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The Vorkas Residence is an existing Row House Typology common in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens, where each house shares a common demising wall with the adjacent property. In this situation, an adjacent neighbor built out the entire bulk mass allowed by the NYC Zoning code, which broke historic cadence with the existing block and context.
To mitigate the recently created problem, the proposed design tries to respond to the pressing concern of the existing condition and resolve the lack of parity with the massing of the adjacent lots by developing a ‘projected mass’ which caps the existing volume on all sides and expands the floor area and perceived mass of the residence. This is achieved by treating the new project as “two shifting bars” that carve away at the mass to create new outdoor balconies and interstitial spaces that mitigate the masses of both neighbors while also creating new ‘found’ space for the owners. Materially the newly projected facades utilize the contextual brick in minimal way with clean detailing that overtly minimizes the mimicry of traditional details to create a contemporary response to a historic typology in New York City.