Jay Street, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Open on all four sides, an unusual site at Jay Street presents an opportunity to continue our ambitious exploration of new models of living in the city. Of particular focus is the connection between indoor and outdoor space, shared and community space strategies, and ways of living efficiently in spaces that have desirable qualities other than magnitude.
Outdoor living space is an amenity frequently lacking in the city. We re-conceive private and shared outdoor space not as an exclusive privilege of a penthouse, but as a defining quality of every unit in the building.
The building conceives of outdoor spaces as extensions of living areas. Different types and scales of outdoor space wrap the plan. Balconies, terraces, front porches, and window gardens each complement and extend living areas, offering more space in warmer months, and experience of seasons and weather in cooler ones. Each scale suggests a different use: dining as a group, reading a book, hosting a garden, lending high rise living the familiarity of a brownstone.
Partially screened exterior halls, full of light, transform the typically lonely and dark journey from entry to unit into desirable corridors connecting units with pockets of space that function as front stoops. An exterior public stair provides a place of public gathering.
Subtle rotations and changes in orientation between bedrooms and living areas create opportunities for the building to capture new views across Brooklyn and provide different exposures to daylight as it changes between times of day and the year.
On its freestanding site, the building does not have a singular shape, but is defined by one that changes as you move through the city. The veil of screens that wrap the building let its exterior spaces and their life become visible, both individually, and as part of the larger community.