A tier above: New York makes prefab cool again

25.07.2013 New York : Affordable Housing : Multi-storey Building

New York – The first concrete and steel, multi-storey prefabricated building in New York is under construction in the Inwood neighbourhood at the far northern tip of Manhattan.

The seven-storey building, The Stack, is designed to address a pressing need ignored by most Manhattan development – to increase the supply of mid-range housing in the city. Prefab construction methods have made the project about 15% cheaper than traditional buildings, and will shave about five months off the typical construction phase, reducing labour costs.

Architects Gluck+ designed the building to include 56 modules, built in Pennsylvania and shipped into the city for construction. Once assembled, the building will have open-floor plans that architects can easily customise with partitions. The façade’s contemporary design avoids the bland conformity that many associate with traditional prefab housing.

Architect Peter Gluck believes prefabrication could help rejuvenate the city’s ageing supply of affordable housing in areas that otherwise would not see development.

For more on how architects are taking advantage of unused urban spaces, see our Symbiotic Architecture microtrend.

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