[Image: From Manhattan’s Annex by W. Amanda Chin. View larger].
There are a few student projects from my trip the other week to Rice University that I’m going to be posting here over the next week or so – beginning with Manhattan’s Annex: The Crosstown [of] Excess by W. Amanda Chin.
For her thesis project at Rice, Chin proposed ten “waterscrapers” that would slice across the urban space of Manhattan, cutting through buildings, through parks, and through the urban grid itself, forming strange aquatic intersections with the city.
[Image: From Manhattan’s Annex by W. Amanda Chin. Image slightly cropped: view larger].
Inside would be routes for scuba-diving, new aquariums, and multi-seasonal sites for public swimming.
These above-ground pipes of water – like hydro-boulevards, or one might say the hydrological Haussmannization of Manhattan – are less an actual proposal for construction than a sort of architectural dream: the city cross-cut by amniotic utopias through which people can wander at all hours of the day.
[Images: From Manhattan’s Annex by W. Amanda Chin; view larger].
As you can see in the short comic strips that accompanied the project – see the larger Flickr set for more – the project is themed around overlapping idea of excess, self-indulgence, and addiction, as if these Voluntary Prisoners of Architecture-like scenes might be therapeutic, a mass psychotherapy of space.
It’s 3am and you’re depressed; you can’t sleep. You go out wandering across Harlem, inside one of the Annexes, completely alone, not a single other person in sight – when a group of people goes scuba-diving over your head. As if they’ve attained flight through an artificial river in the sky.
In a city of insomniacs, the city itself becomes the dream.
See more: Manhattan’s Annex: The Crosstown [of] Excess by W. Amanda Chin.