Reflecting the Urban Spectrum

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Submitted by

Ricardo Zurita, Til Globig, Guglielmo Carra, Enrico Tognoni, Scott Kunstadt and Jordi Safont-Tria, Zurita Architects
New York, NY

Summary

The “residential Champs Élysées” of the Bronx, conceived as a linear transportation boulevard oblivious to the urban environments that it transects, is made more responsive to the diverse urban conditions and social changes that the borough, as well as society at large, has experienced in the past 100 years.

Description

Our goals are to reorient the Concourse from an anachronistic thoroughfare for linear movement into a differentiated urban space that reflects and reinforces five key urban conditions that surround it; and reapportion its open space to enhance the neighborhood by streamlining vehicular traffic, providing open recreational and green spaces, and, where appropriate, accommodating affordable housing along its length.

Our overall design philosophy is to reveal the genus loci (i.e., distinctive character and culture) of a place in order to determine our strategies of intervention. We provide designs that reinforce local urban patterns and qualities (e.g., the scale at which pedestrians experience a place). Our mission is to promote the well-being and enjoyment of public spaces that broaden the concept of community to be amply inclusive. Any intervention also considers the natural environment from both local and global perspectives.

The key physical features of our proposal include (from south to north):
• Campus Spine: A central island creates a series of public “rooms” traversed by a water course.
• South Park Edge: Parkland on the east extends into the Concourse.
• Concourse Neighborhoods: Where the Concourse is identified as its symbolic center; the design increases green space and affordable housing within the boulevard itself blurring the north-south divide to fortify an east to west connection.
• Fordham Road Crossing: The residential/commercial zone receives a ¾-mile long central pedestrian promenade.
• North Park Link: The expanded central green space is conceived as a link to parkland to the north.

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