No. 583 . 3 December 2014 
ArchitectureWeek

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Urban Infill Prefab

by Joseph Tanney and Robert Luntz

Although the single-family home has historically been a focal point in the exploration of architectural ideas, most people do not live in a space designed by an architect.

As a small architectural practice in New York City whose work has consisted largely of urban residential projects, Resolution: 4 Architecture’s focus has historically been the design of highly efficient, cost-effective, idea-driven spaces.

Combining this experience of efficient 1urban domestic-planning strategies with our interest in off-the-shelf products and factory-based construction processes, we have developed a strategy for the mass customization of the single-family home.

The Bronx Box

This urban infill prefab, located at the foot of the Throgs Neck Bridge on Eastchester Bay in the Bronx, was an exciting welcome-home present for the client, a veteran of the war in Iraq.

Before her deployment, it was deemed more cost effective to replace the existing neglected bungalow than to remodel. Given the site’s narrow lot, the prefabricated design was able to celebrate the constraints of its particular zoning envelope.

Due to rising waters, a new FEMA flood plane regulation required the house to sit nine feet above grade, towering over neighbors. Additional lot setbacks and height limitations yield a compact footprint while still featuring off-street parking, a small patch of green, and an expansive roof deck with stunning views of the bay and bridge.

Additionally, the colors, textures, and materials of the modern design respond to the surrounding fabric, and the house has come to be accepted as another one of the many unique personalities in the eclectic neighborhood.

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The Bronx Box is a modified version of our double-decker, Single Bar typology with an additional storage saddlebag, containing built-in cabinets along the length of the house. The compact first level contains an open living, dining, and kitchen area that flows directly onto an elevated deck.

Exterior grandstand stairs, which are the full width of the house, serve as a kind of outdoor living room and lead down to a pier that juts out into the bay. The second floor master suite features its own fireplace and balcony, and a skylight lets natural light into the bathroom.   >>>

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This article is excerpted from Modern Modular by Joe Tanny, copyright © 2013, with permission of the publisher, Princeton Architectural Press.

 
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