Location: New York, NY
Project Status: Competition - March 2019
In March of 2019 CICADA submitted a proposal for an affordable housing prototype that fits on substandard lots in New York City. The proposal strives to engage the affordable housing problem at 3 different scales: the city, the neighborhood, and the user.
The flexibility of the design allows the development to fit into multiple site typologies, providing an affordable housing prototype that can be replicated across the city, helping relieve one of the biggest problems facing New York City this decade, affordable housing shortage. The project is specifically designed for flexibility on substandard lots allowing the city to take advantage of underutilized vacant real estate and revitalize substandard lots throughout the city.
Creating safe and walkable neighborhoods is one of the most important aspects of modern urban design. Our design proposal seeks to encourage community interaction by setting the face of the building back from the property line creating an outdoor communal space at grade, encouraging the occupants to sit on the street and interact with the surrounding community. Stoop culture has long been a defining characteristic of neighborhoods in New York City, and our proposal reinterprets that in a modern way helping put eyes on the street and encouraging community engagement. Once you cross the threshold into the building, there is a large communal space for the internal users also open to the street for additional engagement.
The design aims to provide as much flexible communal space as possible in order to offset the efficiency of the unit design and encourage interaction between the occupants. Upon entering the building, there is a large communal space that welcomes the residents and guests. The ADA accessible unit is located at grade, with an entrance into the unit towards the back to provide more privacy. Plenty of outdoor community space is also provided in the rear yard and on the roof terrace. The rear yard will be programmed differently depending on the site, but will include a trash area, bike racks, outdoor seating, as well as community gardening space. Levels 2-4 are designed to be flexible co-living spaces. One kitchen is located on each floor to be shared between the two attached units. This allows for larger living spaces for each resident within the available floor area limitations, while also keeping cost efficiency in mind. The floor plans are designed to provide the maximum amount of flexibility for the residents and strive to think about how the building can evolve with the occupant over the occupant’s lifespan. On the second and fourth floors, the rear units are 2 bedroom efficiency apartments with a modern take on the bunk bed, providing privacy between the beds while allowing for the maximum amount of density. These are thought of as the young professional suites, for people who may not be able to afford their own apartments. As their careers evolve, these occupants could move to the single bedroom apartments located at the front of the building. Instead of individuals searching for new apartments when they have children, this layout would allow for growing families to simply rent both units on their floor to create a single three bedroom suite. This flexibility ensures the building could evolve with the occupants over time.