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Past Futures, Present, Futures

A two part  exhibit at Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York City designed by Leong Leong. The exhibit which runs from 10.06.12 - 11.24.12 displays unrealized visions for New York City by designers and visionaries throughout the cities history. The second phase of the exhibit invited a broad group of designers to revisit these ideas with fresh eyes. 

Photo by Naho Kubota
Photo by Naho Kubota
Photo by Naho Kubota
Photo by Naho Kubota
Photo by Naho Kubota
Geoff Manaugh and myself we given Lebbeus Woods's image of Lower Manhattan. The image shows the East River drained exposing a bedrock canyon running the cities edge. The rules required we not spend more than 10 hours on the image and that the accompanying text not exceed 400 words. 

Our approach was to provide an explanation for the condition setup by Lebbeus Woods while simultaneously providing a look at how this new space is seen as an asset to the city. Our image is of a trail map for the newly formed Lower Manhattan National Park. The image and text describe how the city meets this new canyon and some of the geological features found within the park.
Image by Lebbeus Woods
Lower Manhattan National Park

In 2057, massive flood-control structures protecting New York City from the rising seas required a redirecting of the Hudson and East Rivers northeast, into Long Island Sound. The resulting dams—the construction of which triggered small earthquakes throughout New England—allowed for the draining of the old riverbed south and east of Manhattan, revealing the unearthly geological circumstances on which this archipelagic metropolis sits.

Following several years of scientific surveys into the mazelike gorges and intersecting cliffsides below—complex terrestrial forms previously buried by the waters and mud at the edge of the city—teams from the Army Corps of Engineers set about clearing the region from more than a hundred thousand years’ worth of silt and debris flowing down from the upper watershed. Even shipwrecks going back to the Colonial era were dredged, blasted, and removed—in some cases, the wrecks’ dried and re-kilned timber used to build houses elsewhere in the city.

The resulting reclaimed landscape of gorges, cataracts, caves, slopes, and arches was unlike anything seen in another city—as if the Grand Canyon had been discovered suddenly cleaving Shanghai in two. And thus a new National Park was swiftly declared: Lower Manhattan National Park, its name partially inspired by architect Lebbeus Woods, a New Yorker who explored the urban possibilities offered by damming the city’s rivers in a proposal back in 1999.

By 2076, the nation’s three-hundredth birthday, Lower Manhattan National Park was open to the public, encompassing hiking trails, campsites, interpretive routes, and modern visitors’ centers that unlocked the city’s depths for amateur exploration. For generations, bankers had no idea that, just off the fiscal cliff at the end of their well-known street, the Wall Street Gorges would soon loom, an extraordinary district of trails smelling vaguely of sea salt; or that, within walking distance of Chinatown, switchbacks would lead steeply down into the shadows of a marine void off the Lower East Side. There are the Hudson Caves; the Brooklyn Bridges (a nest of suspension bridges spanning boroughs); Governors Tower (formerly Governors Island); and, of course, the New Wall—the East River Dam itself—now an athletic attraction to people all over the world, lined with climbing routes and ornamental handholds.

New Yorkers once fearful of the rising waters of climate change now look down into vast canyons surrounding the city, lined with historic plaques explaining how this newest of National Parks was born.
Wall St. Detail
Chinatown Detail
Ellis Tower Detail
Jersey Bank Detail
More information can be found at Storefront.

Other contributors include:

Aaron Jones
Adria Carbonell
Alvaro Urbano
Andreas Angelidakis & Sotiris Vasiliou
ABRUZZO BODZIAK, Emily Abruzzo & Gerald Bodziak
AMID.cero9, Cristina Dïaz Moreno & Efrén García Grinda
Ants of the Prairie, Joyce Hwang
Archmongers, Margaret Bursa & Johan Hybschmann
Architecture Commons, Eugene Chang, Eric Ho & Rick Lam
Arqueología del Futuro/PKMN, Rocio Pina Isla & Carmelo Rodríguez Cedillo
Arquitectura 911sc, Jose Castillo
asensio_mah, Leyre Asensio Villoria & David Mah
Beatrice Galilee
BIG, Bjarke Ingels
Bureau des Mesarchitectures, Didier Faustino
Bureau Spectacular, Jiminez Lai
SadarVuga, Bostjan Vuga, Andreas Cesarini & Victor Barbalato
Candy Chang
Carolina Trigo
Christy Cheng
Christian Kerrigan
RuyKlein, Karel Kelin & David Ruy
Dennis Maher
Dread Scott
Emre Hüner
dpr-barcelona, Ethel Baraona Pohl & César Reyes Nájera
Experiments in Architecture and Research (E.A.R.), Jordan Carver
Fake Industries, Urtzi Grau & Cristina Goberna Pesudo
Felix Burrichter
Gaspar Libedinski
GMG Collective, Kostas Grigoriadis & Eduardo McIntosh
XEFIROTARCH, Hernan Diaz Alonso
ikstudio, Mariana Ibañez & Simon Kim
IwamotoScott Architecture with Benjamin Rice
Jack Hogan
W/-- Projects, Jiminie Ha & Pete Deevakul
JDS, Julien De Smedt
Jonathan D Solomon
Leong Leong, Chris Leong & Dominic Leong
Liam Young
Lydia Kallipoliti & Sofia Krimizi
MAS, Philipp von Dalwig
Nooka, Matthew Waldman & Manuel Oh
Miguel Robles-Durán
Mimi Zeiger
MMX Studio, Jorge Arvizu, Ignacio del Rio, Emmanuel Ramirez & Diego Ricalde
MODU, Phu Hoang & Rachely Rotem
MvS Architects, Paul Minifie, Jan van Schaik & Finn Warnock
N, David Burns, Adrian Lahoud & Sam Spurr
NABITO Architects & Partners, Ale Faticanti & Bebo Ferlito
NaJa & deOstos, Nannette Jackowski & Ricardo de Ostos
Nancy Nowacek
NAO, Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss
Office for Political Innovation, Andrés Jaque
Patrick Tierney
Patrizia Gravalos
Pedro Gadanho
Pep Avilés
Popular Architecture, Casey Mack
DRDH Architects, Richard Marks
Kokkugia, Roland Snooks & Robert Stuart-Smith
Sam Jacoby
San Roco, 2A+P, baukuh, OFFICE KGDVS, Salottobuono
SCHAUM/SHIEH, Troy Schaum & Rosalyne Shieh
STPMJ, Seung Teak Lee & Mi Jung Lim
SUPERMANOEUVRE, Iain Maxwell & David Pigram
Snohetta, Laia Clema, Karli Molter, Samantha Stein & Justin Shea
SOFTlab, Michael Szivos
SO-IL, Florian Idenburg & Jing Liu
Sou Fujimoto Architects
Space Group, Gro Bonesmo, Gary Bates & Adam Kurdahl
Spec.Ae, Carla Leitao & Ed Keller with Jillian Crandall
Sporaarchitects, Adam Hatvani, Tibor Dékány, Orsolya Vadász, Bence Várhidi & Tibor Várady
Studio Dror, Dror Benshetrit
Terreform ONE, Mitchell Joachim, Maria Aiolova & Melanie Fessel
VKN, Giancarlo Valle, Isaiah King & Ryan Neiheiser
WEATHERS, Sean Lally