UN_CRAMMING - Re-Visiting the Midtown Rezoning
According to a Quantierra study (1) recently featured in the New York Times, 40 percent of
the buildings in Manhattan could not be built as per the current zoning today, because
they’re too tall, bulky, or dense. (2) Between 32nd and 42nd Street, the grid is at its most
congested state, and the bustling blocks are crammed with old overbuilt building stock.
Where the west section around 34 th street is dense with amazing activities; Chelsea, the
new Hudson yards with the high line, Penn Station, etc., the East side on the other hand
is almost forgotten.
To mark the hundredth anniversary of the New York City’s zoning code, we propose the
next dimension of zoning, a 4-dimensional framework that un-crams Manhattan’s 2-
and 3- dimensional congestion. By projecting the grid’s coordinates into Hypercubes, we
develop a typology that falls between the scale of city block and building, a city in a city.
Located at the water edge of the East river, this becomes a new terminal building, a
domestic haven on top of the new 2 nd Ave subway line, multiple ferry lines and the
LaGuardia water taxi.
This 4-dimensional framework will re-activate Manhattan’s forgotten East Side. The
Hypercube is flanked by a large suspended public park and pool. Sixty percent of the
Hypercube is public and shared program, while 40% is occupied with mixed-use space
and housing, distributing the allowable 10 FAR at once condensed and airy; a new way
of sharing and city dwelling.
1 Stephen Smith, and Sandip Trivedi. Quantierra Real Estate.
2 Bui, Quoctrong, Matt A.V. Chaban, and Jeremy White. "40 Percent of the Buildings in
Manhattan Could Not Be Built Today." The New York Times. N.p., 20 May 2016. Web. 21 June 2016.