New York, NY
The process of construction is a liminal activity. This can be understood within the physical space and time between construction zone and building, the interface between digital techniques of fabrication and interpretation via contracting practices, or simply between the graphic symbol and diagrammatic pattern.Best Pedestrian Route occupies and resonates within this threshold through multiple scales and meanings – a slanted and skewed temporary walkway whose cantilevered form is not only expressive of the volatility within which it is sited, but is also, by design, able to systematically respond to the inherent instability posed by ongoing construction in Lower Manhattan.Best Pedestrian Route is one of three projects selected as part of the RE:Construction Pilot Program sponsored by the Alliance for Downtown New York (ADNY) and curated by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC). Working with the ADNY and the LMCC, and with the support of the Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Department of Transportation, we sited Best Pedestrian Route along the north side of John Street between Broadway and Nassau Streets, installed against the south side of the MTA-owned historic Corbin Building. Situated along the southern boundary of a future entry into the Fulton Street Transit Hub, this route will guide pedestrians across a changing streets cape, immersing them for a few moments in an environment that transforms the familiar symbols of construction into dreamy recollections of summer. Graphic arrow symbols are multiplied and rotated across the length of the iconic orange and white interior cladding, arranged in a flow pattern that transforms the familiar directional symbol into abstract ‘leaves’, guiding visitors through a dynamic interplay of light and shadow. Through these ‘leaves’ passersby can read information about the project, construction plans for the area,and cultural events occurring in Lower Manhattan. The tilted and swooping form of Best Pedestrian Route is possible using digital fabrication technologies to precisely cut all of the components off-site on a computer-numerically-controlled (CNC)mill. The pre-fabricated component parts make the assembly of this temporary structure possible in the course of several hours, not unlike the construction barriers that shift daily.
Photos: Fabian Birgfeld PhotoTECTONICS