Times Square | New York | USA
In this specific case, 100architects was asked to explore the possibilities of inserting public functions and environments typically associated with urban parks within Times Square, in order to give a commercial twist to the current cityscape offered by the place to both, citizens and tourists. Basically, turn the Square into a more livable and enjoyable space with a strong urban character.
When thinking about Times Square, about how to occupy and modify the scarce available space, and how to create an impactful effect in a place already quite impacting by itself, immediately 2 concepts became the most representative, VERTICALITY and DENSITY.
In this era of fast-growing cities and hyper-dense urban environments, numerous theories have arisen around the concept of “compact cities”, about how to manage and optimize this density and diversity, in order to impact positively on cities’ spatial and ecological footprint, and improve their efficiency in terms of land, resources and energy consumption.
Vertical Times is a project driven by all this questions, and by the opportunities that appear from them, calling for an exploration of new ways of thinking and understanding urban public spaces, their new morphologies and the new roles they will play in future cities.
The main conceptual idea of Vertical Times lies in multiplying the intended space for public recreation in a vertical way, compacting it in an inhabitable object, sort of imitating the growth model of NYC, due to the lack of available space. A so-called Vertical Park.
It sets a different approach in the design of public space, no longer needing to be large horizontal extension of land, but rather a multilayered metabolism with a softer impact on land consumption, and mimicking better with its urban surroundings, while establishing a highly recognizable landmark in the city.
The first 2 platforms would be dedicated to Kids recreational areas, such as Playground in the 1st platform and a Balls Pool in the 2nd platform. The next couple of platforms would be intended to host the functions related to public relaxation & green areas, with a Hammock Plaza in the 3rd platform, and a Sky Garden in the 4th one.
And finally, the top 2 platforms would host the F&B commercial areas, with a Restaurant on the 5th platform and a Sky Bar on the top 6th platform.
The structure is a concrete-steel combined system, based on a reinforced concrete central core, acting as main column transmitting the loads to the ground, as well as hosting the central lift; and radial steel beams supporting each platform.
There is also a secondary structure of metallic tensors on the exterior of the cylinder, absorbing vibrations.
The shape can be inscribed in a virtual cylinder of 12 m. of diameter and 55 m. of total height.
In plan view, the area that the volume occupies is just 113 m2, however the structure is design to completely release the ground floor from any structural element except the central column.
PROJECT NAME: Vertical Times
DESIGN: 100 Architects (Shanghai)
DESIGN TEAM: Marcial Jesús, Madalena Sales, Javier Gonzalez
LOCATION: New York, Time Square, US
Vertical Times, a vertical park for NYC
It multiplies the intended space for public recreation in a vertical way, compacting it in an inhabitable mini tower, minimising the impact at the ground level
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What is a neighborhood intervention?
This is the medium scale type of interventions that take place in the public realm of a city, related to the altering of a portion of a neighborhood. A type of intervention of such magnitude and notoriety that impacts not only the immediate surrounding urban environment, but rather the urban dynamics of a whole neighborhood, becoming an urban landmark and a local attractor of social interactions in a given neighborhood.
Most of the times, this typology combines several intervention tactics such as Painted Scapes and Grounded Objects, intervening existing urban settings, almost from the lens of Landscape Design, by creating spaces of opportunity for collective leisure, entertainment, play & joy, etc., catalyzing major social interactions across the neighborhood.
The main objective of this typology is to trigger a massive public interest to the place through a strong visual impact, usually of a permanent nature, encouraging the rise of high public affluence and establishing an urban landmark that can cultivate important human dynamics and boost commercial activity.
The design is strongly inspired in traditional Chinese rural architecture, but with a modern twist. The project is a mixture of traditional & modern styles in a boutique hotel immersed in nature, a touristic destination in a rural setting. The entire scheme adopts certain traditional features of Chinese rural architecture into the design.
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