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Arch debacker jacksonkey sp23 02

Two Roofs: Frictional Speculations at the South Seaport

Existing on the soft edge of Manhattan, dozens of skyscrapers have been proposed in and around the seaport yet remain unbuilt, creating damage both psychological and physical with the broken promises. Perhaps where the vertical fails, moving to the radical horizontal can work to activate liminal spaces to create new opportunities for public gathering formal and informal–allowing the facilitation of changing needs over time within a landscape of framework and liminality without need for new towers and renewal development. Instead of money density, the project aspires for social density in this landscape of changing economics over the last 200 years from markets to museums to “festival marketplaces” to shopping malls to music. The two principal interventions create neighborhood engagement with space improving public gathering and circulation spaces–enclosed exteriority over interiority. One serves to create a vast system over an existing pier; the other opens up an enclosed center to create a zone of porosity. Insisting on the civic, the liminal spaces between may become destinations on their own as well as thoroughfare acting as multipurpose social condensers whose use(s) evolve within and across time–architecture supporting infrastructure and maintaining emptiness as much as generating the program.