Quantitative Deduced Program for Large Residential Developments

The following analysis for ‘large residential developments’ provides the basics to determining actual quantities of varying sized dwelling units which includes both owner occupied and rentals, as well as low, moderate and high-end units. This program development is done to create a development which reinforces the fundamental composition of a vibrant community, an important part of any neighborhood.  The analysis, based on population quantities and age groups, creates a prototype model which can be applied to future residential developments. It also accommodates a small percentage of affordable housing which can be provided at little or no cost, thus responding to a growing social need and proving itself worthy, in all respects, to being an integral part of a community.

The community, both physical and psychological, wishes to achieve the feeling of an extended family, in which all its inhabitants are respected and welcomed, ensuring that no person shall be brushed away as not worthy. It is a community which embraces variety both physically (in the physical form and detail) and in its spirit, for it is variety that provide the foundation for a thriving, energetic, vibrant place. The result in all aspects reflects the best of social living.

The resulting development, containing between 300 and 1500 units, plays its part of a larger city block and street/city scape, incorporating the spirit of surrounding context and enhancing its place with connections to other parts of the city, establishing its place within the larger community.  The resulting design, much like the Boston ‘Tent City’ residential development which I designed, consists of a combination of low and mid-rise structures. And for this study I take the best of what I design there, both physically and programmatically, pushing that design technology forward using data from a variety of sources to support the resulting conclusions.

This is Part 1 of an unknown series of examinations into creating the perfect urban residential development. One that is self-sustaining, environmentally friendly and inclusive.  It hope to establish basics of program, reinforcing things all humans need to feel like they are home, welcomed, secured and proud of their habitation.

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Utility Study [part of ‘City for 50 million’ prototype]

This is a rather mundane study to illustrate one point, that by positioning utility lines in the optimum location, there is a significant savings of material, and thus of maintenance, resulting in cities that can better serve their residents needs.  But positioning of utilities, like telephone, cable, water, sewer, gas, steam and electrical is only part of the puzzle in developing a new urban prototype that will not only accommodate more people in better urban environments, but do so with less cost for maintenance into the future.

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Combining Two Properties or Condominiums in NYC

Property owners, builders, developers, architects, and engineers may request permission from both the Department of Finance and the Department of Buildings to divide (apportion) or merge (combine) lots. Approval depends on several factors including tax and zoning rules. The Department of Finance Tax Map Office is responsible for processing these requests.

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Maze Design

Part of a Resort Garden, we were asked to design a low hedge in the form of a maze, making it embody the spirit of the outdoors and embracing a family fun atmosphere.  With that, SimpleTwig Architecture proposed the following where animals, a bear, raccoon, seal, beaver and gofer all interact in a whimsical composition.

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The Functional Human, in Home Design

Homes are functional machines, although most people don’t consider this factor when designing a new home, or only as a side note.  Lets, for a moment, discuss the functional aspects of what humans have to deal with when functioning in a home solely from their point of view, and assume there is a fitting design to solve their daily and weekly tasks in order to save humans the maximum amount of time, thus providing extended opportunities to enjoy life.  This is a ‘house as machine’ examination!

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Existing Urban Block and its Inherent Shortcomings

Using New York City as an example, we can examine the typical urban residential block.  Part of a long and narrow grid it provides the basics for laying out residential and commercial districts and buildings. The American grid, with its ascending street numbers or letters, is an organizing approach meant to equalize, to account for expansion and to make navigation easy and efficient.

First we’ll look at a very early Sandborn Map surveyed as housing and other structures were filling in the blocks, analysis this in terms of road to lot ratio, housing disposition and it’s inherent pros/cons, and then explore a few property surveys to see some variations to the individual residential type in NYC.

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