New York, NY
This island at Canal Street and Baxter Street is a nexus, both static as a territory and in constant change. It is compact, yet incessantly active and energized. The Gateway is a place maker, a frame of white steel that marks this key intersection and catalyzes interaction, assembly, and social activity.
Constant city growth is entropic due to the organic nature of urban change. But this ever-present metamorphosis, while often chaotic, is also catalytic and energizing. The architectural form and material quality of the gateway refer to the past making and constant re-making of our city and to the residue of construction that defines our collective memory. Steel frames, primarily hidden from our view by the cloaks of masonry and other types of material dressing, form the skeletons of our most iconic structures. Empire State. Chrysler. Flatiron. These buildings are made of columns and beams that are mostly buried, encased within an outer clothing and obscured from sight.
We strip that away. We celebrate structure. We utilize construction systems as our architectural expression. We open our gateway literally and physically, presenting a building captured in a state of simultaneous completion and quasi-construction. The space defined by the Gateway is a constantly changing environment, manipulated by projectable light and color, the movement of people inside and through it, and is transformed by the motion which constantly surrounds it. But it is also reliable and static. It is a marker, a shelter, a signpost, and a lighthouse. The Gateway functions temporally as a place for momentary pause or as a meeting point for the transient. It is where friends commence their walking tour, download mapping information to find their way through the neighborhood, where they plan a food crawl. It is where these same friends end their long Saturday to take a photograph within the arcade running through the Gateway, having learned about Little Italy, Chinatown, and the history of Lower Manhattan. It is where school groups meet before listening to a talk about the symbolism of the moon gate while standing within one, where fourth-graders can sit on small white seats attached to support columns while watching animations of colorful, abstract dragons made of light dance on the scaffolding just over their heads. It is a field on which projected light can mark events, blazing in the colors of certain holidays or cultural iconography. It is a marker for bicyclists who demount to take a swig of water, a steel frame characterized by gridded space that box truck drivers note as they slowly work their way across Canal Street before delivering goods to local vendors.
At a crossroads, the Gateway is a luminous gathering place, a communal space within the larger clatter of the city.
New York, NY
Mariam Alshamali, Leeland McPhail, Alex Stewart, Thom Medek, Meredith Kole
The Gateway is a place maker, a frame of white steel that marks this key intersection and catalyzes interaction, assembly, and social activity.