As part of the annual vision42 competition organized by The Architect's Newspaper, four winning proposals have imagined a new future for Manhattan's iconic 42nd Street. The objective of the competition was to envision the highly trafficked road as a car-free boulevard with a light pedestrian rail system, thereby creating a more peaceful urban space. The four winning entries showcase the feasibility of converting 42nd Street's currently congested transportation corridor into a more liveable space that could potentially serve as a model for renovating other dense urban thoroughfares into healthier, green spaces.
Ateliergeorges Studio’s design, From Infrastructure to Urban Renewal, focuses on connecting the city’s existing transportation systems into a new urban transit hub while simultaneously enhancing and interconnecting the surrounding green spaces and neighborhoods including Bryant Park. According to the architects, the 42nd Street corridor “involves local communities and organizations through the planning process and creates grounds for public expression, free speech, and world transformation through a large urban square in front of the United Nations.”
Architect Paul Boyle’ s A Greenway Grows on 42nd Street turns the street’s congested thoroughfare into a lush greenway that would utilize indigenous trees to signal light rail entry points. The forward-thinking design also incorporates resilient and sustainable features such as air quality enhancements, heat islands and storm water run-off managment.
Tiago Torres Campos’s Reactive Ground design envisions the street as a “as a gathering place, an urban and cultural stage, and an environmental facilitator.” As described by Architect’s Newspaper, the proposal “locates 42nd Street on the much wider space-time depth of Manhattan by positing three conceptual layers: the 200-year-old skyline, the 200,000-year-old ground line, and the 200-million-year-old rock line. By breaking up the grid’s sealing cap, the ground line is unleashed as a strategy and vision for Manhattan’s skyline and rock line reconnected.”
Alfred Peter, Charles Bové, and Karen Listowsky’s Light Rail Grand Passage design integrates a light rail system into the streetscape to create a harmonious space shared by both vehicles and pedestrians, “Like a chameleon, the light rail channels the character of each section of its host neighborhood. Bicycle lane, light rail, and green pedestrian spaces are illuminated to ensure vibrancy day and night.”
Via NY Curbed
Images via Architect’s Newspaper