The site is Chase Manhattan Plaza in the Financial District of Manhattan. Of interest is the public art in the plaza, the J.P. Morgan/Armani Casa commercial and residential tower, and the Chase Manhattan Building housing business offices as well as a world-class art collection. The premise of the project is to take over the mid-levels of the two towers in order to join the two cultures - business and residential - as well as to introduce the institution of the art museum. The impetus for the project is the growing availability of space in the emptying business towers of the district as well as the opportunity to use the space offered through elevator configurations of the mid-levels.
The studio focused strongly on a prescribed analysis and design methodology. Site analysis was done as a lesson/practice in topology. Understanding the site as a set of qualities (forces) constantly in flux, conclusions were made about intensities and shifts of such, not of fixed identities and hermetic ontologies. The method of intervention in such a conception of space, place, and time - one of shifts and interaction - had to be just as fluid as that understanding. Minimal surface cells offer infinitely varying possibilities of form, floor/wall/ceiling (supporting/enclosing/sheltering), affect, and are by definition self-structural. Using a tetrahedron-based minimal surface cell, research into the formal and affective potentials of the cell was done using parametric modelling techniques. Different cell states were created as genetic types carrying unique characteristics and agencies. These cells were gradiently deployed in the site as active agents, placed in specific response to the initial quality mapping. The intervention radically changed the topology of the site. New architectural spaces, forms, and adjacencies gave suggestions for programmatic use, able to exist in flux as well. In the future, expansion to the structure can be done using the same methodologies, and with the possible introduction of new cell types.
Status: School Project
Location: New York, NY, US