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Editor’s Choice
2015 Skyscraper Competition

Rodrigo Carmona
United States

The Oculus is a vertical community. It is a place to live, work, and commune with nature. The building exemplifies a new urban high-rise typology where one can experience the human condition as it is meant to be, full of life.

The purpose of this skyscraper is to cultivate a sense of community through its mixed-use program (public, private, collective, and civic), and to promote a self-sustained environment through the building’s digital weather system and form.

The Oculus’ site was chosen in Lower Manhattan– at the intersection of Water Street, Pearl, and Beekman– wedged between corporate downtown and the industrial South Street Seaport.

The challenge of building on a “no air rights zone” ultimately lead the project to embrace its existing irregular shape, a triangular parcel that is surrounded by two intersections and a pedestrian walk-way.

The building’s concept was derived from its triangular footprint, and as a result, the unique form of the building evoked a new spiritual identity for the metropolitan community.

The Oculus is a flexible and adaptable apparatus, which collects, develops, and sustains natural resources for the benefit of its inhabitants and surrounding society.

The Oculus is a new approach to building technology based on its form and concept. It is a new deploy-able way of creating vertical topology anywhere. It is a solution to problems related to impending global change and human sprawl.

By addressing the need for reusable water and the need for clean air in a city overrun with pollution, in addition to protecting the depletion of natural resources for the community, the design of The Oculus aims to resolve 21st century cultural and development issues.

The Oculus embraces our most progressive environmental control strategies, all the while sustaining life within its one-of-a-kind form and infrastructure.

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