Social Feedback Loop
Co-living has the potential to become more than housing typology. Our mission with this project focused on understanding at-risk groups (e.g. Elderly, Veterans, Immigrants, Foster Children, Handicapped, Fixed Income), considering their needs and leveraging their overlaps to increase interactions and bolster social equity. By using this methodology as a guiding principal for the project, we create a Social Feedback Loop.
Bedroom unit modules are standardized to fit the varied needs of the co-living occupants. Each bedroom unit is part of a larger module made up of three-bedroom units and a communal terrace. The communal terrace acts as bridge for micro-communities or families at each floor. In order to address the various occupant types and unit relationships, three types of bedroom modules are generated. The first module includes a lofted bed, with a desk below and tall storage for essential storage. The second module has a low bed with maximized storage above and to the side of the bed. The third module has a lofted bed with a smaller bed or crib below and a tall storage unit. Each of these modules use the same floor layout with standardized storage and beds for the prospect for these rooms to adapt and grow with their inhabitants.
Co-living effectively provides an opportunity to form a connection between these groups and give them a support system that they would not typically find in other housing types. Providing secondary programs that engage both the site tenants and local community members becomes a critical component to the Social Feedback Loop. The secondary programs are split into two groups. The first are Publicly Shared Spaces such as a Public Library Branch where tenants can learn new skills and polish their resumes, and a Communal Kitchen that documents family recipes from all around NYC for future generations. While the second type are privately shared programs such as a Montessori Daycare and a Gym. Programs like the Communal Kitchen are designed to allow the at-risk tenants to share a home cooked meal alongside everyone from Starving Artists to Wall Street Banks. Simple acts like eating together can help to break down social barriers that often act prohibitively to these groups, while the smaller privately shared programs act to create a stronger more close-knit social network for tenants.
The New York City site conditions allow for two main entrances or ‘fronts’ for the buildings: a public front porch and a neighborhood stoop. Each ‘front’ blends at the lower floors to connect the larger community spaces with the public co-living spaces. As the building grows and its footprint decreases, with the bedroom units becoming the integral to building facade’s undulating nature. By using a tower for the main co-living spaces, daylighting and views were optimized. Native plants envelope the tower to form an intricate patterning of terraces that lead to a green roof above the podium at the Front Porch. Increasing greenspace like this reduces rainwater run-off, reduces carbon dioxide, and increases tenant quality of life.