New York City is undergoing a cultural shift away from the automobile, and designers Lawrence Zeroth, Jack Phillips, Brian Schulman and Eugene Lubomir have come up with a clever proposal to transform car lifts into housing pods. Space is at a premium in NYC, and the UpLIFT proposal would ensure that empty parking spaces don’t go unused. The prefabricated panels are made from recycled materials and can be configured to take advantage of the site’s solar access, through drafts and opportunities for rainwater collection.

Continue reading below
Our Featured Videos
one-person apartments, sustainable apartments, low-cost apartments

The designers presented upLIFT for the HOME competition run by Building Trust International. The competition called for a $30,000 single-occupancy home within an urban area of a developed country and suggested that the homes might be geared towards people who are mentally or physically impaired, the elderly, people who have experienced homelessness or young people who might not otherwise have been able to live independently. This is a familiar issue for the New York-based team, as many of the city’s residents having to live in shared accommodation because of the high cost of apartments. Recognizing that the structure was a large part of the cost of creating apartments, the team set out to simplify things.

UpLIFT is prefabricated offsite using injection-molded panels made from recycled plastics. The light-weight panels are then delivered by truck to the parking garage and hoisted into place using the carlift. The pods can be created independently leaving parking spaces that are not occupied by a pod, free to be used as parking.

+ Eugene Lubomir