PROGRAM: Space Research HQ
SITE: 40th + 1st, Near United Nations
CONTEXT: New York City, USA
Space has become redundant again. Popular culture is uninterested in the goings-on in space. For most it is a junkyard filled with obsolete satellites and other clutter. The ambitions are muddy.
Once achieved, mans absurd relation with space becomes yesterdays news. The process forgotten. What culture is interested in are things that can add to its own amusement and especially local activities. To become relevant to the public, CASIS must be an amenity and not a mission.
Instead of promoting the center as a space headquarters, market it as a public interface: hockey rinks, dog parks, terraces, nighttime activities etc. Allow the public to move through the building unimpeded and they will already be there to support the space missions when necessary.
Forms attempt to free up the maximum amount of building space for exterior public functions. Lifted forms and structural frames are adapted and reappropriated from the remnants of the space race.
A layered sequence of interior spaces and 24/7 publicly accessible parks split the program up and force interaction between the casual person and the secretive space employees. The public doesn't care about space but maybe a casual encounter could change their opinions on the subject.
Three public parks sandwich the three private programs. (0) Hockey Rink/park; (1) Private Offices; (24) Auditoria/Learning; (5) Terrace Park; (68) Space Box Gallery; (9) Star Gazing Roof Park
The public path crosses through the project uninhibited while connections are provided so that the curious may enter.
The massing and scale of programs move between surreal notions of the aspirations of space missions and the required dimensions of certain desired public activities and functions.
The private deadend within Tudor City is extended across the road and pulled through the new HQ. A layered connection is established on axis with the new proposed park and ferry terminal.
Two major public spaces sit on either side of the building—a large vegetated public park toward the river and a smaller hardscaped park for street hockey leagues.
The desired program is small in comparison to the allowable buildout of the site. The building is stacked and pushed to the edge as a strategy for converting the small program into presence in the city. The remaining open space at ground level becomes a needed hockey rink and dog park.
Interior and exterior uses may be used completely independently of program—the parks at the bottom, middle, and top of the building are completely accessible to the public with dedicated lifts at all times of the day.
(B2) Storage/mechanical (B1) Service offices/lockers (0) 1st Avenue entrance, hockey rink, seating (1) Offices (2) Lobby and reception (3) Education + exhibition (4) Digital Education + conference spaces
(5) Conference hall + prefunction (6) Middle exterior terrace (7) Exhibition 1 (8) Exhibition 2 (9-10) Stargazing terraces
The gold exhibition cube floats independent above the lobby and public paths. A screen mesh obscures the reading of the gold during the day while fading away and revealing the cube only at night.
Within the gold cube, the exhibition space is a thick technological box to be augmented with sensory equipment and media that introduce a virtual environment.
Service functions are pushed to the edge of the site. The corner of the cube floats over the arena entrance via the expressed steel trusses tied back to the corners.
Formal and informal auditoria and learning spaces twist in response to the flow of the public paths and offer a variety of scales and intimacy with the content.
(Primary) Megastructural diagonals; (Secondary) Vertical columns; (Tertiary) Cross braces shear walls
The bridge from Tudor city slides through the building and splits at the junction of the lobby and cafe. The added infrastructure assists the development of the neighborhood while simultaneously impacting the form and flow of the new volume.
A repetitive set of floor plates are deployed and then transformed by the voided regions of the volume as composed on the elevation. A system of squares and cubes are used as a proportioning system.
A series of layered facades increase the depth and add multiple readings to the facade over the span of the day.
Variations in the penetrations of the outer screen are revealed at night. Light from the interior exposes the interior programs and volumes as an anchor across the new public park across 1st Ave.