Compiled by Team IAnD
Photography: Jianshi Wu, Yitan Sun; courtesy V2com
Try envisioning a sunken Central Park surrounded by a horizontal "sidescraper"? The winner of 2016 eVolo Skyscraper Competition re-imagines the future of New York City's skyline…
Titled "New York Horizon", a horizontal "sidescraper" envisioned by two young New York-based designers, Jianshi Wu and Yitan Sun, was selected the 1st Prize winner of 2016 eVolo Skyscraper Competition among 489 projects received from around the world. The annual award recognizes outstanding ideas that “redefine skyscraper design through the implementation of novel technologies, materials, programs, aesthetics, and spatial organizations”.
Rather than constructing a traditional skyscraper by building upwards, "New York Horizon" envisages a new paradigm by digging downward to Central Park's bedrock, which will reveal the park’s rugged natural terrain (going back to its 150-year origins), while also creating a continuous wall of skyscrapers around its periphery to house habitable spaces (apartments, retails, museums, libraries, etc.) with unobstructed views of the new underground park.
Consequently, the 300m tall, 30m wide wall of skyscrapers/mega-structure would create approx. 18 sq kms of habitable indoor space, while introducing a more natural diversity and verticality to the old 3.6 sq km flat Central Park. The soil removed from the park is proposed to be used to add a more dynamic landscape (minimountains, hills etc.) to underdeveloped plots all over Manhattan to create a new urban condition, where the newly constructed landscape becomes a cohesive part of the city.
Following Manhattan’s city grid, main circulation cores (elevators) are proposed to align with every single street from 59th to 110th street to transfer people down to the park, as well as to various other floors. Secondary circulation (ramps, stairs) would connect separate spaces in various scales between the cores.
According to Sun and Wu, the goal of their bold concept is to reverse the traditional relationship between landscape and architecture. Instead of building distant, flat landscapes to surround and complement individual architectural buildings, the natural landscape is now the centerpiece.
Though it is unlikely that any of the entries to the eVolo competition was submitted with the goal that they might one day be built, it does not diminish the enthusiasm of participants. "we believe it is the innovative thinking behind these designs that is important," Says Wu and Sun, "the most abstract concepts can contain the seed of a visionary idea that might otherwise never be discovered."