The Cooper Union
School of Architecture


Social housing in a 95% already-developed new area.

READY TO USE – the best apartment is not the bigger apartment, it is the apartment that is ready to live in.

  • The apartment is ready for the person to plug him/herself in. Human functions and space distribution is not limited but marked, while not having furniture one can recognize and imagine easily living on the place.
  • Space is scaled to human recognizing the person in it before actually there.

The builling creates custom spaces with no waste. In our view, existent buildings are standard, that is, they have volume but no form, and while being efficient, they produce leftovers around them.

The form of the building is the result of customizing a volume that is changing due to site conditions. The building produces free space along the three axis: X,Y,Z. Along the road, join the park with the square, across the existant buiding became a bridge , up to let space free to be liberated. By its opening frame existant buidlings offering views to a monotonous site.

Standard and customized
On the grund, a random pattern makes a uniform carpet. The pattern contains the inprints of the existent buildings plans, reduced in scale. In living units the same package with functions is repeated but changes in each case.

Function and Space
Space for function is separated from space for nothing, or space on itself. This way space for function gets concentrated liberating “the other” space from the need of being functional and have a use.

The building as landscape
The building is important for people living in it and for nearby residents. It provides views and ground that the area lacks. It offers ground for adjacent building residents. It works at the scale of the site and at the scale of the person.

In contrast with the monotonous façades of adjacent buildings, our façade is a landscape in itself. Many layers: windows-panel-courtains on the south façade and windows to the north. The windows create a grid with different levels of transparency related to how close surrounding buildings are.

Angel Borrego, Sony Devabhaktuni, Jana Leo

Assistant Professor, Adjunct Faculty