Alexander House . New York


How to inject NY into NY?
New York appears in many ways like the ensemble of thousands of rocky islands; side by side growing out of the very rigid order of the city’s urban grain. On top of these rocks, generations of inhabitants have built little island huts, planted gardens along with rooftop mechanical units, water tanks and parasite structures. Life evolved.Within the boundaries of regulations, budget and ground spaces, there exists a unique culture, a 'secondary New York' above the rooftops of these orderly rocky islands. Many buildings try to deny the rooftop activities with parapets or potted plants, which seem like a conservative approach to a fundamental challenge. It is difficult for the city to discard the existence of these secondary living things that have occupied the rooftops, claiming these uniquely serene spaces of New York and making them a part of the city's recognizable character. It becomes pertinent to address these stranded spaces.
How could existing challenges be considered as opportunities? How could new interventions begin to uncover these secondary New York spaces? Could creativity equal to comfort, freedom or success? The project is an extension to these very dialogues. The transformation works to compliment the spirit of the city rather than denying its existence entirely. Volumes and spaces transform the existing relentless city grain into a more habitable human scale by breaking down the building facades into small visible units, vertical surfaces of this 'new island’ become more dynamic and efficient. Increasing the opportunities to introduce more views and more privacy simultaneously.
The project does not try to re-invent a new kind of mixed-use injection into an existing context, nor does it introduce a movement to change the existing city grain as it will destroy the character of the existing urban structure. Rather, the project accepts respects and understands these historical growths as significant markings of time and tries to combine them with today's situation - New needs, New desires - to negotiate a platform for coexistence. The project cultivates a new sense of appreciation for the living things that gives the city its character.

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