// january 2004 // Our collaboration project with Lebbeus Woods: Unfolded Blue Extension Off CHASE HQ Building, gets published in the book ‘GR[O]UND: workshop 2002‘ by Lebbeus Woods and Guy Lafranchi. Ed. Springer-Verlag, New York, USA.
The goal of the project was to use new tectonic elements to make a change in the gr[o]und in the area of Lower Manhattan, for a particular, brief period of time in the summer of 2002.
“…It was the presumption of the Gr[o]und project that the street and its life are in fact the ground of the city, the foundation of its physical reality, without which it could no exist. One can imagine the city without this or that building, or even many buildings, but not without the street. The street is not only the place where the city touches the ground, and upon which it is grounded, but the foremost example of the city’s ‘Grund’, its matrix of reason to exist at all. The vitality, complexity, and nuanced fragility of the street condenses that of the entire city, constituting an essence of its urbanity.
There is one more factor that accounted for taking on the street as the gr[o]und to be dealt with in the project. In a city like New York, which is the capital of America’s cult of bigness, the future of the city has been largely staked on large-scale projects, involving skyscrapers, sports stadia, transportation terminals and the like. The reality, however, is that it is the small-scale projects –building conversions, office and apartment remodelings, shop renovations, and of course the endless street reconstructions that flow continuously and are made up for a vast number of seemingly inconsequential things and actions- that constitute the ongoing revitalization of the city’s form and substance. And, not least, it is their very lack of immediate, large-scale consequences that makes them ideal ground for experimentation.”
*Extract of “On The Ground” the introduction text to the book and projects