Affordable Infill Housing  

New York City, NY

Program: Affordable Housing on Irregular Odd Lots
Area: 1000 to 4000 sf
Status: Design 2019
Big Ideas for Small Lots Design Competition

Small, irregular lots make the creation of affordable housing for a diverse array of families a challenge, demanding that an awkward site yield a rational solution.  Our solution to the Big Ideas for Small Lots Competition began with the premise that the solution needed to have prototypical elements that could be replicated across a diverse array of small irregular lots – thus becoming more affordable over the scope of 23 lots with repetitive elements.

We begin by addressing the basic light and air requirements for habitable space in the narrow Subject Lot to design for the maximum number of bedrooms and thereby open these homes to a wider segment of the population. As a precedent, we used an exemplary model of affordable housing: Sunnyside Gardens in Queens. These small compact urban homes became the key to the design for the plan and section of the Subject Site.  Rather than assume all through lot apartments, the mix became: basement accessible studio apartment, one thru floor apartment, and then two back to back duplex houses inspired by the typical Sunnyside Gardens row house. Our solution was then uniquely applicable to a wide variety of sites in the boroughs of Queens and Staten Island where we focused our creative solutions outside the typical narrow infill row house type. Sunnyside Gardens was planned to provide quality homes for families of modest means, and that spirit animated our process.