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esearch, and e
xplorations that is consciously far sighted. pre-
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is featured in the interntational journal BRACKET: at extremes, to be realized in spring of 2013. find out more
Air travel has evolved into the most complex infrastructure in modern culture. The industry supports approximately 800 million passengers annually within the US, negotiating changes in regulations and technology with unprecedented precision. Its extremity lies in both the magnitude of its mobility and the complexity of its infrastructure.
Yet despite the massive scale and importance of this infrastructure, the industry has posted a $63 billion deficit within the past ten years. The increasing inefficiency of an aging system has driven operating costs up 162% since 2000. Despite a persistently growing demand for air travel, airlines sell only 82% of their available seats because large scale airports are either no longer strategically located or outside of areas experiencing high population growth. The infrastructure has become increasingly congested, expensive, and inefficient.
Perhaps the cost of maintaining the current system actually limits its potential to grow. We propose a renewed airport typology to supplement these issues by addressing a systemic flaw. Why do airports limit the indefinite medium of aviation to only finite points? What if air travel can further propagate its mobility by finding a more adaptive system to truly become the most flexible of infrastructures?
We propose simultaneously accepting the consequence left by urban sprawl while providing a more adaptive system for the future. Why not repurpose the 4 million miles of existing highway in the US to create temporary runways? By rescaling the 'airport' into a mobile AIRNODE, a new infrastructural typology can provide unprecedented opportunity.
The highway system provides a malleable substrate – already wide enough in most locations and well within structural limits to land commercial jets, it can easily facilitate the basic requirements of an average commercial runway. AIRNODES divide the same functional, security, and mechanical requirements of a conventional airport into individual mobile gates that supplement the highway network. These gates are designed to the dimensions of a flat bed truck, and are thus easily moved to where they are most needed. AIRNODE 'hotspots' will emerge and disappear over time, and routes can dynamically adjust to customer demand, models of efficiency, and the flows of existing ground traffic.
AIRNODE is the logical response to the extreme inflexibility of a conventional airport. Can the global mobility afforded by air transit coalesce with the regional network provided by the highway system? This typology can push the boundaries of mobility by connecting the potential of two infrastructures into an infinitely more adaptive system.
The potential of this typology is far reaching. In Los Angeles, for example, 12,000,000 residents spread over 5,000 square miles, but share only three major airports. AIRNODES can take advantage of the expansive highway system to create temporary runways during periods of low traffic, facilitating a hyper-efficient transportation network for one of the world's most congested cities. AIRNODES can also be easily gathered into areas of very high demand, for example massive sporting or entertainment events adjacent to existing large-scale parking lots. The flexibility of an adaptive system provides a synergy of transportation for all scales, more users, and in a wide range of contexts.
the urban canvas blends urban space with museum gallerys to create a museum typology that benefits the experience of both.
The typical museum establishes a spatial hierarchy, dividing 'fine art' from the outside world. But how does this rigid model relate to the informal and interactive nature of contemporary art? Our proposal redefines how 'The Museum' can create meaningful interactions between its contents and all members of the public through a series of cohabitated spaces.
The confidential site lies along a post-industrial waterfront, lined with continuous brick warehouses from the 1800s. The site occupies the only open space remaining along a long row of warehouse blocks, providing a small urban plaza that connects the city with the adjacent water front. Building upon the only usable public space within this context would be thoughtless. Can we turn the competeing need for an iconic museum and qualitative urban environment into a cohesive narrative that actually celebrates both conditions?
We propose to design a series of urban spaces the cohabitat between outdoor urban functions and interior galleries. By lifting the building's program above an entirely open ground floor, we can enrich the existing urban plaza with distinct activities. These public activities find their match within the interior program, establishing a variety of activities that redefine the boundary between museum spaces and urban life.
Our proposal articulates the public level into 5 zones - A sports court, an event area, an art garden, a transit terminal, and an open plaza. These functions become different urban living rooms shared by public life and the Interior Museum spaces. The spaces created by the urban functions intersect with the Museum's interior, fostering new dialogues and perspectives about how people perceive, understand, and connect with art in the real life of a city.
Rather than protect the art from the public, the architecture blurs the division between public and gallery spaces. A contemporary gallery and a city sport-court intersetect to create an art arena for spectating: art, sports, and activity.
The architecture concentrates its focus on an interior environment that is neither part of the museum or the city, but rather a mixing zone of both. Vertical spaces stack a variety of activities and program with collaged flexibility.
Planning Up is our entry to the 2012 city vision competition. The competition asked us 'to imagine New York in its future if the manipulation of the urban context and its architectural objects, joined with its inhabitants, will be influenced by space and time.' With that in mind, we tried to ground the brief to the most basic of New York's formative principles: high-density zoning.
New York is the epitome of the 20TH century metropolis and the quintessential laboratory for grand visions of urban planning. The city's manifesto has profound simplicity: to build with massive scale, guided only by a horizontal grid. But New York's urban principles have been increasingly challenged by the reality of its size, density, and congestion. The utopia sought by previous generations has become stale as the city's massive scale prevents its further growth. What does the city now aspire to be? To redefine its cityscape, New York must grow from its tradition of visionary urbanism.
New York once pioneered the guiding principles behind urban planning in large cities. As the first skyscrapers pushed the limits of height and scale, their unchecked density cast the public below in perpetual shadow. New York created the first major zoning restrictions for dense urban environments, passing a landmark resolution in 1916 that defined maximum heights and mandatory step-backs to allow light to the public realm below. Popularized into an architectural motif, these regulations helped shape the iconic Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, and many others. Fifty years later, advancements in technology allowed for lighter construction, taller buildings, and extreme density in parts of the city. Again, the city developed a landmark zoning resolution in 1961, establishing incentive zoning that required public space at ground level to balance building higher. This created the modern skyscraper, a sleek box with a public ground floor, as evident by the Lever House, the Seagram Building, and the conventional office tower. Now, another fifty years later, New York must revisit the fundamental principles that have governed its growth to create a new vision. The city's evolution has negotiated public wellbeing with private interests to achieve a greater density of quality urban living. The value of public space has grown ostensibly over time, as zoning regulations have required more and more consideration for the public's welfare. But how can the city's future extrapolate these principles into new typologies that further address the importance of public space in the city?
We propose to create a vertical zoning system to compliment the horizontal plan of New York. By supplementing the horizontal plane with a vertical infrastructure we can create an entirely new axis for public life, filled with prototypes for a new urban vision.
While past visions of New York have entirely remapped the city, we aim to actually readapt what is already given. Perhaps the most fundamental element of the city's urban fabric is actually its least visible – the elevator. The city's verticality has essentially relied on the elevator as a vertical infrastructure. We propose to further this principle by appropriating the elevator as a completely public element of the city. In doing so, we redefine the elevator as a vertical street and create vertical mobility for public life.
This creates the means for an immersive, 3-dimensional public realm, where the cityscape can evolve with rich programmatic density. Vacancies in existing towers can be exploited, becoming temporary museums, markets, or galleries. New amenities can transform existing office towers into vertical neighborhoods. Public pools can be suspended in the midst of the cityscape. Roof tops can become community gardens and parks, activating unused spaces with public life. Cultural programs can propagate throughout the city, creating diverse activity in the dense fabric of the city.
These public amenities are essential for a sustainable urban habitat. The truly Vertical City unveils the programmatic potential of the urban environment, able to respond to the various environmental, social, and economic conditions that constitute the city. In this sense, we aim to create an urban identity that will result not in any one vision, but rather in an accumulation of activities, spaces, and urban life.