The project within the context on New York challenges the plaza role and its architectural development in the city. In the case of the Seagram building, where the plaza was used by Mies for monumental purpose, the plaza typology has been set and has evolved into becoming dissolute within the corporate realm of New York. The dissolution looks into the evolving architectural frame and form of the plaza and how it has shifted.
The layout of the city of New York predominantly deals with the issues of the plot and density and the relationship between the plot and the street. The plaza since then has been architecturally crafted by Mies to set his own building apart from the anomaly of buildings; the intermediary between the plot and the street. The plaza thus stood as the mediating link between the corporation and the city. This link itself which is effectively the plaza has adopted an array of forms up until the point of obsolescence, and thus my proposal is an alternative scenario drawn of this integral link between the corporation and the city; this itself is seminal since the brief discusses the relationship of the corporation with the city.
The proposal uses architectural elements such as the slopes of the plaza, the column grid, the façade treatments and materials as ingredients to design a plaza with a spectrum of accessibility; as the plaza itself is now essentially about accessibility; the integrating factor between the city and the corporate domain. Accessibility being an integral aspect, as accessibility into the buildings discussed by Reinhold Martin (Multi National Cities) is what leads to the obsolescence of the corporate plaza.
In the build up to the argument of the plaza, the issue of the zoning of the plaza becomes critical; zoning within itself is paramount in New York, and within my project the zoning of the different plazas are articulated by the architectural features. This in turn cements how the plaza is defined and reconfigured within an architectural framework.
The building proposed is merely an alternative version of the corporate brand where the corporation is generously offering up plaza space to the city of New York. Precedents of this are the Seagram Building, Lever House and the Chase Manhattan Bank. More specifically: the proposal itself questions the role private corporations play in the city, in that they are able and can afford to provide public spaces within a city; more specifically privatized public spaces.
It stands across the existing Morgan Stanley corporate hubs as being a public and civic gesture; a proposal via its exposed plazas being one about the banks gestural front to the public.
The proposal does not solve the issue of privatized public space, but uses clear design guidelines which put into questions the role of privatized public space .