Infrastructural Infill is a reaction to the increasing realization that the city cannot continue to sprawl for the reasons that the quality, specificity, and contrast of the city would be sacrificed in favor of a market-driven, limitless, and homogeneous territory. Capturing population growth in a dense urban environment is essential for the long-term global competitiveness of the city as a built ecology of living, working, creation, socializing, transport, and culture. This research was conducted in hopes that there are alternative models for meeting and exceeding the projected demands of the future city.
Looking specifically at New York City as a case study of a global city in which the creation, affordability, and diversity of new housing is key to its long-term prosperity, the proposed architecture is a strategy born from an investigation of the DNA of the city fabric instead of being an applied model.
Unlike existing proposals for multiple new satellite centers scattered across all of New York’s five boroughs, Infrastructural Infill discovers unused and over-looked space in the heart of Manhattan that can match the largest of these satellite projects, while also providing new affordable forms of housing, working, and transportation.
Seeing Park Avenue as an oversized and underutilized zone that connects four vibrant neighborhoods from 42nd Street to 144th Street, Infrastructural Infill is a study testing the potential to locate a combination of mixed-use housing and transportation in the residual spaces caused by urban infrastructure. This discovered insertion can support one of the highest new densities in the city.
The discussion surrounding the affordable housing shortage, now and in the future, is a subject of extreme tension and is obviously not without conflicting interests from all parties involved. The positions taken and presented here, through Infrastructural Infill, have shown only some of the many possibilities and conclusions that can be found in alternative forms of urban housing.
Midtown has the highest residential zoning classification, R-10, and thus the prime concern is maximizing usable area within the envelop created by the sky exposure planes. The base remains 45’ wide to keep the dimension of the median and to allow a similar traffic flow. The ground floor remains open so that there is a sense of porousness through Park Avenue, just as it has always been.