Only If—

is a New York City-based design practice for architecture and urbanism.

Big Ideas for Small Lots

Big Ideas for Small Lots

Many of narrow and irregular lots in New York City represent the unfortunate legacies of urban renewal and abandonment. The potential of new buildings on these lots raises the question of how to fit 21st century housing into an early 20th century architectural context. On the one hand, the proposed design appears different and new; acknowledging contemporary housing types, construction, needs, and densities. On the other hand, the design addresses its neighbors through the reintroduction of the stoop, with its social function of mediating the public and domestic and the alignment of brick patterning and texture to adjacent decoration.

Mixing and Density on Small Lots

New York City’s contemporary housing crisis is fundamentally an issue of quantity, but also a crisis of imagination. The conventional formulations of studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom seem to lag behind contemporary demographics and changing realities of family, sharing and co-habitation. The proposal strategically avoids the infrastructure of bigger buildings such as an elevator, resulting in an efficient and compact vertical core. This, in turn, provides more space to vary its 7 units, which range from a micro-studio with a front stoop, to studios and loft studios, to a one and two-bedroom unit. This mixture is envisioned to create a stronger community of diverse residents. Within each unit, a thickened wall of prefabricated components addresses the challenges of small units and accommodates services, storage, kitchens, and circulation within loft units.

Project Information

Type Residential
Location New York, NY
Status Open Competition, 2019 (winner)
Scale 5,900SF
Rendering Tegmark
Team Karolina Czeczek, Adam Frampton, Cynthia Wang, Wo Wu

Selected Press and Publications

The Wall Street Journal 05/13/19 (online) & 05/14/19 (print)

Curbed 05/15/19

6sqft 05/15/19

Archdaily 05/15/19

Brooklyn Daily Eagle 05/15/19

Fast Company 05/15/19

Smart Cities Dive 05/16/19

Designboom 05/19/19

Archinect 05/21/19

Untapped Cities 08/08/19

Engineering News Record 08/13/19

Crain’s 11/06/19

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