Critic : Adam Frampton (Only-If)
The Avenue A site is notable due to the existence of various, visible strata and linear layers both above-ground (the horizontal lines of the street, the sidewalk, the brick walls of the Stuyvesant Town apartment blocks) and below (the subway tracks, the platform, the stripes of the tile walls)— an architecture is created from this imagined grid by taking these horizontal strata and twisting them to create a long platform that connects the above-ground and the below-ground. This simple gesture haphazardly introduces the below to the above and the above to the below while simultaneously introduces an unhurried, leisurely procession from the ground plane to the level of the platform. The project attempts to explore how this simple, gestural form and a continuous intersection of different systems can accomplish all the specifications and needs of the program while, in the process, questioning the basic typology of the subway station.
The program of the lost-and-found is destabilized by delaminating its status as a simple room and is instead stretched along the interior of the tube via a system of glass shelves and lockers, creating a dynamic, long space where lost objects are put on display and serve as another piece of material that defines the experience of the station. Additionally, the long, slow circulation imposed by the ramp elevates the procession as being akin to that of a museum or gallery. Continuing this theme of recalling the experience of the gallery, it is imagined that objects along the interior would be organized in strata from the most ancient at the bottom to the most contemporary at the top, recalling the historical organization usually employed by museums and also forcing an experience where an individual moves through time as they circulate from one end of the structure to the other.