Parks and Cities: Climate, Experience, and Frugality as Design Engines

The site of the studio is one of the last building sites in New York City\’s Battery Park City, a small city block between the Irish Hunger Memorial and my office\’s Teardrop Park, now completed just to the north of the studio site. This studio will require three design solutions of the same site, each with different programs: The first will assume no buildings on the entire site; for the second (and working with a guest architect as studio faculty), students will solve the site as an urban design/architecture/landscape, designing both the massing of the architecture from the actual program on the site that includes a mixed use of residential in towers, but with diverse first floor programming of a branch of the New York Public Library and a new center for Poet\’s House, a New York institution with the largest holding of books of poetry in the United States. The third project will be the Polshek office\’s actual architectural design for the site, but with this studio solving the park component. Emphasis will be on the links between natural sunlight, shade, wind, urban soils, and how to make these engines of design with a concern for new forms that landscape might take in cities, with concern for veering away from the emptiness of post-minimalism. Visiting faculty will include David Norris and James Carpenter on natural sunlight, heliostats and measuring ambient light levels in cities; Ethan Carr lecturing on the history of parks; an urban wind expert; several visitors from the Battery Park City staff who will lecture and review student work; Gullivar Shepard from MVVA who will guide the architecture project part of the studio; Matt Urbanski and Laura Solano as consulting visitors, and others.The first meeting for this studio will take place the first studio meeting, Tuesday, September 21st at 2 PM in the trays. The class meeting/dinner that was suppose to take place on September 15th at Michael\’s office has been canceled.