New York City Ashkahn Bazl
This project deals with the redistribution and reinterpretation of storage throughout the urban context of Manhattan in locations that involve the idea of bringing storage to a site of distribution. The site featured is Union Square, chosen for several reasons, ranging from the fluxuation of traffic (pedestrian and consumable) to the permanence of pop-up structures that the site hosts. The geometries were formed by using a square footage ratio of existing storage components, ranging from personal locker sized spaces all the way to room sized spaces, and potential building footprint. Since the site was demolished, the park had to be relocated, in the vertical. From the spacial breakdown of density in the vertical comes another system of structural members that support the park as it moves through the site, there is a constant shift in majority between the park and storage programs as one moves upward through the building. The program of storage also is reinterpreted as mechanisms are designed to instead store trees for the park instead of belongings for a person.
To create a market typology onto a site, does one propose to bring the archtypal storage to the site or bring the program to the pre-existing architecture? For this arguement to take place, the site in consideration is Union Square in New York, which currently plays host to several types of markets that manifest themselves throughout the year at different seasons of the year. All of these markets are temporary and have to consider set up and break down times each day they intend to be there. What the intervention seeks to create is an architecture that allows for a level of permanance in terms of storage that can cater to the markets that manifest on the site. The architecture for this proposal is not one of simply placing storage onto the site, but a systematic unpacking of spacial qualities that relate to types of markets and organize them in such a way that the flow logic relates to what happens on each level of the site. The architecture seeks to exploit the site in a way that relates to the way distribution systems are exploited in the movement and distribution of goods, as well as peoples and so called non-tangible items, such as property leases. The way the intervention unpacks and organizes itself onto the site relates to the level of exploitation and what type of spacial qualities are a result of those types of markets, in terms of spacial density, circulation flow and ability to distribute throughout the architecture. One other part of the proposal for bringing storage to the site is that the “units” can be active or inactive in regards to the market, meaning that when a particular area of the architecture is considered inactive is when it is not being used directly in relation to the market, it can unpack itself and adapt another program, depending on its location and relationship to other parts of the site.
Mystery Market Ashkahn | Sylvia Herrera
Looking at the trade of illicit consumables along different points across the globe reveals a series of networks and protocols through which these goods are stored, transported and finally distributed. Some networks are in place and revolve exclusively around the trade of one specific and many times disproportionately lucrative product, and others tend to facilitate movement of many goods falling under some general category. The level of specificity pertaining to the particular consumable or set of consumable dictates to a certain degree the types of protocol or counter protocol utilizes in the construction of the illicit network.
Points of transportation, exchange, storage and distribution of the consumables are all opportunities for the illicit networks to exploit the existing licit ones to continue their operations. The illicit network often locates itself within areas of hyper dense zones of high traffic and many local areas for camoflauge that the senses are overwhelmed and do not notice the particulars when moving through these areas.
We are looking to pinpoint the areas of final transaction, or moving, of consumables within these hyper dense urban fabrics. It is within these hyper dense, and complex zones of commercial exchange and high volume traffic conditions that legitimate market conditions acquire a scale of ambiguity in terms of authenticity legality and legitimacy creates spatial and infrastructural pockets of infiltration by the illicit trade networks. This allows for the simultaneous existence of both legitimate market and trade of illicit consumables. The method for locating these areas is to define their qualities into a set of protocols, including high degree of storage opportunity, high frequency of traffic, proximity to access points, existing networks of exchange and opportunity for overlapping and exploitation. Once the data has been collected and mapped for the set protocols over the hyper dense context, we can begin to pinpoint these areas of transaction.
The infrastructural proposal is to intervene in these existing areas in order to create a public marriage between the illicit and licit networks. The infrastructure intervention is to create a change, or better a re-form. The infrastructure being introduced in a passive-aggressive manner that would serve as an attempt to create a marriage between the licit network and the illicit one. We understand that passively introducing this infrastructure by means of no power cap, but it being aggressive enough to re-form the illicit networks into the existing ones, creating cohesion.
The new infrastructure would reduce exploitation by making transparent the workings of the system, i. e. who is responsible for illicit implementions, how the money and goods are now appropriated and who is accountable.
Michael Chen and Jason Lee teach design studios and seminars at Pratt Institute. They both hold undergraduate degrees in architecture from the University of California at Berkeley and Master of Architecture degrees from Columbia University.
Michael Chen has taught design at Pratt Institute, Cornell University, Columbia University, and New Jersey Institute of Technology. He is a principal of Normal Projects, a multidisciplinary architecture and design firm based in New York and Los Angeles.
Jason Lee has taught design at Pratt Institute and Cooper Union. He is a partner at tentwenty, a multidisciplinary design firm based in New York.
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