Affordable housing in NYC, a solution from Rich ’02

By Cynthia Rockwell

[Nathan Rich '02]Architect Nathan Rich '02, a principal of Peterson Rich Office in New York City, joined forces with co-principal Miriam Peterson and one other young architect, all three fellows at the Institute for Public Architecture, to offer "9' x 18'." This proposal offers a novel approach in New York City's efforts to create or preserve 200,000 subsidized housing units over the next ten years. In "9' x 18'," named for the size of an average parking space, the three architects reconsider how these areas reserved for cars could be reconsidered or leveraged in the face of outmoded zoning laws. They re-imagine more desirable amenities that public housing complexes might offer, instead of these measured asphalt spaces.

In a New York Times article, Michael Kimmelman explores this proposal:

What is the solution to affordable housing in New York?

One number has been repeated over and over — 200,000 subsidized units, to be built or preserved over a decade. Mayor Bill de Blasio promised it, but has yet to explain how he'll get there.

Here are two other numbers: 9 x 18. In square feet, that's 162, smaller than the most micro micro-apartment.

It is the size of a typical parking space. That lowly slice of asphalt has prompted three young architects — Miriam Peterson, Sagi Golan and Nathan Rich, fellows at the Institute for Public Architecture — to come up with what could be an innovative way to ease the housing crisis.

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Image: c/o Nathan Rich

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