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Pier Escaping

This design focuses on exploring new kinship and chooses Chelsea Pier and the surrounding blocks as the site. The pier was the initial engine of New York’s development, and the maritime trade brought the city’s initial prosperity. However, grid of the riverfront has long been excluded from the urban fabric of Manhattan. Similarly, after the transfer of pier functions from Manhattan to New Jersey, queer groups occupied the abandoned site in the 1970s and used body performance to show their identity. These excluded people and sites from Manhattan actually contributed significantly to cultural and social development and economic prosperity and should be part of the Manhattan grid order. Also, an interview with staffs in LGBT Center tells that health infrastructure is in urgent need and St. Vincent Hospital nearby is no longer just served to cure AIDS. Thus, this design extends the pier grid into Chelsea block and dismantles the ground floor of existing buildings to create a pier gallery, the third floor to insert body-related health programs, such as esthetics, sauna, sex reassignments and so on. Furthermore, this design challenges the existing division of publicity and privacy in health program. By setting up different levels of windows, holes and doors to transform the relationship of the visible and invisible, the partially exposed care becomes a body performance again, leading us to think about the physical discipline of the act of care.