New York, NY, USA

Big Ideas for Small Lots NYC is a design competition for small-scale, urban infill housing. Launched by NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the American Institute of Architects New York , Big Ideas for Small Lots NYC is a design competition to find housing solutions for vacant and underutilized City-owned land to create more affordable housing, and to explore the potential of these lots to contribute to citywide affordable housing options.

Our design concept for “Stacked” explores vertically stacked living spaces within a multi-level, single-family residence. By creating a two, three or four-story unit, the resident will have a unique living experience that provides a feeling of an independent house rather than a typical horizontal apartment unit.

Each dwelling is organized into three programmatic zones: the Bedroom / Living Room zone, the Circulation Zone and the Plumbing zone. The zones are configured so the Bedroom / Living Room Zone is located at either the front or rear facade and is separated from the Plumbing Zone by the Circulation Zone that is capped by a large vented skylight, creating a light well that will flood the core of the home with sunlight and provide increased natural ventilation throughout.

day light
outdoor connection
natural air flow
stacked program zones

The stacked layout of the single-family unit is designed to be flexible. It can be reoriented and reconfigured to fit various small sites. In each case, bedrooms are stacked and are separated from the plumbing core by the open sky-lit stair core.

In the case of the provided subject site, as well as many of the test sites, zoning restrictions only allow for a two-family building. By placing two single-family units back to back the Zoning regulation is met for each site. This also creates an opportunity to interlock the units at the plumbing core, allowing for utilization of a common chase wall.

It is essential that both dwellings provide access to private outdoor space. Exterior space is usually either only available to the ground level unit or shared. However, the sectional layout of the proposed design allows both families access to their own outdoor space. The 2-Bedroom rear unit has a living room at the ground level, giving it access to the rear yard, while the 3-Bedroom front unit has a living room on the top level that flows out onto a large roof terrace.