Sukhmann Kaur Aneja

Document Type

Thesis, Senior




Spring 2020


Shelter, Alternative, New York, Sidewalk, Shed




Architecture | Other Architecture


In the spring of 2018, a small group of homeless people took shelter underneath the scaffolding at 1441 Broadway in Times Square after a massive rainstorm made its way through New York City. They hung their wet clothes on the steel bracing and slept on unfolded cardboard boxes. This makeshift encampment lasted for a few days before the police officially kicked everyone out.1 Two years before that, homeless New Yorkers set up a similar camp underneath the scaffolding in NoHo. Residents of NoHo blamed a surge of local construction for the implementation of sheds under which people could hide out.2 Yet another encampment existed in the Financial District in 2016, underneath a shed that was eight years old at the time.3 These are only some of the many examples of New Yorkers using scaffolding as a form of shelter. In New York City, “sidewalk shed” is the vernacular term for a type of scaffolding that covers a sidewalk immediately adjacent to a site in order to protect pedestrians from falling debris during the construction or renovation of that site. The design portion of my thesis contends that the New York City sidewalk shed should engage with and address the needs of the public, particularly the City’s under served population, by becoming an inhabitable architectural feature while still fulfilling its original purpose of protecting pedestrians from active construction sites. This multiple-site series of interventions follows a standard system but has varying “plug-ins” or alterations based on contextual elements such as architectural style and social conditions.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.