Porous City:
City as Archipelago

 

The Cooper Union
Master of Architecture II | Fall 2015
Professor: Pablo Lorenzo-eiroa

 
 
 

Site: 
1. 33rd & 34th Streets, 59th & 60th streets in Manhattan NY
2. Roosevelt Island, Queens NY
3. Long Island City, Queens NY

In order to understand the typology of Manhattan, it is necessary to look at the relationship between the sky and the underground conditions. Starting from the study of each of Manhattan, Roosevelt Island, and LIC’s unique ground formations (hard bedrock to soft silt ground), the environmental forces such as water runoff, floods, glacier movements that have influenced on the accumulation throughout history is researched and analyzed. 

The extreme difference on the sky and the ground relationships/conditions between Manhattan and LIC largely involves the natural barrier, the East river, and the infrastructures, subways and LIRR (Long Island Rail Road). The reading of transitions from Manhattan’s underground, ground level which merges to LIC’s sky level, to LIC’s ground triggers questions, “if it is just the East river that is being a divider of two boroughs, how would we see their connection and transition in terms of their pure typological relationship and influence from environmental forces?” From these questions, this project proposes a new way of reading the cities: blurring the boundaries, revealing the porosity, and re-linking by only in consideration of the correlating conditions.

 
 
Lea_east river1.jpg
Analysis of East river through study of topography of the lands around it (East side of Manhattan, Roosevelt Island, West Queens and Brooklyn), oceanography, and flow simulation from statistics gathered.

Analysis of East river through study of topography of the lands around it (East side of Manhattan, Roosevelt Island, West Queens and Brooklyn), oceanography, and flow simulation from statistics gathered.

Lea_east river2.jpg
 
CNC model of ocean floor topography of East river along with East Manhattan, Roosevelt Island, and Long Island City, Queens for ink experimentation/simulation of water run-off or deposit.

CNC model of ocean floor topography of East river along with East Manhattan, Roosevelt Island, and Long Island City, Queens for ink experimentation/simulation of water run-off or deposit.

 
 
Soil composition of Queens region is indicated. From top to bottom: bedrock surface, lloyd sand member surface, jamecdo gravel surface, gradiners clay surface, clay member surface, geology and approximate surface before deposition of jameco gravel.

Soil composition of Queens region is indicated. From top to bottom: bedrock surface, lloyd sand member surface, jamecdo gravel surface, gradiners clay surface, clay member surface, geology and approximate surface before deposition of jameco gravel.

Water table contour/ ground water level  in chronological order from top to bottom  (1906-1975)

Water table contour/ ground water level
in chronological order from top to bottom
(1906-1975)

 
 
 In order to understand the geology of the site, it involves understanding of glacier movement throughout history. Glacier movement changes the land formation, both inside and outside. The drawing represents the glacier movement of New York City region which flowed from NNE to SSW, down to the Hudson Valley. Glacier creates deposits and sediments that hugely affects on the quality/property of the soil which eventually affect on what type of foundation and building will be built on top. The horizontal lines represent glacier margin and the diagonal lines represents the flow direction.

 In order to understand the geology of the site, it involves understanding of glacier movement throughout history. Glacier movement changes the land formation, both inside and outside. The drawing represents the glacier movement of New York City region which flowed from NNE to SSW, down to the Hudson Valley. Glacier creates deposits and sediments that hugely affects on the quality/property of the soil which eventually affect on what type of foundation and building will be built on top. The horizontal lines represent glacier margin and the diagonal lines represents the flow direction.

 
The sites, 33rd & 34th Streets, 59th & 60th streets in Manhattan, Roosevelt Island, and Long Island City’s noly map is color-coded with red (Manhattan) and green (Queens). The sites are decided on the basis where connections between Manhattan and Queens occur. The ground level or above ground transportation (bridges, LIRR) are indicated which create physical connections between two islands.

The sites, 33rd & 34th Streets, 59th & 60th streets in Manhattan, Roosevelt Island, and Long Island City’s noly map is color-coded with red (Manhattan) and green (Queens). The sites are decided on the basis where connections between Manhattan and Queens occur. The ground level or above ground transportation (bridges, LIRR) are indicated which create physical connections between two islands.

 
The selected and color-coded areas created the “loop” among Manhattan, East river, and Queens, creating flow or continuity despite physical separation; Manhattan’s underground level merges via transportation  to LIC’s roof level. After researching topology of the site, flood scenario of the area is simulated. 

The selected and color-coded areas created the “loop” among Manhattan, East river, and Queens, creating flow or continuity despite physical separation; Manhattan’s underground level merges via transportation
to LIC’s roof level. After researching topology of the site, flood scenario of the area is simulated. 

 
The “loop” (buildings and transportation) and underground topography simulated in 3D.

The “loop” (buildings and transportation) and underground topography simulated in 3D.

 
The map is reread in terms of their pure typological relationship and influence from environmental forces. Then the map is re-color-coded according to above ground (Manhattan, red) and underground (Queens, green) conditions/relationships. This map blurs and makes boundaries porous, revoking a new way of reading the cities beyond physical conditions but in consideration of history and environmental forces. 

The map is reread in terms of their pure typological relationship and influence from environmental forces. Then the map is re-color-coded according to above ground (Manhattan, red) and underground (Queens, green) conditions/relationships. This map blurs and makes boundaries porous, revoking a new way of reading the cities beyond physical conditions but in consideration of history and environmental forces. 

 
Factor 1: Soil density

Factor 1: Soil density

Factor 2: Flood simulation

Factor 2: Flood simulation

Factor 3: Water runoff

Factor 3: Water runoff