6 1/4 Avenue

the greatest grid competition, the unfinished grid exhibition, new york, NY, USA, 2010

The greatest power of Manhattan’s Grid is its capability to simultaneously create the street and the block, transforming this to a non-negotiable New York condition. The bluntness of the plan becomes inexhaustible potential in the section.

Eventually the Manhattan grid, got saturated. The once envisioned Ghost-city, overplayed itself to such an extent that the city came across a need to shrink while still growing. A contradictory series of voids foreign until recently to the city of New York appeared to demonstrate the new era. The incentive zoning that exchanges additional square footage with a reclaimed public plaza allows us to imagine a way to organize and possibly structure a new condition out of the inexhaustible archive of possibilities in Manhattan.

We propose an open incision to the New York block that opens up and exposes what was originally designed to stay hidden in the interior. 6¼ Avenue is a series of through-block public plazas forming a street that can call itself avenue since it borrows and proliferates the directionality and program of the original avenue typology. The outcome of the experiment is a sequence of both designated and accidental spaces that express the same premise: the ability to cross through the block.

As the 6¼ Avenue traverses the blocks that lay between 6th and 7th Avenues, the violent revelation of the intenstants of the city claims a series of findings, possible byproducts of the reaction that attempt to either weld the differences or exaggerate the gaps. We set out for an exploration of new building types, triggering a set of anomalies, that will eventually compose a new typology of public space.

Sofia Krimizi, Kyriakos Kyriakou with Inti Rojanasopondist, Jennifer Endozo, Pauline Caubel, Yubi Park.