“Big Ideas Small Lots” Exhibition

The Center for Architecture

poster for “Big Ideas Small Lots” Exhibition

This event has ended.

The Center for Architecture presents the exhibition Big Ideas Small Lots. The exhibition, organized in collaboration with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), presents the five finalists of the Big Ideas for Small Lots NYC competition, which sought innovative solutions to transform difficult-to-develop properties into affordable housing.

“This city has long been at the forefront of urban planning, and has always pushed the envelope to foster bright and innovative ideas. We are building upon that legacy to unlock new ways to solve the affordable housing crisis through design,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “I thank the team at AIANY for their partnership throughout this process, and I congratulate our finalists on their winning designs. We look forward to reviewing the proposals, for a fresh take on what affordable housing can look like in New York City.”

Dozens of small and irregular lots stand vacant in New York City. These lots, some owned by the City, are considered too small and too difficult to develop by conventional means, yet they are too large to ignore, especially amid a shortage of affordable housing. Looking to the design community for fresh solutions, in early 2019 HPD and AIA New York organized a design competition, Big Ideas for Small Lots NYC, to explore new affordable housing options for 23 small, oddly-shaped lots scattered across the city.

The competition invited architects and designers from around the globe to submit proposals that demonstrated excellence in design for small-scale, urban infill affordable housing that could be replicated across various contexts.

Five finalists’ designs rose to the top of the 444 proposals from 36 countries across five continents that HPD received over the two-month submission period. A panel of nine jurors evaluated submissions for distinct design, replicability, and construction feasibility.

The finalists include:

“Mass Green Living” by Anawan/101 + Kane AUD
“Greenfill House as Garden” by Michael Sorkin Studio
“Fold and Stack” by OBJ
“Only If” by Only If Architecture
“More with Less” by Palette Architecture
The five finalist teams are working with HPD to convert their winning designs into viable affordable housing development proposals. To assist the teams in developing their proposals, HPD is facilitating a series of workshops, networking opportunities, and other tools throughout this process.

The exhibition at the Center for Architecture, curated by architectural historian Gideon Fink Shapiro and designed by Manuel Miranda Practice, explores the challenges and opportunities for small-lot infill housing. Explanatory texts and diagrams describe infill development in New York City and explain how the city categorizes irregular lots. A wall of “big ideas,” from novel co-housing models to modular components and shared amenity spaces, offers a glimpse of the creative vision behind the design proposals received by the competition jury. Above all, Big Ideas Small Lots offers a deep dive into the five finalist projects, ultimately providing new ideas for infill development that is at once economically viable, environmentally sustainable, and contextually appropriate. The exhibition also showcases an installation of products by Resource Furniture, a company that specializes in space-saving furniture for modern urban consumers.



from August 01, 2019 to November 02, 2019

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