An excavated street below grade
As the master plan for Manhattan was beginning to solidify in the late 1800s, the city was not the perfect, uniform grid that exists today but a hybrid topography. The new asphalt streets that were being laid often cut through native hills while in other areas ponds were being filled up to flatten the terrain. At that time, these intersections between the old and the new created interested dynamics that no longer exist today. Inspired by this period of growth, the Adaptive Grid proposes a new kind of circulation system, one that is no longer defined by the boundaries of street, sidewalk and building. The new grid is not informed by structural differences, but rather distinctions in modes of transportation.
Cut/fill formal study
The pattern of traffic flow determines the new building geometry
Current/proposed street and building forms
Rendering of a proposed NYC block, shaped by new streets
The master plan extended over Manhattan
By allowing a new fluid flow between transportation networks, the Adaptive Grid also infiltrates buildings. It allows for a new building typology that becomes homogeneous with the street, allowing pedestrians to move seamlessly from exterior to interior and vice versa. The boundaries of a building are no longer as important - instead it is being by the ebbs and flows of both human and vehicular motion.
Slope streetscapes will allow pedestrians to move differently
The topography functions as an integrated system
Sections showing how building and street integrate through the new, richer topography