City of Nothing // Island of Everything - Island Territories VI - Manhattan
A modern Agora that combines the dichotomy of Nothing and Everything in an Economic Hub, hybridised with flexible public space. The thesis proposes 3 towers of Nothing in a system of Everything.
Manhattan can be seen as an Island of Everything – its density thrives equally on the limitations of its physical island geography and its status within a global economy. These dual pressures give rise to unique and strange architectural conditions, two of which frame these proposals on Park Avenue - to the north, Viñoly’s ‘super-skinny’ tower of borrowed air-rights and to the south, Grand Central Terminus, the heart of Midtown whose massive structure registers the phantom presence of an unbuilt skyscraper above. These proposals imagine a singular ravine extending between the two as a unifying figure of an island within an island. A seam of architectures inhabit this deep landscape and operate with the logic of a contemporary agora, a public space activated by the trade of storehouses embedded within the fabric of the city. Amongst the conventions of agricultural produce and mineral wealth, three such storehouses reflect contemporary luxuries through the apparent absence of things – a body of water without impurities, a vast lung of pure oxygen and a hall devoid of electronic information. The proposition of both a fractured and unified Park Avenue explores the dichotomy between public and private enterprise – a hypnagogic landscape formed by the hard-nosed pragmatism of Manhattan.
Collaborators: William Bayram, Christopher McCallum