Housing Acupuncture

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Students, Texture

Housing Acupuncture 

Anna Vylegzhanina



First of all, real estate is a product to sell, secondly it’s a kind of social service. The classic definition of social politics includes education, medical service, social welfare, and also a solution of housing problem. It’s connected with the necessity for person to have opportunity to have a roof over his head and his family too. People all over the world suffer from property issues.

New York is not an exception. According to real estate services, the average price is 1426$ per square foot. It’s so high because of bidding up land prices and high construction costs. Also there is logistics problem in that it is hard to deliver building materials to Manhattan island.

To reduce these factors and solve the availability crisis in New York I propose a building that fits any place. The affordable house can be placed within available space anywhere in the city. It’s structure is assembled from rails with intermodal container cells. All of the components are very cheap and easy to find and deliver.


Thanks to cellular construction type the building can take place between houses where one can choose to add or remove living cells according to his/her necessities.  Access is provide through an elevator. Elevator moves by the rails left, right, up and down. Mirror panels reflect light and the buildings around, keeping the city view the same. It allows project to suit any surrounding.

The first container is 4 meters above the ground. Construction is modular, and as such will speed up building process, whilst also requiring fewer workers and machines. Container cells are mounted to rail construction in minimal time. Construction does not change the infrastructure, people and cars can go through without any problem. Also it helps to preserves existing nature.



Who influences you graphically?

During the work I was inspired by Caruso St. John Architects and your publication. I think collage graphics give more feeling of the urban environment than other graphic styles. Also it helps me to express myself, show my vision of the whole situation I really like when simple drawings without many details can say more than realistic render.


What defined the specific view you chose to frame- how do they help to reveal specific objectives of the proposal?

The major principle of affordable housing is their ability to fit any place. I wanted to show that this specific construction blends in with the environment and doesn’t break the image of the street.

You talk about a modular that can fit in any place, how could images of your intervention within different cities have reinforced this?

I think that using such simple details as container cells and rails is the best way for affordable housing. It doesn’t matter how much free space there is between houses, the construction will fit anyway. I show a small part of the city and three sites in it where this type is possible. There are a lot of similar spaces in New York and in other cities. If all of these sites are filled with affordable units people will not have problems with housing.


To what extent might the format of this into an actual proposal (pamphlet/booklet) reinforce the urgency to address the housing problem/? 

Today the housing problem is very serious. In my opinion people have to see various solutions proposed by architects in magazines or specified booklets and they have to have an opportunity to choose the most suitable.

What are you trying to say with the interior bedroom collage? Why is this the only interior room featured?

I want to change a prejudice that affordable houses have an uncomfortable and unattractive space. Blocks in my project have modern interiors and nice views, so even people with low income can have an opportunity to live in new cozy flats and enjoy spectacular views. I think each person has his or her own idea of a perfect interior. I wanted to share my vision of a perfect living space


How could the exterior work in relation to the street? How could this have been explore more in the images?

Building volume fills empty space between houses. It makes the streets look more homogeneous without being overloaded due to mirror panels reflections. The idea will become clearer when this principle  is applied in more sites.



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