Excavating the Future
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with Kyung Jae Kim

How can the preservation of historic figures activate a community and its culture? Conventional ways of preservation passively refrigerate relics so that visitors and the artifacts hardly interact. These mere exposures of history to public do not catalyze the social activities.

Highbridge Art Mall excavates the unused infrastructure, Croton Aqueduct, to open up new possibilities of active engagement with historic culture. Excavation of Croton Aqueduct will be the beginning of activation for the Bronx community. The unearthed Aqueduct will function as cultural infrastructure with the insertion of cultural programs inside and outside the pipe. The spatial relationship between the users and the aqueduct will determine the unique experiences of cultural engagement.

Highbridge Art Mall will become the place for spontaneous exchange of products and the consumption of art. Given the unique yet challenging context, an informal sector of art production (Artists Unite) needs a mediator for a formal sector of art consumption (Bronx Museum of Art). The new mall inside and outside the Highbridge will connect both sectors and encourage impromptu exchanges of formal and informal cultures.

Jury Selection at Highbridge Bronx, 2010 Emerging New York Architects Competition