The Exception to Prove the Rule
This Manhattan quarter nearby the meat market, along Hudson River, is crossed by what remains of an old railway and old metal bridges across the 12th and the 13th streets, a few steps from Washington Street.
The building site is crossed by the rails. The realism incites to build a massive block above the rails. The analysis of the site characteristics, in a neighborhood where the inhabitants are willing to keep the meat market and what remains of the past, leads me to construct around the rails by maintaining bridges and tracks, by creating an urban terrace, a public terrace for bars and restaurants. This leads to the construction of three buildings above three tiny places: two triangles and one trapezoid. Shops are under the tracks in the continuation of the sidewalks of Washington Street.
A thin tower rises up in the sky, an industrial like tower above a proportion of a harbor chimney. It contains large apartments with quadrate views over the “land-marks” of Manhattan, and over the fabulous light of the Hudson sunset, through all kinds of windows, small or large. This explains the atypical façades, the light effects being accentuated by the use of different materials, the steel becoming shimmering above the rails :
– to diffract the rising and setting suns and create light gaps against the sunlight
– to assert the exception of an arrow of shade and light rising up in the middle of warehouses.