|JUROR COMMENTS || ||This project is exemplary for its pragmatism, responsibility and sensibility. It is a straightforward and component architectural solution, and not a purely formal response. It is a realistic project that would serve the community well, as it responds extremely well to the need for affordable housing in Brooklyn. This project demonstrates a sophisticated understanding of the mixed-use program, and the scheme responds well to the site, the street, and solar orientation. The sun shading strategy is well done, as it allows sun to stream into the building on the northern edge of the site. However, this project does not push the envelope in terms of timber construction building codes. There are missed opportunities to use timber for long spans, but overall the design is a solid, workable timber solution and extremely believable. |
|DESCRIPTION || ||Set along the waterfront of Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood, The Habitat provides a dynamic new mixed-use complex that will revive the area by activating the surrounding community and reinvigorate the manufacturing and housing sector, without compromising the unique identity of the area. |
The Habitat at Red Hook contains 175 studio, one, two, and three bedroom affordable living units over ground floor commercial space aimed at providing new resources for residents and the neighborhood. Each prefabricated unit is constructed on a 12.5’ x 25’ module that is assembled on site in the wood and digital fabrication shops on the ground floor. Structural insulated panels (SIP’s) form the walls of the units, which cut down on fabrication time and offers thermal and acoustical insulation.
The prefabricated units are transported from the shop to the loading dock and hoisted into place by a crane. Glue laminated beams form a wood pedestal above the ground floor which supports the load of the units above. Assembling every unit on site saves time and money, reduces construction waste, and cuts down on carbon emissions by eliminating transportation demands. The vertical stair and elevator cores in the project are fabricated from cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels that reduce the weight of the overall structure.
The south facades of The Habitat are fabricated from recycled wood pallets that are normally discarded after being used to transport goods. These pallets form an operable façade, controlled by the residents, to provide each unit with varying degrees of sun shading and privacy throughout the day.
To maximize the efficiency on site, the wood and digital workshops were combined into a single entity on the ground floor. This allows for job training, education, and manufacturing to take place in one location along Van Dyke Street. The bicycle parking, storage, and workshops are located along Beard Street.
Due to the large programmatic requirements, there was risk of creating a building that overpowered the site and the surrounding low-rise buildings. To mitigate this problem, the massing of the project was divided and split into two “bars”. A four-story and six-story bar contain all 175 residential units. Stepping down the massing of the building to the south permits more natural light to enter the center of the site and the units to the north. An elevated public walkway, and resident gardens, which serve as an extension of the adjacent Red Hook Community Farms, transverse the site from east to west and connect the two bars of housing.
In 2012, Hurricane Sandy resulted in massive flooding and property damage to the neighborhood of Red Hook. In order to safeguard against future hurricanes and flooding, a conscious decision was made to elevate the wood construction off of the ground and provide concrete construction within the flood plane. Another precaution against future damage is the operable wood pallet screen on the south facing facades of the building, which can be fully close in the event of a storm to prevent against property damage caused by flying debris.