Architecture is a memory, Manhattan is its museum. What about the ramp?
Participants are to operate a radical reformulation of Manhattan's urban fabric through the design of urban "Promenades," broadly understood as trajectories that re-configure both Manhattan's relationship with the surrounding boroughs, and the spatial narratives between (urban, personal) landmarks within it.
In this future Manhattan:
1. There are no cars (as we know them). Mobility infra-structures have to be re-conceived and as places of social and political engagement.
2. In the vein of Hilberseimer's "The Architecture of the great city" zoning laws no longer operate horizontally but vertically, promoting new relationships between the public and private spheres. Giving priority to public spaces and agriculture in the upper levels of the city, mixed use in the mid-levels, and services and infra-structure in the bottom.
3. Preservationist policies shield most buildings from intervention, but a new typological vocabulary is emerging in the in-between spaces. It's role: to avoid (or instrumentalize) the ongoing ossification of the island's architecture.
Under the above premises participants will propose “Promenades” that articulate key urban conditions within Manhattan, and between Manhattan and its neighbors. A "Manhattan Promenade" must radically re-invent the links between the following urban entities:
• A (cultural, architectural, personal) landmark.
• Street (broadly understood as the three-dimensional space between buildings, horizontal or vertical)
• A "transfer station"
• The waterfront
• A borough
As an example, the workshop proposes the Guggenheim-Astoria Promenade: a connection between the extra-mural queens and Manhattan's architectural jewel through Schultz Park and 89th Street.
The final day of the workshop will be a charette where the participants will aggregate the different Promenades into a single fictional master vision of future Manhattan.
About the Tutors
Nida Rehman is an architect, researcher and photographer, and currently a visiting faculty member in the Architecture Department at the American University of Sharjah (UAE). Her research explores the water histories of the Indus Basin. Nida received a Masters of Science in architecture and urban studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a professional degree in architecture from Cornell University. She has taught architecture studios at Beaconhouse National University in Lahore and worked as a teaching and research assistant at MIT. Her past professional affiliations include the offices of Office for Permanent Modernity (ORG) in Boston, SR Designworks in Lahore and Rafael Viñoly Architects in New York. (more info: www.nrehman.com)
Daniel Cardoso Llach is an architect, media designer and researcher currently based in Abu Dhabi and Cambridge, where he is a Presidential Doctoral Fellow at the MIT School of Architecture. His current research and work at Gehry Technologies focuses on understanding automation and software’s role in re-shaping architecture and construction practices. Daniel holds a Master of Science in Architectural Studies from MIT and a professional degree in architecture from Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá. He has lectured extensively and taught workshops internationally, on the subjects of design technology and culture. (more info: http://mit.edu/~dcardoso/www)
The Manhattan Promenades is their first collaboration.
The Guggenheim-Astoria Promenade.
No more cars in Manhattan, how will you experience the city? How do you walk through the city, how can the space reveal itself in a new way? Will Manhattan become a mummy or a memory? Manhattan Promenades wants to rethink the typology of the city and propose a new kind of monumentality. For this they look at movements and at the relation between different landscape and take issues like communication and economics (land prices) into consideration. They want to create a new a space by adding different kind of layers like history, language etcetera. Group 8 will focus on Fifth Avenue from Guggenheim to Queens and from Penn Station up to the north.
Group 8 left the studio two days ago and has not been seen afterwards.
(Update: Group 8 is located, they had been working in a room on the second floor.)
Update: Group 8 is located, they had been working in a room on the second floor.
Download the presentation panels (pdf)
The Manhattan Promenades
Radical Contextualism for a Carless City (or, Snap To Grid)
Streets are meant to be public. In our future tense Manhattan there are no cars (as we know them) and mobility and public infrastructures are re-claimed for the public sphere.
Challenging preservationist ideologies. Preservationist policies are re-formulated to allow buildings to change and die. A new typological vocabulary emerges in the in-between spaces. Its aim: to avoid (or instrumentalize) the ongoing ossification of the island's architecture.
In the vein of Hilberseimer's "The Architecture of the Great City" zoning laws no longer operate horizontally but vertically, promoting new relationships between the public and private spheres.
Reclaiming the Manhattan Street as a Public Space
What is it to be in a city with no cars? How do streets look like? What new kinds of urban space could emerge?
The Manhattan Promenades investigates these questions through a morphological reformulation of the urban grid that reclaims the space of the street for pedestrian use and configures a new network of public spaces through a selective process of urban "erosion."
- The Guggenheim-Astoria Promenade connects the extramural Queens with The Guggenheim Museum: an unexpected connection that links the highest and lowest income brackets in the city, as well as a specter of linguistic and ethnical communities. The Promenade results from the connection of a set of re-configured blocks that whose interior has eroded to allow for public access and a new range of public architectures.
- The Jersey-Empire State Promenade connects New Jersey with the Empire Street Building through a network of public spaces between 31st and 34th Street. This Promenade hypothesizes the future of the metropolitan workplace by connecting an armature of public buildings and a commercial axis through large-scale public spaces that re-discover and celebrate Manhattan's unique rail and subway infrastructure.
The notion of urban "erosion" is generalized into a vocabulary of operations, or "toolkit": removal, inversion and implant. These operations are used as tools to unveil new networks of public space inscribed in Manhattan's distinctive grid. This results in a "toolkit" for operating radical reformulations of the urban grid to create both a new local/communal street (in 88th St.) and a metropolitan workplace (34th St.). The result is radical yet contextual; a site-sensitive architecture of the public.
Captions for views:
Open Air Performance Space. Traces of the removed buildings are used to define a new architecture of the public, in the negative (inverted) space of the street.
The grid projects itself into Queens through a public park-bridge (view from Manhattan).
The New Metropolitan Workplace
Rails and Subways are unveiled and integrated into the network of public space.
The Guggenheim's ramp unravels into the Promenade as a sequence of public spaces connecting Manhattan and Queens, Astoria and the Central Park, and the diverse populations of New York.
Our Archiprix project was featured in the New York Urban Design week website
and published in a new book By the City / For the City: An Atlas of Possibility for the
Future of New York by the Institute for Urban Design
We thought it would be nice to let you know and say hi from Boston!
Nida and Daniel