Leigha Dennis

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Making Room

Five architecture teams were commissioned by The Architecture League and Citizens Housing and Planning Council to speculate on the future of housing in New York. Proposals were meant to expose outdated building regulations that make finding safe and agreeable housing difficult, along with policies that make building new housing models nearly impossible. Throughout a workshop and exhibition process, members of the city government and citizen activist groups were involved, and in the end, the administration allowed a selection of these regulations to be broken on a test site in Kips Bay. Making Room was on view at the Museum of the City of New York in 2013. This project was a collaboration with Peter Gluck, Terri Chiao, Deb Katz, and Joseph Vidich.

“A Home of One’s Own" doubles the density of the typical 25’ x 100’ lot found in New York by creating an apartment building of micro-lofts. Designed for single inhabitants and small families, the building’s twenty compact units have a smaller footprint than a typical studio, but their fifteen foot high ceilings and large mezzanines provide a sense of openness and effectively double the usable space without doubling the cost. The building has a twenty-foot frontage, leaving a five-foot side yard that provides diffuse light and ventilation to the units. The micro-lofts are completed by shared building amenities, including a laundry room, children’s play space, larger kitchen, and communal tables, which are located in common spaces on each floor.

Local regulations needing modification to build this proposal:
Minimum Unit Size
Density Controls
Side Yards

Read more in Domus