A Framework for Fashion
The project envisions a new home for New York’s garment district that leverages the sharing of space between public and private functions. This project posits that the infusion of residential and mixed use/light industrial program into the Bush Terminal site could be achieved through the establishment of a row of singular architectures along the waterfront. This edge then unfolds into the existing urban fabric through more tactical renovations and reuses. By combining the cluster economic theory and the vertical integration of residences and mixed-use spaces, a neighborhood is transformed into a district that hosts a creative culture and the housing and amenities necessary to create urban life that does not rely on the garment industry. The project points out that the typology that is necessary for light industrial program is already latent in the site and can accommodate residential space through vertical expansion. This necessary separation of industry from residence in the z-axis aligns each program with their most favorable plane - the ground and all of its roads, staging areas, and infrastructural connections for the garment driven program and open-air and views for residences. Public access to both the more privatized residential and light industrial planes serves as a necessary mixing point for the populations of both programs. In fact, only through a productive relationship between residential, industrial, and public uses can the project achieve financial and urbanistic success.
The density required to instill creativity and innovation does not necessitate verticality. Neither does the opportunity presented by an undeveloped waterfront. A prime example of this argument is Brooklyn itself.
The project recognizes that the preservation and adaptive reuse, rather than erasure, of the existing building stock is productive in multiple ways. For one, it allows for buildings that are controlled by the city to be formally collectivized while preserving their historical character. Owners of buildings that are not under city control are not forced to change immediately but are rather given the opportunity to react to the market as the neighborhood adjusts around it. Secondly, it acknowledges that the existing warehouse and industrial typologies are already well suited for many of the required spaces that a relocated garment district would require for production, storage, and shipping of products. Such a typology comes out of a deep structure that is driven by industrial efficiency, but when highlighted can create urban coherence. Such a structure, while ubiquitous on the building exterior, allows for interiors that are formally and programmatically diverse so as to accommodate the range of programmatic diversity at a range of scales and market rates that are necessary for the health of a project of this complexity. Thus, it can be imagined that while the district would be managed by one entity, the specific appearance and identity of each building would be controlled or authored by a range of actors and the combined ensemble would reflect the simultaneous qualities of diversity and coherence necessary for both the built environment and fashion alike.
Urban Design, Architecture