Alternative Reality: The Monument, the Megastructure and the Luxury Hotel
Wilson, Stacey Leigh
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This thesis inherits the infrastructure of Lower Manhattan’s Exit 2, where the Brooklyn Bridge and elevated FDR highway intersect. A recent proposal for a nearby ultra-exclusive luxury hotel is controversial. The site faces issues of national security, flood-risk, seismic activity, historic preservation and social disjunction. Using social criticism as the vehicle for design, an alternative reality is suggested, one in which the luxury tower’s hotel program is relocated, confined to the abandoned vaults beneath the bridge. The dynamics of the site are addressed through the formation of characters from the surrounding disjointed neighbourhoods. The resultant design focuses on seven key sectors: the approach, the lobby, the datum, the gardens, the hotel room, the structural jungle and the bunkers. Experienced through the eyes of the characters as passersby, the ornate structure of the vaults is juxtaposed against mundane city life.