This project was conceived to envision a kind of natural orientation device within a man-made former industrial landscape. The orthogonal grid system of block and building organization was based on purely economic exigencies to maximize commercial real estate profits. Any references to the cardinal points of the compass or other conventional, empirically derived siting considerations were explicitly ignored. Nonetheless, the relatively uniform bulk and height of the loft buildings in this district resulted in the creation of a vast rooftop landscape punctuated by water towers, bulkheads, mechanical equipment, etc. rather than the typical natural features such as trees, natural topography, rock outcroppings, and the like.
The intervention proposed announces itself by inserting a disruptive gash in the mass-built fabric. This vertical space accommodates a tall stairway which transitions from axial to spiral as it ascends to a viewing platform from which to apprehend the contrasts among the artificially-oriented grid of the city and the natural phenomena of earth’s magnetic fields and the diurnal movement of the sun across the sky, as well as the textural differentiation of biological and mechanical landscape elements.
Once physically rooted in the starkly contravening geometries, the viewer advances across a skybridge which places the juxtaposition of orientation in high relief. The final destination of this revelatory journey is a simple, post-industrial residential pod – a modest human outpost in this non-natural environment.