The Unfinished Greatest Grid

The Greatest Grid: Unfinished

In conjunction with The Greatest Grid: The Master Plan of Manhattan, 1811-2011, edited by Hilary Ballon, The Museum of the City of New York in conjunction with their exhibit on the grid is also presenting The Unfinished Grid: Design Speculations for Manhattan.

Given that the grid has been altered since it was first planned in 1811, the Architectural League of New York, in partnership with the Museum of the City of New York and Architizer, issued a Call for Ideas inviting architects and urban designers from around the world to speculate about how Manhattan’s grid might be adapted, extended, or transformed in the future. It asked them to consider issues such as how the grid might be modified to respond to climate change or new transportation infrastructures; how new digital technologies might affect the form and function of the buildings in which we live and work and the impact they might have on the city’s streets and public spaces; what the most pressing issues are facing the city today and into the future; and what solutions might emerge out of (and in turn modify) the street grid.

You can view a side show of the different proposals which include:

* A second grid 700 feet above the existing street grid. This new grid relieves street congestion, creates new sites and facilities for tourism, and redefines Manhattan as a truly three-dimensional grid.

* Extending the existing grid with “informal” configurations of blocks along the waterfront, creating both new sites for building and novel spatial experiences for pedestrians.

* The creation of a virtual grid which is overlaid on the existing physical grid, a digital platform onto which residents can upload ideas for their block, neighborhood, or the city as a whole. The ideas are then accessed by New York architects, who in turn upload design responses to the same virtual grid, which are visible to everyone using smart phones and social networks.

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