2017 AIA Awards - Architecture


Owner: Monadnock Development LLC

Location: New York City

The winning design for former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 2013 adAPT NYC competition, Carmel Place opened last year and set new standards as a prototype for micro living.

The competition tasked firms with responding to the city’s growing small-household population as part of the Bloomberg administration’s New Housing Marketplace Plan, which aimed to bring new options to the city’s housing market.

Carmel Place is the tallest Manhattan building constructed modularly, one of the borough’s first multiunit buildings to employ the method. Fifty-five studio apartments ranging in size from 260 to 360 square feet are all luminous and efficient, with ceiling heights over nine feet, Juliet balconies, and generous overhead storage featured in their compact footprint. Twenty-two of the units are dedicated to affordable housing, of which eight are Section 8 housing for formerly homeless veterans that includes integrated furniture.

Shared spaces, such as a gym, lounge, and public roof terrace, encourage interaction among residents on a daily basis, proving that someone who lives on their own doesn’t necessarily need to live alone.

The biggest challenge facing the design team was to shift New York’s notorious housing market in a way that could be replicated and provide positive social impact while operating under restrictive regulatory and economic constraints. With the social goals in mind, the team selected modular construction, which allowed for foundations to be constructed on site while modules were built in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. With a construction time of just four weeks, this method drastically reduced on-site noise and neighborhood disruption.

Reflecting the city’s skyline in its design, the exterior is composed of four slender stepped towers. With setbacks governing the design logic, the building’s urban form would be suitable for any city block, its range of heights and square-footage allotments creating a new framework for living small.

Additional information

Builders: Monadnock Construction, Capsys Corp (modular units)

Code Consulting: JM Zoning

Consulting Architect (competition phase): Willis DeLaCour

Engineer – Civil and Landscape: Langan Engineering

Engineer – MEP: A. Joselow, P.C.

Engineer – Structural: DeNardis Engineering LLC

Graphic Design: Project Projects

LEED Consultant: Taitem Engineering, PC

Marketing Consultant: Corcoran Sunshine


Mark Reddington, FAIA (Chair), LMN Architects, Seattle

Gregory P. Baker, AIA, HNTB Architecture, Los Angeles

David Cordaro, AIAS Representative, Urbandale, Iowa

Leslie K. Elkins, FAIA, Leslie K. Elkins Architect, Houston

Timothy J. Johnson, AIA, NBBJ, New York

William Q. Sabatini, FAIA, Dekker/Perich/Sabatini, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Adrian D. Smith, FAIA, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, Chicago

Beatrice Spolidoro, Assoc. AIA, Rothschild Doyno Collaborative, Pittsburgh

Marilyn Terranova, PhD, Interim Superintendent, Pocantico Hills CSD; Sleepy Hollow, New York

Image credits

CarmelPlace 01

Pablo Enriquez

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Carmel Place (53) 03_small

Iwan Baan

CarmelPlace(50) 04_small

Iwan Baan

CarmelPlace(55) 05_small

Field Condition