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Brooklyn Borough Hall: (re) Inventing Layers

As the most populous borough in New York City, Brooklyn settled back in 1634. By 1848 Brooklyn Borough Hall conceived the first governance space, which had become deficient by the city’s growth and necessity. The project seeks to change the perception of the new space for the hall by exploring the balcony and the wall as the architectural elements for excellence as a new governance space. The new site celebrates expression, but most importantly, the public and private entanglement as a new way of thinking, living, and experiencing the city. The re-invention of layers seeks to consolidate its functions and challenges the current structure of the hall as a dispersed organism in the city within the ordinary perception of multiple elements.

The selected area for this proposal is the intersection between Cadman Park, Old Fulton Street, and The Brooklyn Bridge. This space constitutes the “Civic Center” and the encounter of different infrastructures, scales, and bodies. The approach was not only to invent a governance space but to define what it means for the city and its people to be involved with the borough activities in everyday life. This redefinition involves new, multi-scalar interaction between residents and space by transparency and accessibility as part of multiple vertical relationships within activities and public space. By giving the inhabitants a space to take up the role of developing the city, the proposal creates a new opportunity for expression where the balcony and the wall are the agency for a more significant space in the heart of Brooklyn’s Urban Life.

The proposal intends to re-invent the layers of a new governance space by creating a type that allows the public and the private to relate to different forms and bodies. It also seeks to consider the historical layers the site presents and link them with a new hall for the future.