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Our site is located in Manhattan, in a highly desirable location for many upper class and celebrity resident. An adaptive reuse of one of an old industrial warehouse into affordable housing elevates the community by re-orienting zoning, helping retain residents of lower socioeconomic status and attracting new businesses.
The concept draws from the idea of moving/shifting units. As one of many proposed future locations, this is a co-living solution, designed to preserve the integrity of the given surrounding neighborhood. It can be installed anywhere, as it is not location-specific and can be integrated into the current built environment. The basic layout is based on a structural grid into which various sized prefabricated units can be inserted. It’s an active structure providing a modular, flexible living experience for various household configurations, which learns and adjusts with every human interaction via a customizable subscription-living app.
The app allows users to access everything from their unit’s size/location/type to details of their lease application. The app provides a quick, convenient leasing system, social, economical, and sustainable living/learning incentives, community engagement notifications and all other communication necessary to connect the building tenants, owners, and surrounding community. Promoting sustainability, community engagement and co-living as a dependent system will eliminate economic and social hierarchy, providing users an affordable, engaging, diverse and customizable living experience.
The architectural decisions of this housing solution draw inspiration from Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano’s Pompidou Centre, which sets a precedent for exposing architectural structures and systems, and our project seeks to build upon this idea by exposing a new and innovative mobile housing system.
Another programmatic inspiration comes from Cedric Price’s Fun Palace and his idea of “plug-in programming.” The idea is that the program is not limited to a stationary, permanent position, but it can be plugged and unplugged, moved, altered and replaced as needed.
One possible prototype of this system, involves the entrance of the building with an opening easily accessible by delivery trucks. The central atrium is open to the weather for natural light and convenient accessing and restocking of the module units with the help of a robotic arm and pulley system similar to the logistics of the elevator shaft. The two ends of the building are designed to function as permanent amenity spaces such as kitchen and bathroom that are not typically removed and re-docked, while the roof of the existing building serves as an elevated, semi-private city lounge that is close to the street traffic and engages the neighborhood. With a green roof including solar panels and a water filtration system, the carbon footprint is reduced and utility bills are lower for the residents than conventional systems.
Since the units are able to be interchanged, replaced, and attached/detached from each other, this creates a level of flexibility necessary to keep the co-living system manageable long-term, without excessive repair/maintenance costs. Users are able to dictate their own living experience, form communities and adjust their unit formations to accommodate growing or shrinking household needs.
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