AIA CES Credits
AV Office
Abstract Publication
Academic Affairs
Academic Calendar, Columbia University
Academic Calendar, GSAPP
Admissions Office
Advanced Standing Waiver Form
Alumni Board
Alumni Office
Anti-Racism Curriculum Development Award
Architecture Studio Lottery
Avery Library
Avery Review
Avery Shorts


STEM Designation
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Skill Trails
Student Affairs
Student Awards
Student Conduct
Student Council (All Programs)
Student Financial Services
Student Health Services at Columbia
Student Organization Handbook
Student Organizations
Student Services Center
Student Services Online (SSOL)
Student Work Online
Studio Culture Policy
Studio Procedures
Summer Workshops
Support GSAPP
This website uses cookies as well as similar tools and technologies to understand visitors' experiences. By continuing to use this website, you consent to Columbia University's usage of cookies and similar technologies, in accordance with the Columbia University Website Cookie Notice Group 6
Arch fraser normankeyes fa22 birdview

Slowing Down Midtown

Times Square houses vast office spaces and kaleidoscopic advertisements, but few people call it home. Vacant office buildings and the spaces in the shadows behind billboards hold underutilized real estate that can be reclaimed and adapted into residential space and public amenities.

Dividing the surface of the billboards across a series of operable louvers exploits the angles of different perspectives by allowing light to enter from above or from the side while maintaining a unified image for pedestrians below. In addition, the revenue generated from the ad space can subsidize the housing and amenities within. 2D real estate funds 3D real estate.

One Times Square–with its steel skeleton and shroud of billboards–is a prime candidate for such a conversion to residential space, ushering in local residents as well as the new year. The peripheral billboards that define Times Square can begin to hold public amenities that are likewise needed. The common area in between can become a permanent dining space, encouraging people to slow down and share a meal together.

Humanizing the program of Times Square by appropriating these spaces changes the relationship between the commercial and residential space, slowing down Midtown and creating a hospitable and livable place.