Combo Competition's "Poor But Beautiful" shows a little love to the public parking structure, in all its giant clunky concrete glory. The ideas competition invited designers to create a multi-story parking garage with at least 250 parking spots in Manhattan's Hudson Yards Redevelopment Area.
On top of that, proposals had to include a secondary function -- a movie theater, a farmers' market, shelter, cemetery, etc. -- that contributes to the overall design concept or to its surrounding environment.
At the end of the competition, three prize winners were chosen:
- 1st prize: "Parking Tower" by Jonathan Benner and John Bassett
- 2nd prize: "Park your Soul in Heaven" by Pedro Martins, Ana Santos, and Miguel Pereira
- 3rd prize: "The Community Actuator" by Manson Fung
Three Honorable Mentions were also announced:
- "High Line Cinemas" by Will Fu and Logan Steele
- "Parking" by My-Linh Pham
- "Soundpark" by Jochen Kreuter, Joscha Treeck, Jakob Braun, and Sebastian Haumer
Have a look at these dandy structures below.
1st prize: "Parking Tower"
By Jonathan Benner and John Bassett
Project description: "Like many American cities at the turn of the century, some of New York City’s most iconic monuments of that time were designed as gateways to the city: the Brooklyn Bridge, Pennsylvania Station, Grand Central Station. A visitor passing through each of these corridors would immediately be struck by a sense of awe at having arrived in spaces as soaring and grand as these were, either in the great hall of Grand Central or walking beneath the towering Gothic arches on the Brooklyn Bridge boardwalk. In many cases, the scale of some of these spaces was exaggerated to imbue them with a quality of splendor that was befitting a metropolis as cosmopolitan and symbolic of progress as Manhattan was at the turn of the century.
Respecting the tradition of some of these structures, we envision a parking garage that could act as a similar type of gateway that would elevate the pedestrian experience from car to street level. Once through the thick colonnade, the pedestrian is separated from the vehicular traffic and finds him/herself in a completely open and voluminous stair open to the sky above. We intended this space to be as generous and grand as possible to counter the predominant parking garage layout which isolates the stair core in a tight, dark corner of the garage. In this way, the path down or up is as exalted as the gateway spaces of the turn of the last century.
The continued development of Midtown West from an industrial neighborhood into a viable business district has left the area lacking in amenities such as food services and outdoor public areas for lunch. The Farmer’s market at the base of the building provides an ideal location for the business community to find fresh dining alternatives. A roof garden at the top of the garage is a sanctuary where people can retreat to high above the traffic and noise of the street. The stepped nature of the garden provides a space that is protected from the wind but open to the sky giving the enclosure the feeling of an outdoor room."
2nd prize - "Park your Soul in Heaven" by Pedro Martins, Ana Santos and Miguel Pereira
Project description: "'There are four indisputable facts creating a quandary about the disposition of human remains: a rapidly increasing population, urbanization, a finite amount of land and the certainty of death. Every year, globally, more people migrate to cities and live in increasingly close quarters, which creates a premium on finite land. This premium on real estate often makes the use of land for the interment of the dead inefficient, if not wasteful.' by Christopher Coutts in A Lifetime after the Baby Boom, a Burial Boom, New York Times, October 2013.
Like it is unconceivable to imagine a city without cars, it should also be unimaginable to conceive a city without its dead. A big part of us was already born in the city and, as referred in the article, will most certainly die here. Aren't we allowed to linger in the city, where we lived our lives, forever?
If there isn't enough space for both the living and the dead, and their cars, then an efficient metropolitan solution should be proposed. The concept featured establishes the relation of the proportion of soil occupied by cars and graves (and cemeteries), and concludes that a vertical growth could be a beginning."
3rd prize: "The Community Actuator" by Manson Fung
Project description: "Community Actuator reconceptualizes the parking structure from a private singular enterprise to a multivalent public service provider. By using programmable robotic parking system, the Community Actuator not only efficiently stores cars for individuals, but also contains much needed urban public spaces that are activated by the infrastructure stored within the system. Community Actuator is a new way to recast an urban infrastructure as a flexible and adaptable purveyor for public services."
All images courtesy of Combo Competitions.
Click the thumbnail gallery below to see more images of the prize winners and the Honorable Mentions.
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