Emerging from the study of ergonomic sections of the body, this house investigates how a simple three-foot sectional shift produces both a richly varied and efficient living space. Tested against the site at the corner of Winthrop and Scranton, this simple shift becomes the driving force for both the interior organization of spaces as well as the site around it.
The break is not simply a jog in the ground plane; it furnishes the “stuff” of dwelling along its spine. The spine grows and changes from thick seating and cabinetry to small enclosures for storage and bathrooms as well as large enclosures for the bedrooms.
On the corner site, the three-foot shift provides a high, protected zone along Scranton Street that contains the living space and the bedrooms and a low zone that houses the kitchen/dining area that opens out into a side yard where the distinction between public and private continues.
As a prototype, the shifted volume is not only appropriate for a variety of sliver lots as a consequence of its mere narrowness and size, but also harnesses the action of shearing to create new possibilities for dwelling.
Architectural Design: First Year
If the main library is a civic icon, a temple of books, and an institution, then the branch library is a hyper-local outpost that is familiar and safe – an extension of the home. This project reinterprets the library as a house or villa. Rather than the grand reading room or the tower of stacks, library visitors occupy the living room, the study, the garden, and the playroom. The entire building is lifted from the site to provide a bookmobile park for the neighborhood. The reinterpretation of the library’s programmatic spaces offer a place for individual reflection as well as gathering, and encourage the Bushwick community to engage a typically austere public institution in a more casual and comfortable way.