Prefab affordable townhouses have thoughtful details, subtle variation, and engage community

From New York Magazine writer Wendy Goodman: "Architect Alex Gorlin firmly believes in the modernist dream of the architect as an agent of social change.  He took me on a tour of his latest project — East New York’s Nehemiah Spring Creek — a neighborhood of prefabricated townhouses for first-time home buyers.  The process starts in this Brooklyn Navy Yard factory where the houses are constructed by Capsys. "'My goal was a modern interpretation of the traditional townhouse,' says Gorlin, who placed gas meters in concealed spots under stairs instead of in full view on the façades.  Gorlin conceptualized seven different façades in ten different colors ensuring the neighborhood has texture and variety.  It’s details like this that separate the Gorlin designs from previous Nehemiah prefabs.

"Gorlin wanted both the front stoops and the backyards to allow residents to entertain family and welcome friends.  Each house has a backyard with a car park, but residents are free to customize their space.  'These spaces have become a social center for each block, and people have embellished and personalized them,' he says."  Full slideshow with captions here.