Audi may not have been one of the finalists for the Taxi of Tomorrow contest, but that doesn't mean that the company isn't interested in laying claim to a piece of the city's future. Audi has launched "Urban Future Initiative: Project New York," exploring how several Manhattan neighborhoods might develop and morph by 2030. And based on the exhibit, it will be damn strange indeed.
The project is part of the Festival Of Ideas For The New City, which is taking place from May 4 to 8 all around Lower Manhattan. Five architects were commissioned by Audi for their project, which debuts Friday at the Openhouse Gallery and will be open to the public during the weekend. The different architects gave the News a preview of their projects.
Architects Dominic and Chris Leong of Leong Leong laid out a plan for Hudson Yards, west of 10th Avenue, which would turn it into a futuristic terrarium-like local:
We are trying to introduce biological interventions that take over the streets and sidewalks. So one idea is that cars could be like bees and could pollinate different areas of the city.
Another idea is that there will be a bunch of towers, tall and slim, oriented toward solar exposure, and they'll have wild organic plant life growing on them. These would be more like a sponge tower with open cavities for vegetation. These towers are more like trees than buildings. They are organic.
Architects Emily Abruzzo and Gerald Bodziak of Abruzzo Bodziak Architects took on Turtle Bay, near the UN, and foresee...an eventual algae uprising?
One thing that produces energy well is algae, the single-cell organism. It grows fast and needs a lot of light, so these leftover building spaces high in the air lend themselves to that kind of production. We'll build these tube systems filled with mucky-looking water with algae. It's a system akin to a hydroponic farm that is all enclosed so the water never evaporates.
Architect Peter Macapia of LabDora wants to create a tunnel connecting the Manhattan Bridge and the Holland Tunnel...that is controlled by The Machines!
The most efficient way to change a road is to embed in it sensors, tiles that are constantly communicating with each other and your car. So it will reroute cars like a certain kind of autopilot. Its vector will be determined by many factors, like in a flock of birds. Tiles would also provide porosity that will allow for less of an eco impact.
And when architect Marc Fornes of TheVeryMany, LLC, looks at the 49 blocks that line Central Park on the Upper West Side, he wants to smash our puny box-like homes:
The brownstones will morph from a hard surface into something much more organic, so the more you go inside the block, the more private it gets. The boxes that we live in nowadays are not necessarily the best use of space. We want to rest in a space that is much more organic. The rooms could grow as needed, like a nest.