Marked by a generous covered plaza which welcomes both impromptu gatherings and New York City’s successful NYC Greenmarket program, Modellus Novus approached this NYCHA proposal for senior-first housing as an opportunity to encourage gathering, physical activity, and a connection between indoors and outdoors. In an effort to combat the detrimental physical and mental health effects of isolation and loneliness in aging populations, the completed proposal encourages active and passive gathering at different scales throughout the space.
The project’s focus was the use of shared space to foster community. Green spaces cultivate organic interactions; a covered plaza provides a fresh air venue for large-scale events, or simply a secure place from which to watch the neighborhood; a shared dining room is naturally illuminated by a skylit roof; fresh-air living rooms allow for easy gathering directly adjacent to individual apartments; event spaces spill outside onto planted terraces; and shared recreation rooms atop the building accommodate gardening and physical activity with views over the city.
Reported percentage of seniors who regularly experience loneliness, the reason the team set out to explore the ability of a space to encourage gathering
Percentage of total square footage that is shared community space in the project
Average square footage of single apartment unit, a carefully considered figure in order to ensure personal comfort but also to encourage socializing outside of one’s home
Indoor "community gardens" housed at the top of the building, creating greenhouses with views over the city
Number of curved precast concrete panels forming the building’s facade
Easily accessible supermarkets within the neighborhood
Square footage of covered outdoor plaza, intended for use as a New York City Greenmarket location as well as impromptu community gathering point