US designers Yitan Sun and Jianshi Wu have proposed transforming Manhattan’s Central Park into a sunken landscape encircled by a below-grade megastructure with office, housing, retail and cultural space.
Titled New York Horizon, the project won first place in the eVolo Skyscraper Competition, which invites architects and designers to conceive futuristic towers. The annual ideas contest began in 2006.
Sun and Wu have proposed converting Central Park – which encompasses 843 acres (341 hectares) in Upper Manhattan – into a sunken landscape with hills, lakes and meadows. The reimagined park could be used for hiking, climbing, swimming and other outdoor activities.
We came up with the idea that returns the park to its natural state, when Manhattan once looked more like this — a rugged, bedrock-strewn landscape,” said the designers, who both recently graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design.
“We want to bring back the ‘real nature’ and uncover opportunities for a future skyscraper by doing so.” This natural terrain would be bordered by a megastructure, or “sidescraper,” with a reflective facade.
“With its highly reflective glass cover on all sides, the landscape inside the new park can reach beyond physical boundaries, creating an illusion of infinity,” said the designers.
“The ambition is to reverse the traditional relationship between landscape and architecture, in a way that every occupiable space has a direct connection to the nature,” they stated.
Their proposed megastructure would completely wrap the sunken park and “create space along the new cliff”. The soil removed from the original park would be relocated to various neighbourhoods.