Heart to heart is a temporary public sculpture that is also a love story. Grounded in two separate heart-forms facing away from one another at street level, concentric layers of vibrant painted steel tubes lift upward and twist toward one another, resulting in two illuminated hearts resting against one another at the top. The installation creates an intricate sequence of layered spaces that playfully frame amplify and reveal the city through shifting qualities of shadow and moire. The archway formed at the center symbolizes how New Yorkers depend on each other, especially at a moment where opening our hearts is more important than ever.
Gowanus turns its back to its namesake canal. This is evident in both incidental and absolute forms: an examination of street litter and trash can locations reveals the stark lack of public infrastructure and maintenance along the corridor of the canal; a visualization of neighborhood smells illustrates the area’s evolving uses.
At the most ingrained level, the canal splits the urban fabric of neighborhood down the center. The street grid is fractured, leaving ten dead ends fronting the canal amidst the four built crossings. These dead ends form a network of un-stewarded spaces along the canal periphery.
Atypical for New York City but fundamentally characteristic of the urban figure of Gowanus, these vacant dead-end territories should be recognized for their potential as an embedded system of unique public spaces. This proposal capitalizes on this inherent local condition to create a network of small urban field stations along the canal.
Creating a network of ‘live ends’ in these otherwise unused spaces will encourage exploration, discovery, and revitalization -- a critical first step in the re-orientation of the neighborhood, as the two cleaved sides slowly turn to address the ‘axis civitas’ of the canal.
TEAM: Annie Barrett, Lucas Bucknavage, Grey Wartinger
Selected design team
Re-Envisioning Branch Libraries / The Architectural League and the Center for an Urban Future
BAS formed and led the interdisciplinary team UNION which was selected by The Architectural League to develop visionary architectural possibilities for the transformation and rehabilitation of the New York City branch library team.
Our team was commissioned to develop images of designs to inspire the city’s commitment to a new era of capital investment in the system. But as we studied the challenge at hand, we formed the opinion that simply imagining better more creative, or more inventive buildings would not alone address the fundamental challenges today’s libraries face. Instead, our design proposal envisions strategic architectural innovation at multiple scales: a portfolio of design and strategy proposals that would build momentum around a re-conceptualization of the city’s branch libraries.
The completed project was presented at a public symposium to galvanize civic leaders around a a reinvestment in the City’s library infrastructure.
LABORATORY / LIVINGROOM
Programming and Phase 1 design
BAS has has been working with a New England engineering college to transform their campus library into a hub for academic and hands-on collaboration, experimentation, and research. The school’s progressive mission is to radically change engineering education in order to drive innovation and solve complex global challenges; the Library transformation project will support this goal by creating a magnetic, adaptable, and iconic center for campus innovation.
Eschewing the monumental for the incremental, rejecting the myth of the permanent and embracing the mutable realities of public space, a gargantuan singular financial commitment to the proposed pier 54 project is re-imagined as a network of smaller investments that transform existing infrastructure across the city.