East Village, Manhattan
Design a critical corner, a quarter of an urban inter-Section, not as the meeting of two planes, or elevations, but as an active, habitable face, reinterpreting and overlaying patterns of analysis.
Rotating the ground [plane of interaction] vertically, we will work with static dynamics: the moment, translating the corner into dynamic architecture, making the corner habitable. We will introduce the thickness of a layer, aka the materializations of the corners’ skin, as we define our layers of intervention, occupation, dissection, subversion and inversion.
This is a reintroduction to the city. The grid is not neutral, the grid is a device. Expediency, economy, politics and culture run through it. The grid is defined as a field of inter-Sections. The inter-Section is a point marked by a cross, but this is an abstraction. On the ground, the inter-Section is expressed as corners, lines, street and sidewalk edges, traffic, definition of zones, sense of place and identity. Extraction of information from the grid informs our proto-corner.
The proto-corner has orientation, there is a base and roofline or profile implied, but this is not a volume or a model of building simply located on a corner, or an elevation as we know it. This corner should be conceived as a bent plane, a modulated surface, a scrim or theatre set piece. It is a performative, active face, a face that is absorbing or reflecting the overlays and patterns of analysis. It should take into account enclosure versus exposure, inside versus outside. Its modulation will take inspiration from a real corner, yet become the translation of an analyzed and scrutinized site condition: an analysis grid.
Re-building the corner means re-imagining its bones; think about inhabitable thickness rather than thinness. The construction hinges, merges, and morphs, manipulating the corner condition to turn the void into solid, occupying the in between. The project exists as a vertical roof (and ground), a habitable facade, a layered, thickened surface that pools, collects, distributes and shifts water, people and light.
This inter-Section of the street corner overlayed and distorted with the analysis grid becomes the architectural element[s], and field condition, through unpacking and filtering, a world of lines and projections, layering, rather than a copying of conventional signs, textures or details. Interpolating between grids, the occupant of the corner lives on this edge. Vertical movement of inhabitants over a 12 hr cycle allow the ground to become an urban vertical field condition and a habitable facade in the city.