By Melania Mattucci (MM Architect)
The project is located in a residential lower-class complex between Manhattan and Brookyn Bridges, nestled at the southern end of the Lower East Side on the East River waterfront. The area borders with Chinatown and historically it has been an Irish and Italian district, but after the war and the building of public housing high rises in the 1950s, black and Hispanic residents moved into the area. More recently, Two Bridges has been populated by first- and second-generation Chinese immigrants. The zone comprises 12 residential buildings on 17 storeys.
The new raised part follows the typical X shape of the underlying building, it rises on 15 storeys and it includes 4 big apartments for each floor. Also interestingly, the floor between the exist and the new building constitutes a breaks with public services for residents. It comprises a gym, a nursery school, a relaxation area with library and a big terrace surrounding it. As a crowning element, the roof is predisposed for sport activities: basketball, volleyball, five-a-side football and mini golf.
The new raised part breaks the aesthetics of the neighborhood which is composed by brick buildings and it proposes a new different visual solution. It becomes a distinctive and exceptional element inside New York’s skyline to which it adds a major quality both visual and material. The new structure is completely conceptualized in wood and it shows a rigid grid in the facade which give a new geometry and proportion to the neighborhood. The load-bearing structure uses a Kerto LVL product: Kerto-S perimetral pillars which are visible in the facade and Kerto-Ripa slabs and roof that can bear weight over a long distance. This concept encourages the use of a natural material and easy availability and it consents a lower-carbon and more environmentally friendly. This wooden solution can be disassembled, it also reduces building time and pollution. In addition the modularity of the facade allows to insert photovoltaic panels.
Moreover, the arrangement of public spaces, the size of the apartments inside the extension and the spectacular view from Two Bridges area toward New York city would attract a new range of buyers to allow a different social mix and cultural exchange.
The purpose of the project is to give a new face to the Two Bridges area and thanks to the new extension create a different architectural and social experience.