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An Icon for GND: Typological Conversion of the Seagram Building

Thinking of the future of midtown office towers towards decarbonization in the post-COVID-19 political-economic landscape, climate change can become a litigable issue for architects through us using them to address the housing crisis. Incorporating mass mobilization, sourcing, and fabrication of materials, and a new paradigm of social housing focused on collectivity, my proposal is built upon the studio’s premise of a Climate Design Corps, who will lead the effort to survey, design, and organize the workforce necessary for renovation as well as manufacturing new, low-carbon building materials. On-site operations collect, sort, and upcycle local C&D waste to produce panelized elements for the prospective residential units, turning the building from a static object into a dynamic self-reconstructing machine; this incremental construction model allows overlapping of phases and mobilization of a larger workforce that expands beyond just professional designers and contractors. A duplex arrangement in the units achieves a more sensible distribution of thermal comfort zones, as well as flexibility in apartment size. Polycarbonate over-cladding and winter gardens are used on the outside and inside of existing glazing to mitigate thermal bridging and create a fluidity of use both within the units and in the common areas.