Starting from my initial study of the ‘Architecture as a Silent Witness’ where the city had become stagnant and it has seen a slower pace of change than those who experience it, time is collapsed into one compressed frame; The Impossible staircase representing time, movement, transit between spaces, threshold and void, connecting planes and suggesting a passage and a dimension of time as connecting spaces and traversing thresholds.
My interest is on the ‘state of impermanence’ of the urban fabric, and the city itself. Im interested in the voids, the gaps, spaces in between, the transient spaces… along side my object they recall a temporal sequence of events, and the relation and presence of the matter which occupies this transient spaces and voids.
The Potential Site
The Lower East Side has a rich historic past, from its traditional tenement housing accommodating it’s many immigrants, the brownstone used in its constructions and since 2008 being recognised as an important and endangered historic place in America. However with the changes in the city and the area has remained stagnated for many years, until speculative interest and property markets see an opportunity for developing this area and in the process this existing voids are being filled and a process of a dematerialisation of its fabric and in turn the loss of plasticity in its materiality starts to occur.
I would like to explore these uninhabited spaces in The Lower East Side… This will be a collection of remaining fragments within the area. They represent the loss and erasure of the fabric and its identity too… the staircases represent the passage of time and ‘an intermediary zone’ within the voids and the city, this passage as noted by Douglass Klahr return us to a dimension of time:
‘In essence, staircases are perhaps the best example of intermediary zones within buildings, quantified not only by the aspects noted above, but also by their raison d’être: to provide passage between levels of a structure. The notion of passage therefore remains very potent within a staircase, and passage once again returns us to the dimension of time’.
As for my drawing Im working on an axonometric of the Lower East Side… looking at the forgotten spaces and voids… Im unsure of the outcome of the drawing at this point, but as per the image above I wanted to to explore the area with a worm-eye’s view of this spaces, in a illustration style. The existing fire escapes provide a relation to my impossible object, but it feels too literal… the images below are some images of the work in progress…