Jury feedback summary
The success of the first place proposal for the New York Affordable Housing competition lies in its use of a few simple modular elements aggregated to create a heterogeneous whole which serves to generate new modes of interaction between the inhabitants, their neighbors, and the public. Three basic unitized forms - circle, square, and rectangle - each made up of a slab and four columns stack, rotate, collide, and aggregate to create different unit types. The associated cost of the formal relationship between units is offset by the basic post and slab construction system of precast concrete. A simple storefront glazing system mediates between the units and the exterior while wood cabinets enclose private spaces and bathrooms. These stackable “table tops” are also scaled and dimensioned to adapt to disparate site conditions, from a one unit wide walk-up, to a tower with setbacks of cascading balconies. Most importantly, the rotations and collisions create apertures in the slab between units which form a liminal realm that serves as both public circulation and communal courtyards. These spatial juxtapositions generate unique thresholds, serving as intimate spaces for prolonged or chance encounter reflecting an updated notion of the stoop or porch ideal in the age of distraction.