Honorable Mention
2011 Skyscraper Competition

John Houser
United States

The unprecedented population growth of mega-cites around the world requires the sustained increase of urban density. Over the past century the pressure from population growth was relieved with the vertical expansion of the city. To fulfill the population demands of tomorrow, growth in building density will be forced to expand in all axes.

Situated above the existing urban fabric, this building occupies the space between 22nd and 14th street and 6th and 7th avenue in New York City. The size of the structure creates interdependency, and allows for the formation of new communities within the already-dense housing grid. Woven into the residential fabric of the grid, large office towers provide a workplace for the residents of the structure. These towers unfold to allow for a large public park cut high above the city, maintaining the necessary public access to nature. Far removed from the intensity of urban life, the park provides residents and visitors an escape to nature while still maintaining a unique visual link with the city. The building is interconnected with a massive expansion of the current New York subway system. Trains within the structure move in all directions, servicing stations at all levels. Stations are embedded within the grid structure and linked to pedestrian bridges which act as the main arteries of transportation. The collection of these parts reaches a critical mass, allowing the structure to exist as an autonomous entity within the city, a new radical prototype for a 6th borough.

Corporate Towers – Burrowing up through the ‘Housing Grid’, large glass towers provide the working space for surrounding residents. Reminiscent of the existing corporate towers in New York, these large structures are the landmarks within the grid. Counter to the traditional tower condition, the direct connections between the towers and the grid produce a more cohesive relationship between the companies and the surrounding communities.

Residential Grid – The body of this structure is made up of a massive grid system. Various configurations of the system accommodate the diverse range of residential programs. From these variations, nodes of density define unique communities. The grid becomes the framework that provides support for larger civic spaces.

High Park – No space within a city plays a greater role than the park; linking individuals within the community with the collective ownership of the public space. The massive size of the structure demands the provision of a large public space. Cut into the structure well above the noise of the city, ‘High Park’ offers a retreat from the intensity of the city.

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