Senior Affordable Housing — New York, New York

Date: 2017
Status: Proposal
Category: Affordable Housing, Civic
Size: 73,000 s.f.
Team: Chris Leong, Dominic Leong, Christopher Lee, Yu-Hsiang Lin, Jessie Baxa, Gabriel Burkett, Kelly Yuen
Collaborators: JCJ Architecture, Transsolar, MTWTF, SCAPE

Our design proposal for senior affordable housing leverages the intrinsic qualities of the neighborhood’s context and the existing garden space. By dedicating over half of the total lot area to a network of public open spaces and lifting the building up to create a visually open community space that runs continuously through the block.  This radical reconfiguration of the site creates an urban ‘Living Room’ for the neighborhood. The open space, housing, and community facilities will flow into each other through a flexible and transparent boundary at the ground floor, so the open space remains continually activated inside and outside throughout the year. The 90-unit senior housing component floats above this network of community open spaces, forging a continuous interface between senior residents and the activities occurring in the garden to create a multi-generational ‘Green’ network in the heart of the city.

The project applies passive and energy efficient design strategies to the fullest extent possible on a site made somewhat challenging due to the dense fabric of the surrounding urban environment. First and foremost, the building’s massing is located primarily on the northern end of the site, allowing for a large southern solar exposure, and breezeway connecting straight through the block. The large southern exposure allows for a considerable number of the building’s units to have direct southern solar access. This improves the daylight availability to each of these units, reducing reliance on electric lighting. Solar gains, especially in the units on the upper stories of the building, will reduce heating demand in winter months, and ultimately energy use of the building. In the summer when solar gains are unwanted, exterior shading effectively blocks sunlight that could otherwise result in overheating.