New Rochelle, New York / 2013

Waterfront Gateway Housing is a collection of three discrete buildings that together contain 210 residential units. Each building is a complex assemblage of blocky, stepped bars and crystal figures, shrink-wrapped in an outer container. When some of the crystals are removed, loose-fit conditions are produced between the container and the bars within; these interstitial spaces are used for balconies or common spaces for the housing units. Some crystals and bars breach the container before being sheared off to create figural apertures on the facades. Occasionally, this shearing produces familiar ribbon windows; at other times, it reveals deep internal voids that scuttle the reading of the project as “housing.”

Seams and Patchiness

Metaseams and patchy materiality characterize the building envelopes. At times, metaseams act as joints between zones of opaque and perforated material; at other moments they freely move across surfaces and leap from building to building to establish visual coherence between them. They are not tied to a hierarchical system-to-subsystem logic, but rather exist equally and sometimes at odds with other elements in the design.


Instead of a landscape treated as if it were a passive receiver of the three buildings, this project’s ground is a set of discrete courtyards that are themselves discernible figures. Figure-ground, with its implied hierarchy, is replaced with a figure-figure-figure-figure-figure condition. The result is a new ground that refuses sentimental ideas of nature and alternatively treats ground as an object of architecture.

Location: New Rochelle, New York
Floor Area: 220,000 SF
Program: Multi-family Housing
Client: Municipal Government of New Rochelle