This physical model and text were created for the '5x5 Exhibition' curated by Original Copy. Click here for some nice coverage in the Architects Newspaper:
In light of falling confidence in world markets and near 0% interest on government bonds, New York City real estate has become a financial safe haven. With ground level sites almost entirely occupied, developers have turned their interests skyward.
Under pressure to create new investment opportunities, the City Planning Commission has up-zoned Manhattan and eliminated height restrictions. Their intent was to immediately generate a near endless bank of air rights, effectively printing money for investors. Instead they inadvertently spurred an entirely new building typology: a site-less tower.
These slender forms, tapered to the sky exposure plane, touch terra firma in the most minimal way. Cores and basic structure anchor into micro-sites, alleys, and rear yards. These stilted structures sidestep the ground level boundaries of Manhattan Island, and unlock the full potential of the air above it.