Title: An intimacy with buildings - Code: Z2L5D7
Contest: NY / 2012
By: P. Tse - S. Tsai - E. Ting

Views: 1920 Likes: 1




An intimacy with buildings

She was standing next to the Empire State building, ninety-eight floors above the original ground. If she stretched out her hand she could touch the spire, for the path jutted in quite close at the southern façade and made for a rather cozy picnic spot. The ground beneath her feet was light, like a ribbon. It weaved in and around buildings, sometimes hugging the edge of old commercial towers, sometimes shooting out into open space, or squeezing in between thin crevices so narrow it was difficult to avoid brushing against the adjacent brick façade.


The city was so packed there were no visible landmarks anymore. Rather than competing to construct ever higher towers, New York had taken to multiplying the street instead of floor plates; the city, as always, was ahead of the game. Clearly, this new web of grand boulevards and meandering streets had a life of its own, and yet, wholly relied on the surrounding buildings – their fenestration, materiality, details – to give it character. On the one hand, the multiplication of streets connected the buildings into a larger network. On the other hand, because any given floor now had the potential to connect to an elevated street, the concentration of disparate programs into a single building – the logic of the skyscraper – was now inverted. One building is consequently split into several buildings, once again revealing the unique programs within each floor previously hidden behind a unifying façade.


There was no longer a single roofscape; the domineering elite of rooftop gardens and penthouses had disappeared with the elevation and multiplication of the streets. Instead, streets permeated the thicket of buildings, denser in some areas than others, so that on late summer afternoons, the sun created a stippling light effect cascading down the layers of streets. Viewed from afar, the iconic New York skyline is no longer legible, subsumed by a light three-dimensional grid bustling with activity – as if the famed blueprint of the city has been flipped up for all to see – blurring the distinctions between building and environment – in essence, merging the city into a single “building”.


Title: An intimacy with buildings

Time: 13 giugno 2012
Category: NY
Views: 1920 Likes: 1

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