I started looking into the idea of these ‘stairs towers’ (like the building cores which we talked about and Danielle mentioned it again yesterday); the intervention for site 3 – which could eventually spread out into the LES and Manhattan, so for this site-specific intervention this core would be erected and rise above the city, into the airspace.
In this text from Delirious New York, Koolhaas refers to the Latting Observatory tower (1853) – 350ft high – perhaps Manhattans first ’skyscraper’.
“For the first time, Manhattan’s inhabitants can inspect their domain, to have a sense of the island as a whole is also to be aware of its limitations, the irrevocability of its containment. If this new consciousness limits the field of their ambition, it can only increase its intensity. Such inspections from above become a recurrent theme under Manhattanism; the geographical self-consciousness they generate is translated into spurts of collective energy, shared megalomaniac goals.”
It also reminded me that whilst researching the LES history and cityscape, NYC once had eight fire watch towers (one was in the LES- Essex Street), which were built in response to the constant threat of devastating fires (18th C) they were the tallest structure around and were lookout points casting an watchful eye over the domain, perhaps mine is a modern version of the ‘lookout’ stair tower – keeping an eye over the domain ( LES).
Perhaps this intervention will take shape like an unfinished tower – building core – which becomes the forensic evidence of present and future development- A cautionary tale of the LES and possibly NYC. Such as this Zumthor’s Berlin project that never was completed, only its cores were erected and became part of the skyline and they indicate heights and scale of its proposal – birth and death of his project – documented here http://socks-studio.com/2011/11/14/zumthors-topographie-des-terrors-1993-2004-visual-history-of-birth-growth-and-death-of-a-project/
Zumthor’s Berlin project that never was completed, only its cores were erected and became part of the skyline and they indicate heights and scale of its proposal – birth and death of his project – documented here http://socks-studio.com/2011/11/14/zumthors-topographie-des-terrors-1993-2004-visual-history-of-birth-growth-and-death-of-a-project/
The Municipal Arts Society NYC are creating interactive maps which precisely highlights the issues that I’m trying to project onto the skyline using these stairs – as an analogue representation of the potential or air rights.
Their main web image shows a slide, which presents before and after possible developments and their maps (image below) show each building and its possibilities in terms of development potential. http://www.mas.org/ourwork/accidentalskyline/
I will start some deign development of this proposal and how it may project itself in the context. I and came across this precedent that I thought was interesting and similar vision of how this core slim stairs which become towers projecting upwards.
From the architect Homu – in Italy.
“Bologna was named “Silva Turrita” in the late Middle age. In a rapresentation of the city in the XII sec. Bologna was a little Manhattan.
Nowadays just few towers still exist.
The project investigates the Middle age tower-house typlogy in relation with the sprawl extension of the town.
Small proportion towers, working on the matrix of existing spaces, increase the potential and quality of life on the ground, experimenting a new model of urban relationships at 30 m of altitude