Incubator for Manhattan – onwards and upwards

Following on from the tutorial in London and reviewing my project I’ve spent time working through the different strategies and mechanisms for the roller coaster track v monorail track.  The different structure supporting these types and the means by which to move the Architects Pod.

Chain Lifts, drive tyre or electromagnets mounted onto the axle casings all have different impact on the movement on the track.  The track too varies in terms of its materiality and what is required of it and that then determines the sweep, maximum inclination and turning frame, but these are dependent upon the size and shape of the architect pod, but also the size of the panels/prototypes being carried on the under croft of the track.  Everything needs to be considered in unison.  In line with technology I’ve carried out mini studies on the different elements and feel that the design will be a hybrid of the different systems.

My aim is to develop the 3d model of the track and architects pod and insert into the 3d model I have built of the Coney Island route.  I have started to also build a 3D model of the area within Manhattan which links with Coney Island.


Looking at the development site in midtown Manhattan, I did a quick study to assess the turning frame and sweep required to carry a two sided panel of the proposed building to the location.  The proximity of the existing building and heights determine the location of the track and the heights of supports.

C:UsersMaggieDocumentsREVITmanhattan site - Floor Plan - Si

This is the diagrammatic route the coaster rail will take in Coney Island.


Its indicates the kinetic moments along the journey.


This is the route in context of the site at Coney Island.  The sections give an idea of how the coaster rail will sit within the area and how the heights of the track enable the Architect to get alongside the development site to oversee the build, at different angles, to use the sight line at a distance to reflect on the design and to dock and download data.  This image is a work in progress, the 3d model only shows the coaster rail as a rough annotation, it will be more refined when I have finished the model.  Once I have finished the Manhattan model I will create the image of the route in Manhattan which links with Coney Island, and the corresponding sections to give a sense of the differing scale between the two zones.  The re-zoning of Coney Island and the zoning of Manhattan are quite different in reality, for this project the site development for the protoype would be governed on the basis that as a temporary build it would be exempt from the zoning regulations set for Coney Island.


This plan gives an insight to the activities taking place at the highlighted views, The views on the right hand side are not finished, they are an indication of extracts that could be taken from the final atmospheric/collage views.  The same would be produced for Manhattan.

The development site in Coney Island would be the same size, shape and orientation as the proposed site in Manhattan, with corresponding boundaries too.  As mentioned previously they are a work in progress.    I need to work into all of the drawing and bring them to life but am still trying to find my format/style.  I did some research into fonts and font combinations and also, many formats.  I look the the top 100 underground posters and although there were many I liked, they fell back into the retro category so no advance on the world fair era.  The few contemporary ones would just dull and boring (see text red grey black below).

I do like the colour scheme and text of the Uxbridge Poster, but I also found a pamphlet about Coney Island which I thought was fun and the colours and text work really well (I think).

Uxbridge backdrop colours and font

So…I have tested it out on a sheet which highlights the modes of transport used to get from Manhattan to Coney Island over the years and the average speed of travel.  The architects pod (when I have finished the design) will site on the teal arrow.  This will lead into the sheet which shows my sketch model of the subway and coaster journey routes, defining the present day journey time/speed/access and their location in relation to the overall scaled plan.

transport jounrey

I have improved the concept model to show the Husdon River and also the prototypes in each location along with the docking station.  I have also included onto the subway sketch model the roller coaster route, photographed them both and now need to work into them to include on sheets.

I would like to work on one of the key views for next Tuesday which incorporates the structural implication and detail needed for Technology, and was thinking of developing something similar to the Incubator of synthesis drawing from last semester whereby a cutaway reveals the construction, a flap opens to reveal the environmental elements and the structure is a 3d element coming out from the page.

Of course the key to it all is still the format!  But I am happy with the colours and fonts I have found so your thoughts would be helpful.




One thought on “Incubator for Manhattan – onwards and upwards

  1. Don’t make such a distinction between ‘atmospheric’ drawings and the others. The qualities that you are striving for in the view drawings – the playfulness and surrealness of the project should be felt throughout the drawings. Every drawing should pitch your version of reality, your proposal. A ‘study to assess the turning frame and sweep required to carry a two sided panel of the proposed building to the location’ is a wonderfully surreal thing (emphasised by this very deadpan descriptive title)! So show this in your drawing. Show us the piece of facade dangling through the city. At the last tutorials we talked about drawing approaches you could look at which has a sense of play and innovation such as
    Archigram, combining drawing and collage

    Cedric Price’s Potteries Thinkbelt Project could be of interest, also a project exploring a dispersed production site (yours architectural design, CP’s – industry of knowledge production and the university)
    This looks to be a good overview, they may have it in the library
    Look particularly at how the proposed spatial networks between sites and transit systems, are drawn and the views afforded through perspectival moments of routes.

    In your overview of route speeds give us some context, other than the scale. What is dictating these variations in speed? I do think that this drawing is promising, I like the out of scale road signs like you might encounter in the train ride through a haunted house. But you need an additional drawing that explains these stops, and slows – what are the turns and ascents/descents in realtion to the architecture of Manhattan? Are we climbing the side of a building? Shooting around the corner of a block? You could have some of the square view drawings to explain the turns and drops.

    The modes of transport sheet is good. What you are looking for is a palette and continuity and you have started to draw this up in an ‘identity’ of font and colour in ‘backdrop colours and font’. I like the ticket strip, and the coloured text and white text against coloured ground work best. Why not take these as your palette and carry them through the portfolio also utilizing the extruded perspectives that you have been using (and in the transport drawing) to appropriately give a sense of dizzying rollercoaster zoooooOOOOm throughout.

    The structural drawings will be important as this is very much where your design stems from so consider your language for this. The drawings for the Pompidou came up last time we spoke, looking to these and other ‘High Tech’ precedents of the era might be useful in thinking through a language of design that very much reveals its structure. At first invest the time in drawing one really great detail (look at your High Line book too) and when this looks awesome, adopt that method and language for the future drawings.

    Looking forward to seeing the evolution for next week. Have fun and be confident and most importantly – make fun and confidence evident in the work!

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