Team Of Blesso Properties, Bronx Pro, Hollwich Kushner (HWKN), And James McCullar Architecture Named Finalist In New York City's adAPT Competition

Jan 24, 2013, 23:52 ET from Blesso Properties

NEW YORK, Jan. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In July 2012, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) launched adAPT NYC, a program to develop a new model of housing for New York City. HPD shortlisted five proposals, including 'Max', a concept by real estate developers Blesso Properties and Bronx Pro Group, with design by HWKN Architects and James McCullar Architecture. Though the City awarded the project to another proposal, it recognized as a finalist the innovative approach taken by the 'Max' team. The adAPT NYC finalist proposals will be showcased in the Making Room exhibition running through September 15th at the Museum of the City of New York.

MAX represents a new way to live in the city. The building is a community incubator, packed with public spaces to work, hang out and network. The 56 apartments are small, but utility doesn't mean compromise. These efficient machines for living are arranged around a vertical public core, topped by a "hat" of rooftop amenity space, giving Max its unique disposition. Max wants you to make friends, have a drink, socialize, and expand beyond your four walls. 

"Turning the typical skyscraper on its head, establishing amenity spaces where typically the high-priced penthouse apartments are located, changes everything. It unites and empowers the community."
– Matthias Hollwich; HWKN

The team for this proposal was created through the partnership between real estate developers Blesso Properties and Bronx Pro – two firms with complementary successes and expertise. The team looks forward to implementing the concepts it developed for adAPT NYC, in future projects in New York and elsewhere.

"Shared resources, community building, and environmental sustainability have always been integral drivers for our projects. We're delighted that the Mayor and the City share these concerns and embrace them as opportunities. Housing needs today are very different than they were 50 years ago yet the industry's mindset, and hence our housing stock, has not evolved. Our housing needs will continue to evolve, and we're excited to operate at the forefront of this discussion."
Matthew Blesso; Blesso Properties

Max is designed to be a community icon for a new way of living, questioning the typical rules of residential development. The lobby is a hub that is connected to retail and a community space downstairs. Moving up through the building is a social experience that is composed of double-height spaces for gathering, collaborating and socializing. At the top of the building, an amenities space is given over to community uses such as a gym, hot tub and climbing wall. The building's mass tapers at the crown to maximize visibility from the street. It is covered in foliage to create a visual connection to the surrounding park and physically connect the inhabitants to nature.

"For us it was crucial to create both a new way of living and an icon to communicate this new lifestyle to the larger city. Max takes advantage of city regulations regarding height and setbacks to create a unique kind of crown. The Chrysler Building and Empire State Building have their needles. The Citigroup Building has its angle. We designed Max's hat to define the micro-living movement and create a roofscape of amenities for the residents of the building."
Marc Kushner, AIA; HWKN

HWKN designed each of Max's micro-units to feel big within a small footprint. Features such as a built-in bed, sofa and storage reduce furniture costs and clutter. Every apartment at Max is exactly the same size in 4 different layouts. Every inhabitant lives in a micro-unit. There is no hierarchy in Max. Of paramount importance to Max's design was accessibility – both financial and physical. Every single apartment at Max is completely handicapped accessible. As an older demographic moves back to the city, micro-units in projects similar to Max will offer solutions for seniors on fixed incomes looking for a social place to live.

"Our development team is united by a commitment to finding new ways to build community connections and invest in innovative housing models. Max is a reflection of that commitment and it answers the challenge of how New Yorkers will live sustainably and collectively in the future. We are honored to be a part of this historic RFP and to meaningfully contribute to the fresh look at New York City living proposed by Making Room and the Adapt RFP."
Samantha Magistro, Bronx Pro


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Matthew Hoffman

For questions related to development:
Joseph Gabriel


The adAPT NYC RFP, conducted by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), invited developers to submit proposals for the design, construction, and operation of a building of "micro-units" in Manhattan. The project serves as a pilot program to develop a new model of housing to adapt to the City's changing demographics. HPD identified 5 finalists including the team formed by Blesso Properties, Bronx Pro, HWKN, and James McCullar Architecture. The adAPT NYC finalist proposals will be showcased as part of the Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers exhibition through September 15th at the Museum of the City of New York.

For information on the City's adAPT NYC initiative:

For information on the Making Room exhibit:

SOURCE Blesso Properties