Type: Architecture (multi-programmed)
Location: New York City, NY, USA
Design team: Jae K. Kim
Award: Imre Halasz Thesis Prize, MIT, 2012
Global Architecture Graduate Award, Shortlist, the Architectural Review, 2012
Graduate Architecture Award, Honorable Mention, ArchiFund, 2012
Publication: Architectural Review, educational issue, 2012
The 20th century’s notion of a skyscraper in Manhattan, a symbolic individual in the city, should be redefined due to the reinterpretation of the grid to accommodate more public amenity and facilitate the cultural contexts of Manhattan. These Days, pedestrian plazas, transportation infrastructure, and zoning resolution have given individuality to each part of the grid which used to be seemingly identical with little public provision. Especially, Mid-Manhattan shows this tendency clearly. Pedestrian activity and cultural programs of Theater District and Times Square has infiltrated into the strict grid and created Mid-Manhattan’s own public realm. In this regard, given the grid’s capacity for reinvention, how might architecture continue to adapt and response to today’s new change? Defying the conventional typology of a skyscraper, a stack of individual programs, the project is aiming to reimagine the typology of a skyscraper to address the building’s relationship with the urban fabric and respond to the existing street life and culture.
In opposition to architects’ and architectural critics’ definitions of the skyscraper in the 20th Century as having a “hostile relationship with outside” and being “an anarchic individual aloof from the city”, a skyscraper in Manhattan has evolved to accommodate more public programs for better urban environment as well as commercial reasons. Finally, this project proposes a skyscraper as an urban connector, by rethinking circulation and structure. This new type of a skyscraper supports the multiple strata of public space and cultural programs, such as a theater and a museum, to extend existing urban contexts, art and performance, of Mid-Manhattan, not only at street level but into the sky above. Also, as an urban-scale strategy, the project also seeks to interconnect the dense grid with vertical structures with the most dominant public realm in Manhattan, Central Park, through a 3 dimensionally manipulated building form.