Architecture Design Option Studio — New York Squares (D'Hooghe)

Mandatory lottery process
Required of: 

New York Squares 

The 2020 Spring studio taught by Alexander D'Hooghe will research the shape, form, technical challenge, cultural narrative and typological innovation presented by multimodal hubs in urban context. The studio elaborates last years' theme, 'Antwerp Plazas' in Europe, but this time in a US context. 

The studio aims to design a complex urban architectural project, 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. 

However, 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 recent state of the research about emerging trends. This brief mostly 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. How can a hub building be ready to host a series of unpredictable futures?  

The studio also presents a design challenge between a flexible series of lower floors, and high-density — potential skyscraper — buildout on higher levels. 

The sites are in Jamaica Bay, NYC, near the terminal of the skyline from JFK Airport. There are 2 to 3 sites, with students choosing a site relatively soon in the studio. We will travel to NYC.

In the adaptation of our urban systems towards a more sustainable future, the role of architecture can be more than decorative. If our discipline succeeds in solving the typology of a multi-modal hub in an urban environment, it will impact urban organization systemically in many cities. That is the reason for the three-year focus within the studios taught by this instructor.