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Housing Uncertainty

The history of public housing in the US is a history of exclusion, discrimination, patronizing moralism, and neglect. The future of public housing must be one built on inclusion, pluralism, agency, and respect. Housing must be understood as a verb, not a static noun, and must embrace the uncertainty of society’s myriad and ever-changing needs. This project proposes a tartan grid of mass timber, able to adapt to the various conditions on NYCHA’s Gowanus Houses, home to over 2,000 residents. The light and flexible system can deploy along the street-wall of the superblocks, extending existing apartments and constructing new infill supportive housing, while preserving existing mature trees and creating positively defined interior yards. Residents are empowered to adapt the framework to their individual and social needs, animating and occupying the facades.