cheungvogl

100% Content . Hempstead

photos: cheungvogl

With the introduction of the suburban idea, the outsourcing of residential life from the city centres into the outskirts of New York in Levittown, New York in the 1950’s, born out of the need of immediate and affordable creation of homes post World War II
, the suburb has turned worldwide into the synonym for faceless communities, lacking the merits of urban civilisation, by not-outsourcing social, cultural, economical and commercial aspects from the city centre into the new, development driven, but socially undeveloped new town and community centres. The idea of affordable living in nature environment, benefiting from the closeness to the city’s rich offer in commerce, culture and economy has mostly turned into anonymous living far-off urban achievement. Not only that the urban grain and architecture is highly unsustainable, but also the principal of transportation is highly depending on the car, which does not represent the idea of the carbon-reduced-footprint-demand in both, architecture and transportation, as identified as key points of urban design of the 21st century. Remarkable, the failure in both represents the loss of community – the American fridge, besides the size of car, might be the strongest symbol for the separation of home from community. 





The concept of storing food in these amounts, taking long journeys to work, school, etc. very much represents the state of mankind before urban civilization, the state of hunters and collectors. Taking this to note, suburban communities mostly simply left out the opportunities of their growing populations to grow from the inside. While nowadays cities and communities grow in deserts (the Gulf-states, e.g.) [note: remember “Icon and Identity”], Long Island’s communities simply left out the opportunity to grow as independent communities, benefiting from the attraction and potential from the closeness to New York City, much rather than to be an outsource from the city. Very much representing these observations, the so-thought town centres of Long Island’s communities, placed around the major traffic intersections are not occupied by cultural, commercial and social institutions, as expected from the ratio of communal identity and urban context, but by parking lots. Not some, but hectares of paring lots. Not complaining about the non-existence of urban context and real community, these vacant areas around Long Island’s “Cross roads” offer the unique chance for master planning based reconsideration of the meaning of community – reuniting residential life with social, cultural and economical context. Here lies the opportunity for a MASTERPLAN, not in the desert, but in extension of New York City. Cities are desirable: Increasing population density and cultural diversity in Long Island, creating walk able city centres will provide more 'life' and opportunities for people. Filling high potential sites with 100% Content, turning ghost towns into places with strong identity, diversity and permeable connectivity. Site: Hempstead, New York A thin slice of 85% vacant sites will offer tremendous potentials to restructure community life in a bold way. A plot of 1085m x 140m between Main Street and Franklin Street in Hempstead city centre is identified as a testing laboratory for project: 100% Content. 1. Hempstead Lab will turn vacant sites as a place achieved by a habitable vertical abstraction that considers spatial identity, cultural diversity, and physical connectivity. 2. Reopening vacant sites into opportunities for all, providing a quality live / work / play environment, extending time within the city will bring 'life' back into city centres in Long Island. 3. Multi-functional living / working / playing ''rooms'', are mixed, alternated, edited and interchanged as required to allow for flexible expansion or growth. The centre aims to provide ''100% Contentment'', and subsequently it will lead to ''100% happiness'' for its inhabitants


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