Knowledge City —
Critic : Nahyun Hwang (NHDM)
Project Team : Kevin Hai, Fiona Ho
Situated at the intersection of myriad, diverse, sociopolitical, and cultural landscapes of Queens, the project attempts to address issues of social, educational, and environmental precarity along the Flushing Meadows Park. As an experimental campus, the proposal creates a political sanctuary space for the overlapping, immigrant populations of the surrounding neighborhoods, and leverages the site’s history as a location for testing out visions of potential, future societies—as well as various, symbiotic, institutional frameworks (the campus, the United Nations, immigration law and support, etc.)—to assist in accomplishing its various goals.
Leveraging the history of the World’s Fair within the site, the proposal, in addition to its primary function as a space for education, operates as a sanctuary in tandem with its imagining as a supranational, extraterritorial experiment formed by a partnership between the United Nations, the International Rescue Committee, and the public education system. The site’s history and its conditions, alongside the similar motivations of each of these institutions, influence them to operate symbiotically with one another, while still functioning simultaneously as a holistic, sanctuary space.
Architecturally, the project isolates a series of educational institutions that carry programmatic overlaps with spaces that could also perform the endeavors of the UN, and creates articulated, autonomous spaces that efficiently carry out these functions. These object-architectures, with their formal legibility against a neutral field, define territories and provide spatial direction to an open, free zone. In turn, the flexible, public space within the expanded plate reacts to and forms a dialogue with formally programmed, autonomous spaces.