the unfigured secular empathetic space without affiliation
term | fall 2012 critic | Yehuda Safran school | Columbia GSAPP
site | alphabet city, NY program | public center
In a time of social protest and collective gathering, highlighted through events like Occupy Wall Street and cultural celebrations, public space has become a symbol of our culture. No public space in Alphabet City exists separately from the parks and gardens. Space for meaningful gathering including celebration, protest, and greiving has previously been limited to religious institutions and other affiliated structures. This project proposes a new program typology to give a space for the public.
The new public ground that connects to Joseph Sauer Park offers a flexibility to accommodate different programs. Sliding panels move to divide or connect space for different events. An added topography gives seating for gathering and speeches. Light, sound, and the metaphor of water make the simple structure monumental.