Student Work

  • Architectural Design (BFA)

    Sean Jones

    Serial Strip

    More than sixty years ago, the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA) and dozens of blocks surrounding it were cleared of dense habitation. Since then, these blocks, located directly adjacent to the Williamsburg Bridge, have only been used for parking. Around the Lower East Side, other, more restrained clearance projects have taken place: the establishment of Sara Delano Roosevelt Park along Chrystie Street, the demolition several blocks along Allen Street, and three consecutive blocks of markets on Essex Street. Recognizing this “strip” strategy, I propose an annex of ten blocks to the east of the given site. On these blocks I would erect a steel-framed wall, 16 feet wide and more than 3,200 feet long, rivaling the infrastructural scale of the Williamsburg Bridge. The wall would create a framework for transport of construction equipment, as well as lightweight, short-term housing and commercial units from a nearby fabrication facility. These particular housing units are intended to stand just one year. Afterward, their wood composite panels could be ground, cleaned, and reconstituted into new panels. In this way, low housing costs can be passed on to new arrivals to New York City. The decreased rent burden would allow tenants to seek more stable, long-term housing. Likewise, small commercial properties produced with the same method would allow start-up businesses and cottage industries to gain momentum in an otherwise competitive market. Historically, new arrivals have sought and found refuge on the Lower East Side. By designing for this group, I aim to revive the neighborhood’s history.