Been thinking some more about what we discussed on Tuesday regarding briefly summarising the project… for the time being:
A loophole in a foreign aid scheme allows developers in New York to transfer investment from East Harlem to fund the construction of luxury skyscrapers on Billionaire’s Row.
These buildings represent the edifice of a political and economic condition that legitimises corrupt tactics and locates the value of architecture as a financial commodity to be traded on the free market.
The Project imagines an alternative proposal for one of these skyscrapers that is to be de-programmed through cross-fertilisation with the Harlem Tower; the uninhabited condo rendered uninhabitable.
Since then I’ve been working on drawing up a proposal for the scheme and looking in to some more skyscraper tech following discussions with Colin. Some of the early moves:
– the lower portion of the facade of the existing Helmsley Hotel is retained to a height of 60m. This will create the first threshold in the building and open on to a vaulted lobby space anterior to the escalating privacy of the tower. This is an architectural symptom of a planning law that favours preservationism through the allocation of floor area bonuses to the retaining of existing structures; the facade being the archetypal example of this cynicism.
– The volume of this lobby is equivalent to that of Taft House, the elevation of which is etched onto a pair of 1:1 scale bronze doors leading on to the lift lobby.
– Above, a 310m high addition, set back by a distance of 2.5m at the 12th, 14th, 16th and 17th floors to comply with zoning laws.
– The building core is shifted from the centre of the building and bifurcated to form a pair of cores bookending the East and West elevations to maximise the plan efficiency of the building.
– The cores house risers and lift shafts with sky lobbies every 14th floor to allow for transfer between local and express elevators serving the apartments.
– A burrito restaurant and raked earth garden will be located at the top of the building and served by a shuttle lift.
– An ornamented limestone facade to the north facade plays an environmental role in thermal control of the building.