Returning Big Ideas to Planning in New York

Urban Omnibus declares the visionary work of the Speculation Studio at Columbia University an overdue evolution in architectural education.
January 16, 2012, 11am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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In an interview with Laurie Hawkinson, Director of the Advanced Studios at Columbia's Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), Urban Omnibus explores the genesis, evolution, and products of the Speculation Studio, a collaboration of architecture and real estate students that created a radical proposal (dubbed LoLo, as in Lower Lower Manhattan) to connect the Financial District to Governors Island through a land bridge made of landfill, replete with a new mixed-use, high-rise, green infrastructure community.

"The boldness of the schemes and the cogency of the accompanying financial analysis explode the myth that considering financial implications in a student design process will constrain creativity and innovation."

For Hawkinson, "the most powerful aspect of the project is the way they created a new zoning protocol that takes into account energy and rising water levels to make a responsive system. In other words, instead of just caring about the setbacks and the shadows on the streets and things like that, they were calculating energy points people would get for acknowledging solar orientation or surface area."

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Published on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 in Urban Omnibus
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