New Residential Development in Brooklyn – RESIDENTIAL COMPONENT

New Residential Development in Brooklyn – RESIDENTIAL COMPONENT

A rather special apartment building design by SimpleTwig Architecture.llc, the concept focuses on making the most of the apartment quality, from the moment one steps off the elevator to the moment one sits down on their sofa, the design seeks to maximize living space while minimizing other spaces without compromising quality living.

This article explores the basic layout of the entire apartment floor plan level, which will be supplemented by images of the actual units tomorrow, since we have so much to share on this project.  This article also corresponds to two additional articles, one on the parking facilities, and the other on the retail, garden and street level planning of the project.  All together, this is how one should make a fully integrated project that makes the most of tenant spaces, provides the community with a special building and provides the owner with a building that is easy to build, maintain and sustain.

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New Residential Development in Brooklyn – RETAIL COMPONENT

New Residential Development in Brooklyn – RETAIL COMPONENT

We’re putting the final touches on a 40 unit residential project in Brooklyn.  It is pretty special in that the project keeps part of an old theater facade and uses it to announce the retail component of the project, through awnings and little local vendors which can casually set up their wares below the awnings.  The extra traffic and attention will be a boost for the anchor tenant who has a commanding view of this important residential corner.

This project is split into 3 articles, released the 8th of September, the 10th and the 12th.

Come on in and we’ll show you around…

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The Ultimate Shared Living Suites – FOR DEVELOPERS

The Ultimate Shared Living Suites – FOR DEVELOPERS

This version is for the smaller walkup building of 25’x60′ in order to fit the programmatic components comfortably. It provides a way for a developer to accommodate more people within a building footprint and thus increase the yearly income.

The concept is simple, take what would normally be a three bedroom apartment and change it to 4 shared living suites where individuals get their own private suite, complete with a private bathroom, bedroom and living space, and then share only the kitchen and other building amenities.  For a 5 story walkup, the potential is for 19 ‘bedroom suites’ versus the conventional 5-3 bedroom apartments.  It is simple math from this point to understand that the suites are occupied with working adults while 2/3’s of the bedrooms from a standard apartment are occupied by children, or, that home office.

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Shared Living Suites – Semi-Apartments within an Apartment

Shared Living Suites – Semi-Apartments within an Apartment

SHARED APARTMENT LIVING

This layout option is for the Homeowner, who may not be willing to invest in our ultimate walkup shared living layout which has initial higher upfront costs with a higher return over a longer period of time making it more appropriate for the developer.  This version is more of a straight forward apartment with shared bathroom, kitchen and living rooms with more modest sized suites, the ultimate version to be released soon has individual suites with their own bathrooms and only a shared kitchen, the living areas are within each suite.

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Top 5 Things the City of Newburgh Should Do Now.

With several hundred vacant buildings in Newburgh, NY owned by the city, the city needs to take drastic action to stop the decay and reverse the momentum immediately.

While the excuses of lost jobs, crime and the effects of urban renewal can be reflected upon, the lack of motivated intelligent and experienced direction is at the heart of the city’s failures. I too hear the voices of ‘oh I hope someone renovates this majestic structure one day’ and while everyone can share this sentiment it just isn’t enough to affect actual change, for if the city does not drastically modify its approach and attitude all those structures which hold so much potential will eventually need to be torn down, leaving more ‘urban renewal’ effects dotted throughout the city and thus further contributing to the decline of the city. The dam has broken and the water is all but gone.  First step, repair and strengthen the dam in a way that is more self-maintaining, in order to prevent decay or a breach in the future… so the water may once again fill in the cavity.

The following are the five most important things the city can do to begin to stop the negative momentum and change people’s perception of the city as one of opportunity.

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Accommodating Population Growth for the New City of Tomorrow

Accommodating Population Growth for the New City of Tomorrow

A followup on the SimpleTwig article ‘Time, Not Distance, Determines Development of Cities‘ we need to take a moment to review the existing density of New York City, as an example to show that people reside in the area that physically puts them closer to where they work, in this case Manhattan.  While this is probably obvious to most, one can not assume everyone understands the organic growth of cities.

While it would be nice for everyone to live and fit in Manhattan, or for that matter in a location that has a view of it’s beautiful skyline, it isn’t always possible given the cost of property, and, the lack of availability of housing stock.  This means, with an ever growing population, alternatives must be addressed.

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Dog Parks in Brooklyn (Map)

We, at SimpleTwig Architecture, put together a Google Map of Dog Parks in Brooklyn.

Anyone can edit the map and hopefully add new sites and photos.  It’s a great tool for finding new Dog Parks in your area, and adding additions.

UPGRADES:

The Department of Parks will consider upgrading existing dog parks if a plan can show certain amenities, like a gate(s), lighting, water, fencing, suitable ground surface, etc.

 

NEWS:

Currently Prospect Park is considering adding a dedicated dog park on the East side. Called the Kensington Run. Read More: http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/40/13/dtg-kensington-dog-run-designs-revealed-2017-03-31-bk.html

 

LINK to MAP:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1e7tobrv1MA9hvE_vprFTWqloAnk&usp=sharing

 

If you have suggestions, please comment.  We’re more than happy to update as required.

Time, Not Distance, Determines the Development of Cities

Time, that is the time it takes to travel to a job, determines where people focus on in their search for a place to live.  Thus a city like New York City has it’s own CBD (Central Business Districts) of Midtown and Downtown, with extensions on the upper East/West Sides and infill throughout, along with growing CBD developments along the river banks of the Hudson and East Rivers, especially with regards to Newark, NJ and Downtown Brooklyn, NY.

When it comes to choices for a residence, there is a curve of acceptable ‘time to commute’ for a particular job.  Those on the outskirts of this curve might travel 2 or 3 hours each way, not because they want to but only as a necessary evil in their life to pursue their own interest and priorities. This is why the current commuter system fails, in that providing express service is just not enough to harness the potential of land just beyond the more acceptable half-hour commute, and why there needs to be ‘super express’ service to new core areas to help increase housing and opportunities while providing the ‘time connection’ people demand for their daily lives.

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Helping Cities Grow: What to do.

Helping Cities Grow: What to do.

An important issue for many cities dealing with circumstances initiated by others in the past, like a blighted looking city filled with parking lot scars, etc. From my experience I’ve witnessed many cities do the wrong thing in order to encourage development. The point of this post is, if you do something, it could have a negative impact on your city, so make sure you do the right thing. Read more

The Future City, Our Future Life

Hastened by the rapid growth of humans on this earth, our needs far outpace our ability to think rationally about what is required by us and what is required by our earth. It must be understood that we can not just allow our cities to bleed out and merge with other urban areas indefinitely for a multitude of reasons, the loss of nature, the total inefficiency in first building and then maintaining such a beast, and the probable lack of quality housing which itself needs maintaining.

So if we set goals, perhaps we can address the real issues facing our society.

1) To build in such a way to allow infrastructure to be easily maintained, first by limiting how much infrastructure we build by building it ‘more efficient.’

2) To provide housing that in it’s core can be refurbished without extra effort, to ensure it’s bones serve future generations.

3) To preserve nature, both on the outskirts of urban areas but to incorporate it into those areas.

4) To build housing that serves all the needs of humans, of privacy versus public, of closed versus open, of fully functional while relaxing, interconnected while remaining unique an special in it’s place.

5) To create infrastructure that has built in a highly efficient transportation system for all things, goods, people, utilities, in such a way that they inherently can ensure weather and the elements that normally cause decay, and to do so in a way to encourage identity rather than ubiquitousness.

6) To reinforce hierarchy within our urban environments, to encourage pride and identity of one’s place, in order to help with it’s maintenance.

7) To create vehicular systems that allow quick transportation of all individuals without the need of individual vehicles, but to also offer the infrastructure to support vehicles that can be securely storage from criminal activity and weather, to help ‘ween off’ individuals from their dependency.

8) By removing vehicles from the street scape, to encourage nature scapes within all communities, to fully integrate nature and the urban environment in such a way that reinforces safety and beauty.

While there is always the danger of creating a ‘utopian idea’ that is doomed for failure, the notion that we shouldn’t think about how we plan for the future is pure folly and has obvious ramifications, like heavy taxes to afford maintenance of the monster, air and environmental pollution, horrible neighborhoods and housing, dangerous streets due to overcrowding of vehicles, etc.  There is a way to take what we know about urban living and infuse this with new concepts that both respect the human individual, the environment and the mechanism that is the city to create a balance that is truly functional and beautiful.  Why wouldn’t us humans try to achieve exactly this?

In future  posts, I will break this down with examples for each item, to begin to establish in concrete terms what it means to use efficiency to create a better more affordable world.