- The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY) announced the finalists of its Big Ideas for Small Lots NYC design competition aimed at developing affordable housing on small and irregular lots throughout New York.
- The finalists are “Mass Green Living” by Anawan/101 + Kane AUD; “Greenfill House as Garden” by Michael Sorkin Studio; “Fold and Stack” by OBJ; “System for Narrow Living” by Only If Architecture; and “More with Less” by Palette Architecture. Each of the finalists were selected based on quality of design, replicability and construction feasibility.
- Through a series of workshops and networking opportunities, the five finalists will work with HPD to develop and finalize proposals for their architectural concepts. The winning submissions will be highlighted through an exhibition at the Center for Architecture this fall.
More than 400 designers and architects from around the world submitted concepts to the design competition for a shot at developing affordable housing in one of the densest cities on the planet. The selected finalists broke apart from the competition with intelligent ideas for modular construction, sleek façades and the reduction of environmental footprints.
The overwhelming response to the competition could be due to the opportunity associated with developing aesthetically-pleasing affordable housing in one of the most in-demand markets in the country. In a February interview with Smart Cities Dive, AIANY President Hayes Slade called housing "one of the most pressing issues we face" in New York and other major U.S. metropolitan areas.
"As architects, this is an issue we're uniquely qualified to satisfy,” he said. “It’s an important moment and topic."
Developing affordable housing has been a top priority for many major cities to increase inclusiveness, address homelessness and improve land use. Most recently in Miami, the city released a comprehensive Connect Capital Miami report with guidelines to reach a goal of creating or preserving 12,000 affordable housing units by 2024. Similarly in Columbus, OH, the city council approved an ordinance to spend up to $5.6 million on grants to increase the housing supply and fulfill its current need of 54,000 affordable housing units.
It's likely other cities will mirror the efforts put forward by Big Ideas for Small Lots NYC to meet their own development needs through sophisticated concepts.