Stack Exchange

STUDENTS   Buddy Burkhalter, Mingjun Yin, and Connor Irick
University of Washington

FACULTY SPONSORS   Richard Mohler and Elizabeth Golden
University of Washington

JUROR COMMENTS   This winning submission is outstanding for its inventive formal strategy and expressive use of timber. The concept of stacking volumes with core atria dropping down is very nice, creating a lot of visual depth and variation not typically found in New York City. The scale of the market and gallery spaces read as great urban rooms with the residential spaces floating above. The contrast of the dark wood exterior and the warm, glowing interior also add to the aesthetic interest of the building. The project takes advantage of mass timber and its natural partnership with modular construction, which pairs well with the project’s massing. The story of constructability presented through the diagrams is believable and there is a clarity to the structural assembly and delivery methods. Although the parti of stacked volumes is appealing, it would have acoustical issues and thermal implications from the extraneous surface area. Another technical issue is that the CLT is loaded on its weak axis. Lastly, this team was progressive in their approach to the program. There integration of communal residential spaces and areas for urban farming is great, and it is nice to see built-in, systematic environmental strategies.

DESCRIPTION   Stack Exchange celebrates the vitality and multidimensional community of the Lower East Side by referencing historical building tradition and urban context, integrating with transportation infrastructure, and advancing mass timber construction. By stacking housing similar to the lumber drying process, voids are created to allow for daylight, ventilation, and private and semiprivate amenity spaces. By connecting to the Williamsburg Bridge, Delancey Underground, and the subway, neighborhood residents and visitors from other boroughs are encouraged to engage with the site, Essex Street Market, and Andy Warhol Museum. Massing is comprised of stacked bars with voids between. Areas of double- and triple- height spaces contain the public program on ground floor. The expanded Essex Street Market is located on the western block where flexible market stalls are surrounded by permanent vendors. Half of the market is unconditioned and serves as a through block connection to the pedestrian-oriented Norfolk Street. The Andy Warhol Museum is on the eastern block and connects to the subway through a public gallery. A larger scale ground floor condition along the car-dominant Delancey Street reinforces pedestrian movement on other edges of the site. Housing levels above are organized in two typical floor plans depending on unit type. The housing bars are stacked alternately and rotate 90 degrees at every level. Stack Exchange contains double the units required by the competition to address the lack of affordable housing in the neighborhood and to reflect New York City’s existing density. Units are larger than required to promote a higher quality of residential life for all family sizes and age groups. Between the residential bars of Stack Exchange, the roofs of the floors below are used as enclosed and open-air residential amenities. On the micro unit levels, common spaces include shared kitchens and living rooms. For the multi-room apartment levels, daycare facilities and co-working spaces are enclosed between the living spaces. Exterior unconditioned spaces such as sport courts, exercise areas, and p-patches are located in the voids along the edges of each level. Vertical circulation cores provide egress and are located at the intersection points of the stacked bars. Each bar is single-loaded so that horizontal circulation is unconditioned and provides access between units and the residential bars. Stack Exchange takes advantage of the nearby construction industry and the material properties of Cross Laminated Timber. The primary structural system consists of box beams assembled from CLT panels. Each residential bar is an occupied box beam that is assembled and stacked in a modular assembly. The construction materials are delivered as a flat pack from the Brooklyn Navy Yard and assembled on the adjacent empty lot. Floor cavities house services and provide structural stiffness. Windows and doors are cut into the side of the CLT at instances where shear is the lowest. Splicing occurs over long span areas and be supported by load bearing walls at the intersections of the residential bars. Shear panels between the units resist lateral and wind loads. Residential circulation is located within the housing box beams.