Award of Merit
Owner: Fisher House Foundation Inc.
Lead Design Firm: DesignTech Associates
General Contractor: Plaza Construction
Civil Engineer: Draper Aden Associates
Structural Engineer: HTK
MEP Engineer: AKF Group
Interior Designer: Abbiente Design
Building the nonprofit Fisher House Foundation’s two 16-bedroom houses—where military and veterans’ families can stay free of charge while a loved one is receiving care at the James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center in the Bronx—was no typical homebuilding effort. It required considerable logistical skill thanks to challenging site conditions.
The team built the two-story, 12,500-sq-ft houses on a sloping site that called for removal of unsuitable soils as deep as 12 ft, requiring careful excavation and construction of a 22-ft-long retaining wall. The two-acre site also offered no staging area for the project, which includes handicapped-accessible gardens and outdoor gathering areas.
To address space constraints and the need for just-in-time materials delivery, the team opted to prefabricate the houses, which in addition to bedrooms feature common kitchens, laundry facilities, dining and living rooms, libraries and gaming-equipped playrooms.
The Tudor-style architecture’s intricate geometry and multiple roof levels and pitches were not the standard design for prefabricated work, requiring considerable planning and erection sequencing.