International Competition Entry, 2012
Selected for Biannual ENYA Exhibition at AIA New York
Client: AIA Center for Architecture, New York
Program: Cultural, Public Open Space
Location: New York, NY
As the main problem of the site is its isolation from the main land, by its unique topography and site's huge infrastructure (Henry Hudson Parkway), the first issue to resolve is physically connecting the site to West Harlem neighborhood, so the site can be easily accessed by public, and provide food/health programs for public. The first strategy is to connecting the site to West Harlem at Riverside Drive with pedestrian bridge, and additional pedestrian ramp at Hudson River Greenway. The two connection would provide highly enhanced accessibility to the site, for West Harlem neighborhood.
The second strategy is to propose building programs for Nourishing NYC and West Harlem, that could be categorized into three part: 1. FLOATING PLAZA, 2. NOURISHING NYC CENTER, and 3. LOCAL FOOD TERMINAL. FLOATING PLAZA provides open public space for West Harlem neighborhood offering community garden, farmer's market, or any public event organized by Nourishing NYC. New Nourishing NYC Center will mainly provide food/health related education programs and volunteer programs. In addition to the education facilities (classroom, culinary library, etc), the hydroponic farm/lab will provide researches on urban farming. Reusing the existing structure, the LOCAL FOOD TERMINAL will activate new connections to distribute locally grown food to West Harlem neightborhood.
This proposal is not about reusing an abandoned infrastructure by reconstructing a new building and assigning required function - this project is rather about regenerating potentiality of the site as a 'place' by reconfiguring existing infrastructure and its network of West Harlem. The project proposes physically extending West Harlem's network, such as streets, pedestrian walkways, and park, to the isolated site, and merging and the site into the West Harlem's existing network. As a new destination of West Harlem's network, the site will be reactivated as a 'public plaza', where any public event can happen, in addition to Nourishing NYC's required functions. The integrated programs and reconstructed network to the city will create diverse activities and events for West Harlem and Nourishing NYC's mission.