition presented. It’s

a simple idea that can fit multiple context.