Samuel A. Haffey Architects & Engineers, Site 7 -- "It is assumed that this project will be supported in the public sector. With that proposition in mind, our design addresses four problems.
Economic Problem: Typically, architects maintain cost control by using inferior materials and workmanship. This design controls cost by making the size of the units as modest as simple comfort will permit, and minimizing the net to gross ratio. Not only is there no "wasted" common interior space, there is no common interior space.
Security Problem: A lack of appropriate security compromises entire neighborhoods. The simplest corridor appears a labyrinth when one’s safety is at risk. In this design we propose no corridors, no hidden common areas. The nuclear communal expanse is the foremost visible characteristic common to all tenants.
Social Problem: A prerequisite for the occupancy of a certain income creates a ghetto that feeds itself. We propose that these units be occupied 50 percent by homeless and underprivileged, and 50 percent by young students and the young upwardly mobile that New York is now losing to lower rents. We propose that after five years, all tenants must move to a new location so others may enjoy these subsidized conditions.
Architectural Problem: Beyond the front facade, these buildings are essentially shelter. The facades, then, are the walls of our public streets and thoroughfares. We propose that the walls of our public thoroughfares, within which the public is confined, be the best that our architects and builders can provide. We propose that the best materials be earmarked by law, 6" stone, 1/4" stainless steel, 3/4" tempered glass etc. to promote the excellence of our built environment. Since these facades belong to the public, their erection, maintenance, and design belongs to them as well. So it should be paid for by them. In our design, the facade is independent of the shelter behind it.