Oculus - Fall 2015 - (Page 38)

feature Support System, Modular Style A new supportive housing project brightens a South Bronx neighborhood B Y L I N DA G . M I L L E R Linda G. Miller is a New York City-based freelance writer. 38 Oculus Fall 2015 ©Aislinn Weidele colorful new supportive housing project is a beacon in a sea of mostly monochromatic brick and vinyl-sided buildings in the Morrisania section of the South Bronx. Designed by James McCullar Architecture, 3361 Third Avenue is a 37,102-square-foot, seven-story structure clad in metal panels of reflective silver, muted champagne, dove, and slate-gray. Bright red and blue metal accents outline expansive nine- by seven-foot windows. Nicknamed the "LEGO building" by locals because of its brightly colored modules, the LEED Gold project also features a rear yard and rooftop garden for use by the resident urban gardeners. For some of the residents, who began moving into the 62 units in August, the approximately 300-square-foot studios could very well be the first place they can call their own. The residence is owned and operated by Services for the UnderServed (SUS), a non-profit agency that provides housing and support services for formerly homeless and other qualified residents. Knowing the needs and desires of the residents to form "community," John Shuman, SUS's director of design, collaborated with James McCullar, FAIA, and his team on the project's design. For the deep but narrow site, McCullar envisioned two residential pavilions connected by a lobby overlooking a communal courtyard. After a tour of Capsys, the Brooklyn Navy Yard-based fabricator of modular units, the client and design team were convinced that for efficiency and budgetary reasons, modular construction was the best way to go. Since the site is below street level, the steel-framed modules could be supported on the lower-level concrete foundation walls at street level to form a rigid seismic superstructure. The sunken courtyard and landscaped rear yard bring light and the feeling of airiness to the social service offices and communal indoor spaces. By locating these spaces in the lower level, the allowable FAR (floor aspect ratio) could be allocated to residential units on the floors above. While the foundations were being prepared, the 17- by 41-foot modules - the largest size that may be transported over city streets - were constructed in Brooklyn. They contain two micro-units separated by a corridor. All units came complete with standardized bathrooms, kitchenettes, and storage spaces pre-installed. They were stacked and welded together, typically seven per floor, and MEP risers were connected on site. "This was my first experience designing a modular project," says McCullar. "The integration of building systems and discipline required in modular design is very Miesian in its logic. Modules offer the opportunity to develop more expressive and cost-effective designs in combinations of a few standardized components." < ©Aislinn Weidele A Dubbed the "Lego Building," red and blue window accents and a matrix of reflective and muted gray metal panels create vibrant façades. CLIENT: A Joint Venture: Services for the UnderServed (SUS) (building owner); Strategic Development & Construction Group; BronxPro Group SPONSORING AGENCIES: New York City Department of Housing, Preservation & Development; New York State Housing Finance Agency ARCHITECT: James McCullar Architecture DESIGN TEAM: James McCullar, FAIA, Kenneth Bamburak, Richard Schafer, Karen Miller INTERIOR DESIGN: John Schuman, Services for the UnderServed (SUS) LANDSCAPE DESIGN: Starr Whitehouse, Landscape Architects & Planners STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: De Nardis Engineering Abraham Joselow, PC MEP: LEED/SUSTAINABILITY & ACCESSIBILITY: Steven Winter Associates SPECIFICATIONS: William Jacquette, AIA, CSI GEOTECHNICAL: Geo-Technology Associates ENVIRONMENTAL: Hydro Tech Environmental Corp.; NYC Office of Environmental Remediation EXPEDITER: RPO Inc. MODULAR CONSTRUCTION: Capsys Corporation GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Strategic Development & Construction Group CONSTRUCTION MANAGER: C & S Construction and Consulting Group Home Game: Winning with Housing

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Oculus - Fall 2015

First Words Letter From the President
Letter From the Editor
Center for Architecture
One Block Over
Opener: Affordability: Many Paths to a Solution
Housing for the 99%
Tower Power
An Active Market for Passive
Ahead of the Class
It Takes a Village
Support System, Modular Style
From Learning to Living
The DIY Approach to Housing
In Print
118-Year Watch
Last Words
Index to Advertisers

Oculus - Fall 2015