Jamaica Bay | New York Squares Option Studio

The studio aims to design a complex urban architectural project in downtown Jamaica Area, which, though strictly limited in terms of its own footprint, has systemic impacts on its broader environment. The architecture of a hub, mixer, exchanger of people and flows, is the subject of the studio. A multimodal hub is a highly concentrated place where different flows of travelers exchange traffic modes. Such a hub organizes accessibility for a wider area, but also organizes a de facto central place in such an area. This approach broadens the field of architectural design to include the realm of infrastructural objects, of which the design is all too often based solely on monofunctional, quantitative rulesets alone. The architectural dimension is that of the public domain, of the celebration and even monumentalisation of a complex daily ritual – mobility.

Actual mobility patterns are in full flux and change, with many new tech innovations and business models complementing traditional vehicle flows and mass transit systems. The studio cannot predict the future but will be provided with the recent state of the research about emerging trends. The fast rise of light e-vehicles (electrified bikes, etc.) is central to our work. This brief also unlocks a question about the relation between architecture (fixed, lasts for decades) and evolving flow technologies. In this sense, this exercise is about organizing architecture with an eye on potential obsolescence.