Every year eVolo launches a skyscraper competition, and the winner this year is as unconventional as an architectural proposal could get. Yitan Sun and Jianshi Wu have proposed that the beloved Central Park of New York be dug down to its bedrock, and a mega-structure be built around it. The result is a walled fort; the difference being that the fort here is the park.
So why are they doing this?
The designers believe that not everyone is able to fully enjoy the Central Park on a day to day basis. By building a mega-structure around the park below ground level, they wish to offer more residential, office and retail, and cultural spaces, thereby directly connecting the park to many people’s daily life. The structure would be 1000 feet tall and only 100 feet deep, surpassing the area of the empire state building by 80 times!
The views show the excavated park as a vision of hillocks and natural terrain, with ponds surfacing in between. “The ambition is to reverse the traditional relationship between landscape and architecture, in a way that every occupiable space has a direct connection to the nature,” they said. The designers have envisioned a park with an endless visual expanse by cladding the walls of the mega-structure with highly reflective mirrored glass.
The question that arises Is that though building the mega-structure would provide opportunities to the people there to connect to the park, how does the proposal serve to connect the rest of the city to it? In fact if this hypothetical project was ever to be realised in the sky-scraper infested city, would the existing tall structures be even more disconnected with this park that would now be enclosed like a fort? Would the mirrors actually impart a sense of an infinite expanse or would the mega-structure take away from the corners of the park its most important requirement, the sun?
By: Sahiba Gulati