Architecture Generates Territory
Thesis Project, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria, 2020

One: The border as a volume. The tower is a residential cantilevering sidescraper hanging along Billionaires Row on 57th Street in Midtown Manhattan, a street known for its set of ultra-luxury residential skyscrapers. At the heart of the action, the sidescraper is a tower that does not require any lot on the floor and relies solely on unused air rights from its neighbors. It is a typology born from the extreme shortage of available lots in New York City’s prominent districts. The project aims to uncover unusual spatial conditions while preempting existing laws. The inner courtyard is updated to become a more spatial courtyard, not sitting on Planet Earth’s ground surrounded by the back sides of buildings but it is now suspended in between roofs, bottoms, and walls. The suspended sidescraper also uncovers a new façade: the bottom of the building, now visible from the street.

Two: Point Architecture. It represents a point that is so strong that it attracts other elements towards itself. The resulting aggregate forms a radial territory where it is not clear where it ends. The boundary is a gradient, as with campfires. To cite Reyner Banham about the area surrounding the campfire he says that “The direction and strength of the wind will decide the main shape and dimensions of that space, stretching the area of tolerable warmth into a long oval, but the output of light will not be affected by the wind, and the area of tolerable illumination will be a circle overlapping the oval of warmth.” I would argue that this is a simplification of reality and that the oval of warmth doesn’t end up as a strict line, but gradually.