New York’s Cental Park is a major world icon, but designers Yitan Sun and Jianshi Wu want to dig it all up. Their vision sees the park excavated down to the bedrock below, with its borders lined by a 1000-foot tall “Sidescraper” mega-structure and the center filled with mountains and lakes. Yes, it’s an ambitious idea.
The design, titled New York Horizon, recently won first place in the eVolo Skyscraper Competition, which has been inviting architects and designers to envision futuristic buildings since 2006.
“The ambition is to reverse the traditional relationship between landscape and architecture, in a way that every occupiable space has direct connection to the nature” say the authors. “With its highly reflective glass cover on all sides, the landscape inside the new park can reach beyond physical boundaries, creating an illusion of infinity. In the heart of New York City, a New Horizon is born.”
It’s obviously unlikely that a project like this would ever go forward, especially in a much loved location like Central Park. Other issues are with the design itself. Manhattan is at sea level so excavating 1000 feet down is basically like building a gargantuan swimming pool in the middle of the city. There’s also the issue of shadows. Residents are already unhappy about those cast by current skyscrapers. With solid, tall walls lining the park, the amount of sunlight that reaches the vegetation below will be severely limited–reflections or not.