A Temple for Hudson
Harvard Graduate School of Design. Spring 2015
Object Studio. New York CIty.
Advisor: Josep Lluis Mateo (Mateo Architectura, Spain)
The site is located in Chelsea, NY, between 29th and 30th streets facing the West Side Highways. The urban plan is a collaboration with two other classmates. We employed a checker-box plan with the voids being urban public plazas and the building masses on a east-west directionality. Receiving the edge of the block as a site, It becomes apparent that the resulting building must have an intimate relationship with the Hudson River, while still attending to the needs of the city. This forms the main idea of the design, which features a semi-outdoor atrium space partly-conditioned by a central waterfall - cooling and dehumidifying in the summer and heating and humidifying in the winter. As workers walk up the slope, they are filled with visual and sensual relief - the skyline of New Jersey slowly comes into view, as the sound of running water; the filtered light through the roof, and the cooling or warming sensation on their skin comes to their attention. The atrium elevates spirits of visitors as they process through it. It also acts as a sanctuary in direct response to the lack of protected public spaces and food shops during harsh winters at the windy industrial site. The resolute form of the double-bars is designed to follow the grid of the railroad tracks, an important piece of history in the making of Chelsea that is still rendered in the form of the nearby highline. The width of the building “caps” the block, maintaining the boundary of the city and the westside highway.