Nomination, H.I. Feldman Prize
As we delve deeper into the realm of the digital, the linear process of production is no longer relevant. Material goods have depreciated in value and knowledge has become the new currency. Innovations and ideas are bought and sold. Material manifestations are secondary and are often designed to provide even more data with which to generate ideas - through user generated content, user data, and other information based inputs. Naturally, the traditional boundaries of the academy, business, and industry are blurring in order to accommodate this new paradigm. Cornell Tech is in this business of knowledge creation.
However, the breakthrough of this industry did not coincide with a new model for workplace design. The corporate open plan is still prevalent. There is a desire to connect with the physical world by naturalizing and domesticizing. Astroturf, fake greenery, and informal meeting spaces are ubiquitous.
The long Main Street of this campus and large ‘shopfronts’ allow for connections to occur, not only with colleagues, but also with the public and the city of New York. The residential units and design labs are optimized in scale and arrangement to accommodate a new way of working and a connection with the living world. But perhaps most importantly, the campus is infrastructure. One that is adaptable to fluctuations in both ideology and climate change.
Two rivers meet in Lyon. This structure is a celebration of this confluence. An exclamation point for the previously unremarkable site, it is an icon and consequently, an important public plaza for the city. Suggesting an edgeless, permeable shape, the form of a ‘cloud’ is adopted as a fitting proposition for the creation of civic place. It defines a space, yet no distinct boundary is formed between the interior and the city.
A cloud appears edgeless because it is an aggregation of particles and not a defined shape. Towards the edge of the cloud, the composition of water vapor decreases in density. This ‘cloud’ does the same. As water vapor is the component to a real cloud, the pipe form is the component to this building. The primary and secondary structure, the facade, the systems and any other parts belonging to the architecture adopts this form. And naturally, as a cloud precipitates, this ‘cloud’ rains onto the site. Water pipes pour water below — a fountain that completes the new gathering place of Lyon.
Architectural Design: Dance Machine
Due mainly to the redevelopment of the High Line, the Meatpacking District is transforming itself into a thriving neighbourhood. A dynamic street life is becoming the norm as a diverse mix of boutique galleries, restaurants, markets, businesses, hotels and fashion stores occupy and appropriate the remains of the district’s industrial past. The site for the dance theatre lies right in the heart of this hub of activity and thus the negotiation between the architecture to this site determined the basis for this project.
With the High Line to its west, the Standard Hotel to the south, and restaurants and stores sharing Washington and 13th Streets, the site called for a non-traditional theatre. This theatre does not enclose itself within protective layers to separate it from the outside world; rather, it allows both its program and the activity of its surroundings to shape its form. The precedent of Alice Tully Hall takes advantage of tectonic strategies to draw people in from the diagonal of Broadway. It pulls, pushes, peels and makes transparent its walls and floors to disrupt circulatory and visual axes in order to call attention to itself. This dance theatre employs the same strategies to engage itself with the site. It peels up a corner of the street to both call attention and create a public space above; it pushes itself into the High Line and pulls the public down to the entrance of the theatre; and as it moves into the interior, the walls peel to redirect paths for the performers and viewers. In doing so, compelling spaces are generated as one moves underneath the High Line, through the Lobby and finally into the theatre itself.