At the request of The Citizen's Housing Policy Council and The Architectural League of New York, we developed three new housing typologies to respond to the ways New Yorkers live now. Each type specifically challenged City laws that currently prohibit their implementation. The three typologies are: Local Addition, a bungalow with accessory dwelling units; Re:MX, in which micro-unit apartments share amenities like lounges and work space, and Ravensnest, where adjoining apartments can blend to serve extended families.
Re:MX refers to the installation of housing on top of existing manufacturing buildings within New York City MX zones that allow these uses to coexist by law.
The pre-fabricated micro-units are complete but small apartments. Their space is extended through shared features like the central courtyard, corner lounges, extensive storage along the corridors, and by access to the workshop space below.
The housing is organized around a courtyard from which it gets light and air, so that the units do not depend on the pre-existing building.
This project takes its name from Ravenswood, the public housing across the street from it. It is a seven-story alternative to tower development with apartments designed to meet the emerging needs of mixed-income residents. Every two floors share a large lobby like a living room and large outdoor balconies. Very large and very small apartments can be conjoined in a variety of ways to serve a diversity of living arrangements.
Each copper volume represents an additional dwelling unit (ADU) bringing the total number of apartments in this house to seven. They could provide income to the homeowner, or accommodations for an extended family. Current law limits such additions to one, even if they obey zoning and egress requirements.
At the scale of the block, the addition of a mews addresses the increased parking and services required by the added density. The mews also provides garden play space for the block.
When used in proximity to each other, these types bring added benefit to the test case neighborhood of Ravenswood, Astoria Queens, by increasing density within the pre-existing context. The mix of Local Addition bungalows (red), Re: MX micro-units (pink), and Ravensnest extended apartments (yellow) together deal with two-pronged development pressure from inside and outside the neighborhood.
Deborah Gans with Isobel Herbold of Gans Studio
Kevin Hennessey and Sean Gold of Pratt Institute