In October 2012, Superstorm Sandy devastated many parts of the natural and built environment in New York City. Throughout the five boroughs, many homes were destroyed or damaged beyond repair. The City of New York and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development created the NYC Houses Reconstruction Program, or “Build It Back”, to help low and moderate income homeowners.
Magnusson Architecture and Planning worked with the development team designated for ground-up rebuilding of qualifying homes in South Brooklyn and along the Bronx waterfront. The team currently has completed 5 homes, with 8 others still in construction. MAP’s prototype, which is being realized on 8 of the sites, is a small, elevated, 2-story house designed for a very tight lot that “feels large” on the interior. In the style of neighboring wood framed structures, it includes a raised front porch and accommodates parking below. A high angled ceiling over the living area and an open stair allows ample daylight and the option of an open den or 3rd bedroom. (Because of site dimensions and zoning constraints, this design was modified for some properties.) Using resilient materials and energy efficient mechanical systems, all the houses are designed to withstand future storms, and to contribute to the sustainable revitalization of their neighborhoods.