Michael Rosen | Yuli Huang
The apartment block as freestanding mark in an open landscape, the underlying premise for nearly all of NYCHA’s projects including this one, is allowed to grow and ultimately metastasize by extension and continuation of its existing fabric, closing in on itself to create a new organism, a vast honeycomb of what appear to be courtyard oriented spaces. The additions would propose to integrate and distribute middle income and even market rate housing into the overall complex generating an extreme density without resorting to the high rise tower. The potential claustrophobia generated by the excess of enclosed spaces is resolved by stripping out all ground floor and second floor architecture, allowing for a transparent, piloti supported horizontal realm. New entrances are in glass so as not to disrupt the continuity and semi-private and semi- public use is integrated by breaking up the larger landscape into paths, outdoor seating and bounded passive and active recreation.
Hillary Flannery | Kaifang Zhang
The Microblock scheme attempts to give a rational urban order to the anti-urban tower in the garden typology. Each existing tower is provided with a new base or apron two to three stories in height that is the basis of an individual block. The prior modest architectural footprint is entirely reversed, with the new forms filling each block site completely with an intentionally dense urbanism. That density is aerated, however, by the consistent inclusion of courtyards, around which a variety of programs are distributed- institutional, retail/ commercial, and community. As an urban pattern it generates an irregular agitated grid that allows for missing pieces or openings that can act as figured gardens. The streets that threads through vary in dimension and hierarchical importance. While the superblock has been divided now into a fully porous street pattern, the absence of through access makes for a primarily residential neighborhood.
Yuri Kim | Sang Il Ma
This proposal is a form of landscape urbanism in that it preserves a park-like landscape that is open to the public that can be used for both active and passive uses, and at the same time, tucked under is slopes, is a new agenda of built form that can be programmed to serve both the neighborhood and the surrounding areas. Generated as a pixilated grid, the carpet of green peels up along Myrtle Avenue to reinforce that streets infill with commercial storefronts. The landscape then runs continuously throughout the superblock site sloping down in places to the original ground gently, forming bridges across streets and open blocks and lastly shaping internal courtyards with facing community or retail uses. This forms a second, at-grade, set of meandering paths through the complex. The existing towers “raise their skirts”, that is pull up, to allow their structure to puncture the park and offer direct park/rooftop access from within. The loss of lower level housing is made up for by additional “green” stories. Monumental stairways are also distributed as a way to emphasize the “greenway”.
Peter Kim | Han Kim
Influenced by the Knickerbocker Village, this proposal introduces a sense of perimeter blocks effectively concealing the existing architecture at street level. The street is reintroduced north-south as a meandering vehicular path,like speed bumps in the plan which divides the superblock into six sub-blocks rather than four. Each of these is then subdivided again into two or three perimeter blocks each with a central passive courtyard and a landscaped active pedestrian thoroughfare that runs east to west between them. The facade strategy recognizes the green condition of the public pedestrian as well as the courtyard. Dense planting is applied on the ground condition of the pedestrian space as opposed to planted green panels and hard ground are reflected in the courtyards.
Javier Marcano | Veronika Suarez
To reintegrate the superblock into the city this solution is to make it a collection of hyperblocks. The hyperblock scheme reshapes the existing residual open space into a newly defined and distinct set of public courtyards, an urban space type not typically found in New York City. The public courtyard is intended to carry the same vitality as the street by being structured around a mix of use that includes local institutional and retail programming. Conceptually a repetitive pattern (as in the historic plan of Savannah, Georgia) each space is ultimately shaped and configured uniquely by the transformational demands of pedestrian circulation, existing tower footprints, new and proposed institutional programs, and a larger sense of episodic interconnectedness. Some courtyards are a landscaped extension of community centers for residents only, others support a larger institutional program such as the public school, the library or a newly designed museum. Redefining the street and courtyard by adding shared uses will cultivate a public trust and a healthy community for what will no longer be able to be called the Ingersoll/Whitman houses.