by AIA New York
On Tuesday, May 14, AIA New York and the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) announced the five finalists for the Big Ideas for Small Lots NYC competition.
The competition, which launched in February 2019, invited architects and designers from around the globe to submit proposals to develop high-quality affordable housing on small, irregular lots throughout the city. By engaging the architectural and design community as critical partners in the development of affordable housing, HPD hopes to demonstrate feasible, replicable housing solutions across various site and neighborhood conditions and promote excellence in urban infill design. “The urgency of the affordability crisis requires us to continually push the envelope to meet our city’s diverse housing needs. To unlock some of our most difficult-to-develop sites we needed to take a fresh approach, and taking that leap has clearly paid off,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll.
The winning proposals for Big Ideas for Small Lots NYC were selected by a panel of nine jurors—all leaders in the fields of architecture, urban design, real estate development, and public policy. “As a jury, we looked for inventive proposals that considered the residents as well as the communities beyond. We discussed design quality broadly, with a focus on technical feasibility. Accessibility, both physical and economic, was also an important consideration,” said AIANY 2019 President and jury chair Hayes Slade, AIA. The five finalists’ designs rose to the top of the 444 proposals from 36 countries across five continents.
The finalists will now work with HPD to convert their winning designs into affordable housing development proposals to be reviewed and approved by the agency. HPD will facilitate a series of workshops, networking opportunities, and other tools to assist the teams in developing their proposals.
“Mass Green Living”
Anawan/101 + Kane AUD
“Mass Green Living” features five units in an approximately 5,900 square-foot building that includes a multi-use, ground-level common area referred to as the “urban garage.” The submission was selected based on its mix of unit types, its adaptability, and the use of smart design features to enhance the living experience for residents.
The proposal is a collaboration between the principals of two architecture firms: Jeremiah Joseph of Anawan/101 and Ted Kane of Kane AUD. Anawan/101 is a one-person, New York City-based firm with more than 20 years of experience working on a variety of projects from initial design phase through completed construction. Kane AUD is a design-oriented practice with a focus on design and construction. Kane has more than 15 years of experience and is professionally licensed in New York and California.
“We want to show how affordable housing can provide better, healthier spaces for living and build ideas of community,” said Jeremiah Joseph of Anawan/101. “Our idea of the Urban Garage creates an extension of each apartment into shared areas, combining and elevating everyday uses with more dynamic social gatherings, making a place where everyone is included, and everyone shares.”
“Greenfill House as Garden”
Michael Sorkin Studio
“Greenfill House as Garden” proposes seven units in an approximately 4,430 square-foot building. The façade steps back at every level to create a terraced effect. The submission was selected based on its ability to provide outdoor spaces, its clever use of space, and its comprehensive use of sustainable features to minimize the building’s environmental footprint.
Michael Sorkin Studio is a New York City-based global design practice that specializes in urbanism and green architecture. Recent projects include a master plan for a new environmental research park in Wuhan, China as well as a 1,000-unit resort in Coffs Harbor, Australia. The studio has been the recipient of numerous design awards.
“House As Garden investigates from scratch a typical situation in New York: the evolution of the row house into a multiple dwelling, a conversion full of problems. Our proposal offers the most advanced – Net Zero – environmental performance, a habitat for new and shared life-styles, greatly enhanced daylighting, new and economical construction techniques and materials, and active community involvement – via employment and training – in filling these waiting gaps in the fabric of the city,” said Principal and Founder of Michael Sorkin Studio, Michael Sorkin.
“Fold and Stack”
“Fold and Stack” features five units in an approximately 5,540 square-foot building organized around an interior courtyard. The submission was selected based on the design’s intelligent use of modular construction, its successful use of double-height spaces to create a vertical community, and its successful integration of lighting and ventilation techniques to create an interior courtyard that also encourages social interaction.
OBJ is a collection of four architects that currently work for Diller, Scofidio, and Renfro in New York City and Olson Kundig in Seattle, Washington. The team members have a combined 25 years of experience working on a variety of projects internationally, including the recently constructed The Shed in Hudson Yards.
“We’re excited to be participating in the future of NYC housing,” said Partner at OBJ Merica May Jensen. “As New Yorkers, we asked ourselves, ‘what do you do when you have limited space?’ You fold and stack! The double-height ‘stacked’ unit is easy to reconfigure on a variety of sites – meaning the small lots are no longer design obstacles, but design opportunities.”
Only If Architecture
“Only If” features seven units in an approximately 4,900 square-foot building. The submission was selected based on its use of innovative built-ins to produce compact functional spaces, its ability to provide seven units that range in size from micro to two-bedrooms, its variable façade treatments, and its ability to exemplify how intentional design can elevate a traditional rowhouse
Only If Architecture is a New York City-based design practice for architecture and urbanism founded in 2013 and led by Adam Snow Frampton, AIA, and Karolina Czeczek. The firm’s projects span a range of different types and scales, from interior design to residential new construction and research.
“For the past several years we’ve been examining the specific and cumulative potential for housing on New York City’s irregular, narrow, and leftover land, both through our exhibited research, but also through a 13’-4” wide house now under construction in Brooklyn. Our proposal draws on this expertise and, to ensure its feasibility, strategically avoids the infrastructure of larger buildings. We are excited the city has initiated this project and thrilled to work on the next phase,” said Principal of Only If Adam Frampton, AIA.
“More with Less”
“More with Less” is a 3,700 square-foot building that features two units, one of which is a co-living space with four individual rooming units. The submission was selected based on its ability to provide a model for co-living that demonstrates intelligent consolidation and organization of different types of spaces, the way public and private spaces intersect, and for serving as a good example of how a small lot can accommodate modern housing trends.
Palette Architecture is a full-service, New York City-based design and architecture practice founded in 2010 with 11 employees. Their work ranges from small-scale new construction residential projects to fit-out and interior design of non-profit office spaces.
“Our proposal seeks to economically house residents in contextually scaled developments. By promoting shared resources and flexible spaces, we strengthen community, maximize the number of residents we can serve, and minimize construction costs. The result is an alternate form of living that can help the city address the ongoing need for housing,” said Partner at Palette Architecture Peter Miller.
AIA New York will curate an exhibition at the Center for Architecture highlighting the winning submissions that will open on August 1st and be on display through the Fall of 2019.