Title: 24 SILVER DOLLARS - Code: Q1L5D7
Contest: NY / 2012
By: E. de Broches des Combes - R. Leal - N. Gagnon - S. Airlie

Views: 3021 Likes: 5





24 dollars is the price that the Dutchman Peter Minuit bought the “manah – atin” island from the Wappinger confederacy (the Native American people who lived on the east bank of the island) in 1626. Four hundred years later, how much would it cost now, almost full to capacity and under threat from of natural forces, if the Indian tribe were to buy it back? After many centuries of development and redevelopment, and following the decisive moment in 1811 of the hippodamian “Commissioners’ Plan”, we are proud to announce a new decisive update to the NYC OS: an evolution of the 2D orthogonal organization of the city. It is about time that the city that brought the use of the third dimension to such an artform, physically and financially, and that settled a way to fill the blanks so efficiently, starts to improve upon its most characteristic dimension.

Driven by the elements, which will see an increase in the water level by several meters during this century, there is only one way to deal with this eventuality while keeping the spirit of the city’s history. Rather than attempt to artificially block the increase in water level by building dams, leading to the loss Manhattan’s island quality, we look towards a solution full of “panache”.

Maintaining the dynamism of the city and by way of paying hommage to the skills and vision of the builders that made NYC what it is now, the existing rational city block plan, Manhattan Level 0, is to be projected 415 meters above the current ground level to create Manhattan Level 1. Based on the hippodamian plan, and using the existing city blocks to position the 500 core-towers required to support this new ground plane, it will offer an exceptional opportunity to double, or even triple, the surface area of Manhattan.

Encouraging a new and efficient usage of space,  Manhattan Level 0 will gradually be given over to the production, storage and service areas of the city, while  Manhattan Level 1 will become the primary place for living and leisure. Inbetween, in the thickness of the new ground, all the administrative and transport needs will be housed. Huge holes, or patio voids, will provide sufficient natural light to Level 0, and maintain a visual link between the two planes. The human link to Manhattan’s verticality will now involve the movement of the head towards the ground, as well as towards the sky.

Nowhere else in the world has the city turned the relationship between the urban and the natural into such an artificial issue- the phenomenal Central Park serves as best proof of this. 415 meters higher, nothing changes. Level 1 is artificial, yes! But no more than Level 0, which will become the world’s most luxurious basement.

The vast potentials offered by such a horizontal system have yet to be fully realized, in terms of use and services for its inhabitants (like the digital projection of the Level 0 plan on its soffit, or for lightning in the coffered ceiling). We are confident in the inventiveness of its inhabitants and creators to deal with it and appropriate it.

For support of all those possibilities, we pay our tribute to Mies Van der Rohe’s aesthetic. Mies revival in 2066. Love it or hate it.



Time: 13 giugno 2012
Category: NY
Views: 3021 Likes: 5

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