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  • Intermodal Urbanism

    Melissa BALCAZAR & Amir KARIMPOUR, "Intermodal Urbanism."
    brooklyn NEW YORK

    Pratt Institute
    advisors: Michael CHEN & Jason LEE.

    suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.

    Melissa BALCAZAR & Amir KARIMPOUR: “Intermodal Urbanism” is a proposal for Hunts Point, Bronx, NY.

    Hunts Point is located on a peninsula on the south east of the Bronx, and is considered a major organ of the city as it is one of the largest food distribution centers in the world. In thinking of how this major organ of the city will change in the future, as well as considering pre-existing conditions of the site such as infrastructure and natural pressures; the project explores the inter-relationship of these two different agendas. The diversification of different modes of transportation as well as the ever changing condition of the edge. Considering the flow and distribution of goods as the site of investigation, the project results in the exploitation of a distribution logic as a new mode of urban strategy. Analysis diagrams of the different typologies of distribution logistics were coupled with a transportation analysis which resulted in new urban strategies. Consequently, “Intermodal Urbanism” exploits many different logics of distribution and at the same time provides new potentials for reorganizing Hunts Point. In addition to this mass logistical re-routing, new surface manipulations where investigated to address conditions of sea level rise. These surficial experiments manifested themselves in both physical and computer generated models. Our proposal of a neo-geological landscape coupled with a new logistical mapping of Hunts Point, not only allows for a sustainable Food Distribution Center but also allows for new urban programs to manifest. Therefore, the architectural formal expressions are then rippled through the waterfront in the context of pending environmental crisis to generate a new form of logistical urbanism. We believe this architecture (the coupling of logistical modes of transport along with the neo-geological implications of sea level rise), will strengthen the connection between the Hunts Point, to the rest of the Bronx.

    sP: What or who influenced this project?
    MB & AK: Urban strategies regarding sea level rise, primarily in a post-Hurricane Sandy, New York landscape. Consequently, beginning to suggest new modes of urbanism to deal with climate change and other infrastructural and logistical needs.

    sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
    MB & AK: Reading: Elizabeth Grosz, “Future, Cities, Architecture”; Antoine Picon, “What Has Happened to Territory?”; Alexander Galloway and Eugene Thacker, “Protocol, Control, and Networks”; Grey Room 17; David Salomon, “Experimental Cultures: On the ‘End’ of the Design Thesis and the Rise of the Research Studio”; Hilary Sample “BioMed City” in Verb Crisis; David Gissen, “Architecture’s Geographic Turns”; and Mark Foster Gage, Aesthetic Theory: Essential Texts for Architecture and Design.

    sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
    MB & AK: Greg Lynn, Ali Rahim and Hina Jamelle, and Zaha Hadid.

    Additional credits and links:
    [crisisfronts.org]
    [normalprojects.com]

    Awards: Rosenfeld Award for Outstanding Thesis

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