The building is nestled in what once was one of the most densely populated immigrant working-class neighborhoods in the world and which gave birth to the baleful dwelling typology of the “tenement building”.
The Lower East Side, where the building is located, is loaded with historic and landmark buildings that still today evoke images of dark streets with firescapes and rows of laundry. But the neighborhood is changing; it is now a vibrant destination, full of cultural life with small museums, galleries, coffee shops, restaurants, boutiques and residential developments in widespread.
However, most of this transformation has occurred at street level, and therefore, the main idea behind the project is how to connect the upper interior spaces with the vibrant exterior.
The project consists of the recycling/ addition to a former 4 story tenement building, the new program introduces a commercial store distributed in 3 levels and 7 residential units in the floors above.
Despite the verticality of the narrow lot, this new structure makes evident the relationship to the context by replicating the horizontality of the window openings of the neighbor buildings. This dominant feature connects the new interior spaces with the street life; when fully open, each living room becomes a recessed covered terrace thus bringing the outside in.
The curved interior corridor at every floor breaks the rigidity of the plan thus introducing a less obvious path of circulation where the movement through the spaces provides unexpected views from within.