This exhibition documents the first semester of a GSAPP-wide initiative to envision a future for the Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx, the largest armory in the United States.
Originally built in 1917 for World War I ammunition storage and firing practice, the landmarked structure sits within a 245,600 square foot site and comprises an 180,00 square-foot column-free drill hall atop two substantial cellar floors. Over the past century since its military function, the facility has been utilized transiently for a diversity of programs ranging from boxing matches to film sets, and the perimeter has become home to a robust street vendor community.
In September, following the announcement of an up to $200 million joint City and State investment to support the redevelopment of the Armory, The NYC Economic Development Corporation who has long-led efforts to permanently rehabilitate and repurpose the site, issued a request for proposals (RFP). The RFP iterates on the recent release of the Together for Kingsbridge Vision Plan, which was the result of a 9-month visioning process that involved over 4,000 stakeholders.
Building from the RFP and vision plan, Advanced V Architecture studios and a seminar on Practices of Community Engagement came together in the fall of 2023 to explore both how the 5-acre site can be integrated into its neighborhood streets and public spaces as supportive community infrastructure, and how imaginative adaptive reuse strategies of extreme scale can be a catalyst for social cohesion while also allowing for dynamic overlap of programs.
Video displays throughout the exhibit showcase moments of community and stakeholder engagement while the architectural boards each interrogate a “what if” for a variety of immersive scenarios.