Project Description

Acquired by Common Ground, this six-story cubicle hotel built on Manhattan’s Bowery circa 1900 was extended to nine stories to accommodate 146 short-term living units, including 138 units of Safe Haven transitional housing reserved for individuals served by Breaking Ground’s Street to Home program and other outreach programs. The design of The Andrews incorporates design elements that address clients’ concerns regarding issues such as privacy and personal space, thereby gaining their trust and ultimately helping to foster their transition to permanent homes.

Common Ground
New York, NY
Structural Engineering

Evaluating the Existing Conditions

The original building was not a likely candidate for augmentation due to the Bowery’s soft soils, cast-iron columns, lack of existing documentation, known assemblies and present condition. DRPILLA thoroughly investigated the building and, with specific consideration of construction phasing, created a cost-effective design and program to meet the project’s ambitious goals. Throughout construction, the building remained open to its occupants.

Strengthening the Existing System to Allow for Vertical Expansion

Upon our evaluation, the existing foundation was found to be comprised of large boulders which formed a “mat” foundation. We determined this system to be inadequate to support the addition of four new floors. To overcome this challenge, we devised a strategy that allowed for additional imposed loads without comprising the structural integrity of the building. The existing building was analyzed as a three-sided masonry tube for lateral loads. The front façade was completely removed and rebuilt. Existing cast iron columns were left in place a bolstered. The new floors were constructed of cold-formed metal framing to decrease weight.