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The objective was to develop an architecture for housing in an underdeveloped and desolate area of Staten Island with incredible potential. Across the street from the site you find the river with mass transit to Manhattan a ticket away, a few blocks up north you find a newly developed commercial corridor and to the west are suburban residential family dwellings. After acknowledging the surrounding environment, it seemed mandatory to maintain that network of connectivity between the commercial zone, the river bay and the residential setting.
The existing site is composed of two triangular lots that at each end, point to respective directions and view points. By maintaining the path that bisects the site and adding another path reflectively, 4 pockets of building zones are created. Within these 4 pockets, inititally studied at 50'x50' the buildings grow. The sun path which rises from the east and settles to the west dictates the building heights of each, where the southern towers are the lowest and the northern towers are the highest. The positioning of these towers allow for an inner courtyard and pathway between buildings from one side to another. The ground floor would serve for commercial entities and an entryway to the towers providing further support for an urban node connecting different mediums of networks. While the upper levels are spatially defined as residential and private communal spaces.
Considering the building tower of mass housing, typically the platform slab building, the form and mass of the tower was disrupted by shifting and rotating plates along the core of each building. What these shifts allowed was the development of terraces and an interesting play with sun and shade, providing interior quality to an exterior space, enhancing the idea of communal living for an urban vertical village. As the project develops, materials are chosen to represent the functional space of the interior through the exterior. Glass for visual transparency, perforated metal panels for more intimate private spaces and frosted glass for a luminous space that can present motion to the pedestrian observer. All while giving life to the area and enhancing the influence of the building upon the environment. Furthermore, the play on slabs and rotational shifts created a moment of connection between the towers, which gave birth to the notion of linkage and allowed for the bridges.
The bridges would hold amenity spaces for the towers. A cultural center provides the social responsibility of the community to develop in the arts, as an elevated bridge allows for a spectacle for pedestrians to be inspired by the creative and educational activities taking place. These activities not only inspire the surrounding area but empowers the idea of diligence. At an upper level, a proposed gym is designed on the bridges to link the much taller northern buildings, where residents can practice healthy living and excercise activities. Finally, at the highest level is a swimming pool with a bar, lounging area, cigar room, sauna and billiards space for private residents to engage in with magnificent views over Staten Island, towards Manhattan and Brooklyn.
These amenities are to bring in a surplus, stimulating an economic vitality for the neighborhood, while at the same time enhancing the conglomeration of different social classes in one environment. In all, Linkage, serves as an architecture and urbanism for housing creating a network of classes to coincide and live with each other for the betterment and progress of the area.
Type: Schematic Concept, Mixed Use
Commission: Graduate Studio Work