New York: The City Rebuilds, Redefined and Reimagined
New York City: 2001 - 2011 | The City Rebuilds | The City Redefined | The City Reimagined
Photo © Frank Oudeman

Nehemiah Spring Creek Housing

Alexander Gorlin Architects

Brooklyn, New York
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Completion Date: Phase 1 finished June 2009; Phase 2, June 2011

Owner: Nehemiah Housing Development Fund Company

Program: An affordable housing development with two-, three-, and four-story town houses (1,600, 2,400, and 3,200 square feet, respectively). So far, 248 homes spanning four city blocks are complete; an additional 330 will be added by 2014. The row houses occupy approximately 30 acres on the site of a former landfill in East Brooklyn. Spring Creek is designed for first-time home buyers (who receive a subsidy from the city) and developed by the Nehemiah housing program, named for the Old Testament prophet who rebuilt Jerusalem.

Design concept and solution: Aiming for a modern, affordable take on tradition, Alexander Gorlin Architects wanted the development's long blocks of residences to evoke classic Brooklyn row houses. They based the design around a 20-by-40-foot module. Made from steel frames, fiber cement siding, concrete floors, and steel-stud roof structures, the modules are trucked to the site and lifted by crane into stacks of two, three, or four, depending on the house size. To channel the typical Brooklyn town house, the architects elevated the front doors to give each unit a stoop that opens directly onto the sidewalk. A range of facade types, some of them incorporating bay windows, and a palette of 12 different siding colors add variety to the streetscape.

Total construction cost:
$19 million

1501–1505 St. Marks Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Alexander Gorlin Architects
137 Varick Street, Suite 501
New York, NY 10013
T(212) 229-1199
F (212)206-3590

September 2011
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