Urbanery: Enjoying the City While Moving (Ar.Jay Patel)

People are the core around which the dynamics of a city revolve. The success and vibrancy of a city are closely tied to the people who live, work, and play within its borders. It is the interaction and movement of people in a city that determine its function and growth. 

“The project- Urbanery attempts to answer how a human-oriented city image is formed with the people’s perception to design and define future cities?” 

The project highlights that every urban space holds a unique identity created through people’s engagements. The design brief was derived based on multiple interviews with people who unanimously expressed their desire to have an engaging public space. Based on research, it was inferred that people want to sit, relax, and appreciate their city by having an interactive urbanscape. 

With this idea, Urbanery attempts to bridge the gap between past and present by seeking insights from people’s perceptions of New York. The project aims to connect all landmarks of New York via an experiential journey to improve the liveability index of the city. For this purpose, the design proposes the creation of a continuous cinematic movement through an experiential museum, a public space or thematic plaza, and three active passageways. The 12 nodes that the project connects include key tourist locations namely Times Square, Madison Square Park, Columbus Circle and Central Park, The High Line, Lincoln Center for Performing Arts, The Museum of Modern Art, Rockefeller Center, and Parley Park, Bryant Park, Union Square, Washington Square Park and Greenwich Village, The High Line and Whitney Museum of American Art, Pier 62 at Hudson River Park, Pier 84 at Hudson River Park, Intrepid Sea, and Air and Space Museum, Pier 96 at Hudson River Park and DeWitt Clinton Park. 
These nodes act as a pause point in the journey where people can experience the best views that this New York neighborhood has to offer. 

The project is catered to stimulate the five senses of sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste, and acts as a gateway to New York. An experiential journey is created through 5 connecting elements- one each in the air, in the woods, on the ground, on the water, and below the ground. 

A pedestrian overbridge and public space are created in the air. Likewise, walkways are designed in the woods for people to appreciate nature. Further, various
kinds of public spaces are created on the ground to encourage interaction. Tunnel walkways are proposed underground for people to experience the sub-terrain. Additionally, a proposal for ferry rides has been made to allow public interaction on the water's surface. 

The site location in Manhattan neighborhoods is selected based on its visual connectivity with the entire city. A cinematic sequence is created through structural massing to increase the experiential quality of the urban space. The site's surroundings and socio-cultural context have been considered to maximize the views and functioning of the space. Terraces and courtyards are incorporated to foster visual and perceptual connection with the city. 

The museum houses digital exhibits that keep the audience engaged through dynamic displays. Exhibits in the museum are proposed to dynamically keep changing according to world events. In case of the absence of any theme, the exhibition speaks about all things New York. It highlights the past, present, and the anticipated future of New York through tech-integrated exhibits. The displays are a combination of Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Extended Reality (XR), and Mixed Reality (MR). 

The museum also accommodates seating spaces, lounge areas, performance rooms, and plazas. The museum also incorporates a library that the public can access. This ensures that every demographic section of the population is entertained. Staircases and ramps have been used as connecting elements of the journey to weave the exhibition areas together. 

The thematic plaza incorporates areas to enhance public interaction and activity. The spaces include an adventure plaza for people to enjoy the city views, a public art plaza with interactive sculptures, a rain plaza with playful canopies, a sports plaza for unconventional playing, and a meditation plaza for relaxation. 

Interactive pathways connect the museum and public spaces that promote public engagement through experiences. Pedestrian and cycling pathways have been bifurcated to improvise the circulation of people. Activity-based pathways such as interaction, shopping, performance, and sports have been designed so that people can enjoy the urban landscape.

Ar.Jay Patel

Project By - Ar. Jay Patel, a registered architect in India, is a passionate healthcare architectural designer with a strong academic background and a deep commitment to improving people's lives through the built environment. Jay brings extensive experience in architecture and design, successfully managing multiple projects while achieving a B.Arch degree with distinction and a flawless GPA in their M.Arch degree. Currently pursuing architectural licensure in the United States, Jay has showcased their work at the esteemed 17 Venice Architecture Bienniale and published research in ICUDP 2022. Their expertise has also been acknowledged through an interview with Archinect, and they are frequently invited by NYIT as a design critique for the Master of Architecture program. 


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