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Yo Parking Jury Commendation Entry

This proposal aims to rethink contemporary parking garages in a more sustainable and interesting way. Traditionally, parking garages are huge concrete structures at dominant urban spots with the one and only function of parking, some with decorative panels or ground floor commercial to activate the street with a good intention. However, for a parking garage at this central location in New York City, it’s a great opportunity to demonstrate what future parking garages can do to the urban life.

Choosing mass timber as the construction material for this project has many benefits. First, it can demonstrate an environment stewardship through our practice. Timber is a renewable and sustainable resource as an alternative to concrete. Using wood can reduce carbon footprint, which aligns with the Architecture 2030 goals.

Second, it’s very efficient to construct in timber. Not only the overall weight of this tower will be much lighter, resulting in simpler foundations, majority of the elements would be prefabricated and shipped to site, taking a leaner crew and also quicker and quieter, which is ideal for an urban site such as Manhattan.

Plus, studies have shown that exposed wood in buildings can improve occupant health and well-being. In a Manhattan forest of steel and concrete, a timber tower from inside out will be another public destination.

With the ongoing code update in the United States, higher timber towers are becoming possible. Going to 12 stories in this project allows a generous public space in the street front. Not only does this public plaza happens on the ground floor, it stacks up in a similar manner as the parking garages to maximize habitable spaces in the city. The variations of floor plates and height create interesting moments at each level, and help to maintain visual connections among groups. A continuous 5% ramp circulates up and has an arrival point to both the garages and those plazas. Pedestrians and bikers can also use this an urban promenade and exercise tracks.

The plazas themselves are also flexible in function. On weekends, farmers market can happen on certain levels, with easy car access for vendors. Public yoga can also take place here, with a view into the city.

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