Coney Island to Manhatten – A Carnival of Congestion

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iteration 3

Developing my drawing further of Coney Island and what it represents.  Rem Koolhaas in his book Delirious in New York mentions the Manhattan living in a Carnival of Congestion, escaping the every day norm by seeking the nearest realm of  nature – Coney Island.  The natural escape changing in time to become an Incubator for Manhattan, a technological and   architectural test bed of World First’s.

Iteration 3 starts to show the form of a postcard and indicate the main elements of Coney Island that I want to draw attention to.  It shows the blueprint plan of the zoning: mainly the infrastructure and the three main amusement parks, these being significant in terms of the Innovative technologies they promoted.  The Switch back railway which led onto the Roller coaster, the Baby Incubator Hospital and  some 250,000+ Electric Light bulbs at a time when 1 light bulb was equal to one weeks wage.

The timeline shows the key events in Coney Island development and key to the popularity was the means of access.  Modes of  transport and access rapidly changing to accommodate the need for escape from the city, and demand for escape fueling more  infrastructure.  The subway built in 1920 forming the main gateway for mass culture and subsequently the Nickel Empire  which rapidly underlined the unspoken reputation of ‘Sodom by the Sea’.

iteration 4

Computer crashed…lost two hours of work…start again.

iteration 5

I have worked into the drawing more to define what needs to be framed.   Each park of significance is framed by the tented pavilion.   Steeplechase shows the progression of roller coaster from initially the switch back railway, to the loop the loop and onward to present day.  The label and cyclone image will lift off the page to reveal the key engineer behind the innovation and significant     roller coasters.

Luna Park could be seen by all arriving in New York.  The electric lighting used within the park but also the beach so that Coney  Islands day could be extended even after night fall.  The invention of electric lighting and development to present day shown in  the little pullout of Neon Lights.

Dreamland, the architectural showcase for cultural designs, a master plan of its day and the home to the ‘Living Infants’, babies in incubators.  The pull out booklet will sit behind the incubator label and show the beginning of life for Beth Allen, one of the smallest babies living there in 1941.

The hint of beach activity and volume of people can be seen at the bottom of the drawing underneath the boardwalk, similarly  an important feature of the island, the structure of 25m wide was built shortly after the subway to facilitate  the volume of people accessing the beach and parks, however, was also a barrier keeping people in bathing attire away from the respectably dressed,           it was policed, hotels and restaurants  had chargeable changing facilities with direct access to the beach.

Centre stage is the Child’s Restaurant, a dilapidated boarded up landmark building in the style of Spanish baroque revival.  The building was progressive in the context of the time it was built and links with the stone/ceramic elements of my project so far.   It also caters for the impact of the senses in terms of the layers of activity over the years.  Initially a restaurant with the ‘groundbreaking style’ of ‘cafetiere’ service and a model followed to present day, it has also been a candy factory, a roller disco hall, a community  center and backdrop for many films.  It sits as a threshold between the carnival congestion of Coney Park, & Manhattan and the  natural outlet of sea, sand and  sanctuary.

Each of the arches to the left of the drawing will open to reveal these layers of activity.  The layering on the right elevation of the  building will be seen as a cut through, and also a slide out image.

Bringing Coney Island together with Manhattan and Brooklyn in terms of the context at that time, the environment, the infrastructure  and threshold between the them will be shown in the bottom left hand corner.  Layers of hand drawing on trace, will be built up onto  the drawing, and evoke the sense of congestion, heat, structure and Urbanism.

The drawing overall will be interactive, with lights shining around Luna Park, texture of the city, and smells of candy floss and hot dogs. Other details which hint at innovation are the first hot dog stand of Charles Feltman, and the carrying device he created to keep his food warm.   The first designated cycle path on Coney Island.

Title of Incubator for Synthesis.  I see the drawing as a compilation of congestion, but also as a test bed for the integration of technology  and architecture as once developed.  Incredible materials, technologies and designs  re-visited and re-imagined so many parts form a whole.  The Child’s Building being a Palimpsest Portal,  the many layers of activity and design both past, and present to inform the future alongside  the innovation yet to come and once again feed into Manhattan.



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