*Honorable mention at Archmedium NYVC Competition
New York City can be defined as the metropolis symbol of progress, dreams, ambition and innovation. It is a city that hails the opposite of monotonous, yet deals with the existence of repetitive and tedious work spaces in majority of its buildings. From this, a question is raised: Is the architecture of office buildings out of sync with the image of New York? How do we deal with this contradiction?
The competition “New York Vertical City Pro”, hosted by Archmedium, sought proposals for a new and innovative mixed-use tower in New York City. Bringing not only offices, but temporary housing, cultural spaces and leisure public spaces into the building. The contestants had to envision a XXI century “Vertical City” tower in the city of New York.
Fragments of (a)NY City
According to the philosopher Zygmunt Bauman, we live “in a liquid modern life”, where there are no permanent bonds. Life is defined by ephemerality. Architecture takes the important and complex role of dealing with circumstances that change as quickly as they are born. The physical world has become more accessible through the virtual world. We are all always connected, regardless of our geographical location. All at once, distances, personal relations and structures that rule our society are reshaped by the influence of virtual media.
The traditional zoning of programs by segregation becomes questionable in a reality where monotony and repetition act together for an encroaching expiry date. Hotels, retail, work, cultural and leisure spaces: programs that historically coexisted in mixed-use buildings, often resulted in “program stacking” or even in volume distinction. Is this all that mixed-use towers have to offer?
The typology reaches a new scale. The program is fragmented and interspersed throughout the building. Everything else becomes a continuous open-space, a place of circulation, human interactions, leisure, work, and unexpected surprises. Technology is responsible for the virtual connection and cohesive functionality of the fragmented program dispersed in the tower and in the city.
When diverse programs blend together in one single space, rarely explored new qualities of use are conditioned. Identities and specific experiences are developed for each floor, resulting in diverse and democratic atmospheres. Work, leisure, culture, retail and living are diversified, and spur on to serve a larger spectrum of individuals. The potential of identity and compatibility between user and building is elevated.
Fragments of (a)NY Cityis zoned by the quality of its spaces, rather than by the programs it contains. For that, a spatial library is created. First, a spatial exploration informs how different volumes in the library interact with one another and the ambiences it creates. Only then, to each volume, a specific program is assigned. As a result of this, endless possibilities of functional and experiential use of the program are generated, informed by the many roles that distinct conditions of adjacencies play.
The virtual age in which we live allows us to break the barriers of program and space, redefining the meaning of mixed-use typology. Fragments of (a)NY Cityis a project that synthesizes the technological advances of our era, allowing for new ways of design and use. It presents a flexible and contemporary architecture that provides unique perspectives of programs and user interactions, reaching beyond the extensions of the building and taking over New York City.