Under the context of social segregation, where is the future of New York headed?

New York has always been the centre of international commerce and free market capitalism. Despite this, New York is hugely fragmented in terms of its social distribution of capital, resulting in tension between the marginally few elites and the populist notion of the working class. We envisioned a future for the city, rooted in its past.

New York of the 1920’s was fascinated with the airship and its promise of travel and glamour. At the same time, from the Art Deco skyscrapers of the early 20th century to the development of the International style and recent concerns with symbolism in a post-9/11 society, the architecture of New York acts as a medium towards the greater epoch of the time, be it extravagance, corporatism or national unity.  

The speculative proposal considers the three spectrums of New York in unity; the commercialism, the urban condition and the historical connotation. Programme becomes separated from architecture and alludes to the Archigram notion of the Plug-in-City, though grounded in the realism of commerce and financial ability. Swimming pools, a car showroom complete with test track or even an aquarium are within reach as they float above the city in a pocket of helium.

The project brings back the romantic glamour of New York in its optimistic heyday, but faced with the complicated realities of the city that it is now, transforms into an architectural expression of capitalistic exploitation, polemicizing New York into the city of the elites and the city of the people.

New York, US