The History Channel with IBM and Infiniti: City of the Future Competition
Location: presented at Grand Central Station, New York, NY
Completion: November 2006 presentation
Exhibition: The Museum of Science and Industry
In an invited competition hosted by The History Channel, select teams were asked to consider what the City of New York’s most densely populated – and densely built – borough might look like in the year 2106. Teams were given one week to develop a proposal and construct a model that would be presented in Grand Central Station to a panel of jurors. No one can predict the future with any definitive measure of accuracy, but as the Earth heats
up, ice caps melt and water levels rise, educated prognosticators can assume that in Manhattan, 20th century reclaimed wetlands will likely return to an unnatural habitat in the 22nd century.
Though the borough’s skyscrapers remain, the mixed-use storefronts that made Manhattan the world’s shopping and business mecca are now under water, literally. They serve to anchor streets, walkways, living spaces and working spaces in pier-like roads, now called vanes, that replace the inundated street grid below. Most importantly, they provide new infrastructure to support the lifestyle and culture that New Yorkers have historically enjoyed. Skyscrapers built the city up 200 years before; now these vanes build Manhattan over ocean water that floods land lost through global warming.
This City of the Future project won first place in the New York City competition in 2006. It was exhibited at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago and later traveled to several other locations. It continues to serve as a what-if possibility as urban planners, architects and engineers look for options in which humans can live in a world that our lack of nature-care has built.
The Interwoven Pavilion was a finalist in the 2011 City of Dreams Pavilion competition that asked the question, “If anything is possible, what will the city of the future look like?”
Part of the challenge was to develop a temporary summer gathering place for people to meet, learn about the arts program on New York’s Governors Island and experience the interaction of art and the island’s history. The other challenge was to do this all as a net-zero energy solution that could be constructed by the team of architects. All materials need to be transported via the island ferry.
[designed while at Architecture Research Office]