Datum: student journal of architecture

Article Title



The evolution of a space can be predicted, but never known until the space is put to use. As designers we can manipulate spaces through the placement of programs. Considering the dynamic lifestyle of New York City, placing a static structure with void space for potential living units will shape the building through social, economical and political aspects. The reoccurring competition ‘Timber in the City’ challenges participants to design a mid-rise, mixed-use complex with affordable housing units, a NYC outpost of the Andy Warhol Museum, and a new expanded home for the historic Essex Street Market. Timber is required as the primary structural material. By celebrating visually the capabilities of timber, we created a structural grid that holds these programs together. The upper portion of the structure will work as a placeholder for future private living units while the lower levels will hold active public spaces. Utilizing the city blocks adjacent to Delancy St. and Essex St., we are expanding the existing market on the ground level while also creating a pedestrian path connecting both sides of the site. The path connects the static programs such as the market, and museum while creating a pedestrian path on the ground level to enhance the circulation of the site. An elevated bike path will also allow cyclists to maneuver through the site. A crane, located permanently on site, helps the phasing of housing units, acts as core circulation and as a visual representation of the constant change and construction of NYC through time. By displaying the programs mentioned previously we see an opportunity to revive this area of the city by offering activities for all age groups in consideration of the diverse character of the city’s demographic.

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