An international ideas contest is being held to devise low-cost housing solutions for average-income citizens in New York City (Deadline: 23 February)
The competition seeks flexible proposals for new housing concepts with minimal impact on land and resources, which could be delivered on various sites across the city to increase the available housing stock and support sustainable population growth.
Submissions may focus on any site, be of any size and be tailored to any individual needs, but should be innovative and easy to construct. Schemes that reinvent disused inner-city spaces and avoid suburban sprawl are encouraged.
According to the brief: ‘New Yorkers have a “crisis of affordability” on their hands. This is a crisis built upon the success that the city has had in recent decades. These years have made the city safer, and more appealing, for people from all over the world to come and start businesses, studies, and their lives.
‘Diversity is part of the fabric from which New York City was cut, so it is becoming ever important to ensure that New York is open for all, regardless of background.’
New York City is the United States’ most populous city with around 8,550,405 residents in a 790km2 area. The city has a housing crisis due to a shortage of affordable homes, rising rents and high property prices. More than 30 per cent of renting households spend more than 50 per cent of their incomes on housing.
Submissions to the competition may focus on disused sites at 59 West 128th Street (pictured), 821 1st Avenue, 225 West 28th Street, 545 West 37th Street, East River Waterfront Esplanade, Hunter’s Point South or any other location.
The competition is organised by BeeBreeders and supported by the New York Build 2017 expo, which showcases architectural projects in the local area. Judges include John Paul Rysavy and Daniel Jacobs of New York-based SHoP Architects, Brittany Utting from Thomas Phifer and Partners, and Jenna Dezinski from the University of Texas and Austin.
The overall winner, to be announced on 15 March at the New York Build 2017 expo, will receive a $3,000 prize, and there will also be a second prize of $1,500, third prize of $750 and two $500 ‘Rising Star’ and ‘NYB Green’ prizes.
How to apply
The deadline for submissions is 11.59pm GMT on 23 February
Early Bird Registration from 3 January to 18 January: $90 for professionals and $70 for students
Advance Registration from 19 January to 8 February: $120 for professionals and $80 for students
Last Minute Registration from 9 February to 23 February: $140 for professionals and $90 for students
Y:Cube case study: Q&A with Andrew Partridge
The associate partner at Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners discusses lessons learned designing new low-cost affordable housing for Mitcham, south-west London
How did your Y:Cube project create a new type of affordable housing for London?
We were very fortunate to work with the YMCA in developing the Y-Cube. It was a move-on concept from its hostel for single people to live independently, becoming key workers. Using a volumetric fully finished, timber construction, system proved very effective in its efficiency and adaptability. From the Y-Cube, single person units with a net internal area of 28m², we have gone on to create Place Ladywell, a development of two-bed, four-person 77m² units in collaboration with Lewisham Council.
Which architectural, material and other methods did you harness?
The manufactured approach allows us to keep the project team small and responsive – just client, consultant and manufacturer. It is this simple process and the adaptability of timber construction that makes the product so effective. Production does not rely on automation, just computer cutting and people.
What advice would you have on designing new types of affordable housing for New York?
Keep the construction and process simple. Be generous with storage, floor to ceilings, and access to natural light. Social spaces/interactions are critical to the development. Engage with the end user as soon as possible in the process. Make it interactive and fun.