City of Brick: Spatial and Material Explorations in 21st Century Urbanism
spatial, material, New York City, Hudson Yards, urban housing, dwellings
The project I’m proposing, City of Brick: Spatial and Material Explorations in 21st Century Urbanism, will analyze the problem of and propose an alternative to the supertall residential tower in the contemporary city. Th ere is a trend in American cites toward the construction of ‘prestige’ projects, namely, skyscrapers of luxury apartments purchased as investments. Th is phenomenon is well-documented in the spacious floorplans of these towers; for example, 432 Park Avenue in New York City, though it is the tallest residential building in North America, only contains 104 units. My proposal seeks to provide a counter to the ultraluxury residential tower typology currently en vogue among developers in New York City. To this end, I have chosen Hudson Yards as my site. Currently, under development, the plan for the former rail yard is basically a campus of ultraluxury residential buildings with designer flagship stores at street level. I am proposing an alternative to this plan as my project; In a site called “Manhattan’s Last Frontier,” I am proposing a re-imagined approach to urban housing, one that takes advantage of contextual formal typologies and new construction systems while integrating a public programmatic element. Since Hudson Yards is located in the former industrial neighborhood of Chelsea, I am looking to the warehouse typology as a means to inform both formal and material strategies, specifically site coverage, formal grid, and brick construction. I looked at historical precedents of a similar scale that shared formal grid organizations, integrated public, semipublic and private programs, and/or masonry construction. I also looked at new brick construction technologies that will allow for desired spaces and massing in three dimensions. The culmination of this formal and material research is the development of housing across the entire site. I am proposing a campus of dwellings affordable to the burgeoning working and a middle-class population that is currently migrating into the city. This campus will not strictly be of a residential program; Rather, to respond to the context and connect it to the city, I propose that public programming be integrated among the dwellings.
Collins, William, "City of Brick: Spatial and Material Explorations in 21st Century Urbanism" (2018). Architecture Thesis Prep. 414.
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