By Matthew McQuire
The core drivers for the proposal can be seen as a response to the changing needs of our societies and urban centers; as people continue to move towards urban centers the need to expand housing in our cities is ever present. As a result, NOCA (North of Canal) looks to suggest new possibilities for bringing residential spaces to our cities.
NOCA proposes 9 stories of new residential space constructed above an existing building on lower Manhattan’s west side. The site is situated near the terminus of Canal Street at the Hudson River and can be seen as an underdeveloped location in the context of Manhattan. The choice of NYC and Manhattan in particular as the location for the project is rooted in the notion that New York is a model for urbanism and density. NYC is a one of the densest cities on the planet and serves as an excellent contextual environment for the proposal. Manhattan is in many ways an example for cities in terms of the possibilities for high density and growing cities vertically. The proposal also looks to address issues regarding urban renewal and highlights the possibilities for recycling and adapting existing urban building stock. New York like most cities has a number of existing buildings which are underutilized or in disrepair and NOCA looks to address this.
Finally, the project highlights the possibility for using sustainable building practices in the development of urban housing. The proposal puts forth a number of sustainable building strategies including the maximization and penetration of natural light onto a floor plate and the inherently environmentally friendly nature of wood as a building material (particularity in a structural capacity).