096_A Blended Home
A Blended Home is the second outcome of the ongoing research SPLENDID VACANCIES, a collection of small-scale urban housing prototypes that, occupying leftover spaces and reacting to specific conditions of different cities and their neighborhoods across the US, explore the potential of alternative ways of initiating, funding and operating buildings dedicated to housing in metropolitan centers.
As in A House Like Us, A Blended Home also uses NYC as a testing ground. The prototype occupies a public vacant lot (30’x100’) owned by New York City Department of Housing, Preservation, and Development in 204 East 124St, El Barrio (East Harlem). This part of the city is home of the largest Hispanic community in the city, which confers it a unique vibrant street life and cultural diversity.
In A Blended Home, a sort of evolved version of A House Like Us, the overall system is simplified in order to generate spaces that don’t prejudice future uses, and enhance appropriation and future evolution. Consequently, infill spaces are organized based on the combination of a basic set of cells that incorporate interchangeable functions.
In the expanded floors, these pieces float around a central programmatic element: the attached front porch.
This quintessential component of the traditional American suburban and rural home, with its outdoor nature that makes it unique, placed the private life within view of the public life, providing a space for people to engage with their community while remaining within the comfort of their own home.
When applied to an urban context, and as part of a vertical aggregation of homes, this updated version of the front porch expands the communal nature of its predecessor to become an antidote against social isolation and exclusionary forms of ownership.
A Blended Home has been exhibited at Living Continuity Research Exhibition as part of Sharjah Architecture Triennial 2023 / Sarjah, UAE / February 2023