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Identities of Self and Place in Sunset Park: The unmaking of the Gowanus Expressway
This studio examines the role of architecture in addressing the injustices of our inherited urban landscapes as we examine the segregation of neighborhoods, compromised infrastructures and inequal access to city institutions. The project unmakes the Gowanus Expressway, designed by Robert Moses in 1941, by transforming the space beneath the overpass from a haphazard parking lot into a vibrant space of connection for Sunset Park residents.

To establish a relevant design process for the project, the studio looks at the overlapping aspects of Place (perceived space), Time (conceived space) and People (lived space) as established in Lefebvre’s Production of Space (1991). Architecture is brought to life through its users, but also derives its vibrancy from cultural, physical and programmatic parameters. Architecture designed in the context of this complexity of vying concerns produces responsive spaces, containing multiple readings and the possibility for multiple experiences.


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