Backgrounds Future New York

Feb 4, 2010 - Alexander D'Hooghe
New York’s dramatic rise in the late 19th and 20th century turned it into the capital of the world. It staged the rise and proliferation of the skyscraper; of the freeways; and of the industrial waterfront. Under the unrelenting pressure of a global sustainability aesthetic, these 3 inventions are now being questioned: Skyscrapers have been exhausted as icons; freeways no longer relevant as durable infrastructure; and waterfronts are turning into parks almost everywhere. What could future New York be like, after processing the termination of its historical inventions and replacing them with new terms? Between Buckminster Fuller’s Bubble and the B--‐movie ‘Escape from New York’, cultural expressions from hope to alienation and anxiety have often used Manhattan as its canvass, as a powerful summary of the world at large. For the duration of 1 week, a selection of the world’s best architectural designers will have a go at a complete re--‐design of the capital of the world: New York, NY. In the tradition of so many architectural visitors to New York, the Archiprix winners will have the chance to order their thoughts about the future of architecture in the United State, through a radical architectonic speculation about the future of New York City. Led by a series of young, promising tutors, the design teams of 10--‐12 will have a go at answering the following questions: 1. Future New York has no more zoning laws except the ones you impose. As a result, the ziggurat--‐type skyscraper, results of 20th--‐century zoning law, as well as the needles stemming from the 60ies and beyond incentive zoning law, have been abandoned. What is the new post--‐skyscraper typology of the 21st century? 2. Future New York has banned cars from entering the island altogether, leading to massive growth around Manhattan, with parking garages and mass transit and bike stations; Manhattan itself has re--‐ invented its infrastructure system. What have the roads and highways become within the city? What have the bridges to the island become? And, most importantly, how do the bridges end? What are these massive transfer stations going to look like? 3. Future New York has fully conquered and civilized its waterfront edge. Its edge of the island, the walled compound, the perimeter is itself the subject of a systematic reflection on isolation and objecthood: fortify islandhood, relinquish, or perish?