The Southpoint Roosevelt Island cultural HOUSE has been designed around the concept of bringing the cultural inhabitants of the City of New York (its residents, tourists, students, artists, pedestrians, teachers, etc.) together in an environment that may necessitate the exploration of themselves and their broader physical and phenomenal environment.

The New Southpoint is a destination outside the boundaries of the grid; a detached urban boat floating in open water isolated from rhetoric, but reflective of the congestion that so often facilitates the typical New York experience. However the physical isolation of the Southpoint serves as a uniquely underdeveloped site sitting adjacent to and observing the dense/urban construct that is New York City.

Through a collage of architectural elements, (ramp, roof plane, glass walls, framed views, columns, path, courtyard, etc.) and program (park, theater, transit, gallery space, exhibition space, studios, classrooms, lecture hall, restaurant, etc.) the building seeks to define a context for the intersection of many varying patrons each navigating an individual and collective experience simultaneously.

The architecture not only provides an experiential reflection of many aspects of New York, but also a literal reflection of the urban construct itself. Through the specific use of glazing along the main entry plinth and ramp way circulation promenade, the eastern shoreline of midtown Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn are all literally reflected on the exterior glass surface of the building, reproducing the physical construct of the city from many varying vantage points. The person running along a garden path, taking in an outdoor music performance or riding in the water taxi is saturated with the visual, historical and experiential consciousness of New York’s urban context by means of its reflected presence.

More than anything the New Southpoint Roosevelt Island Cultural HOUSE is an activated urban destination that exists simultaneously as a part of, and an observer of New York, silently participating.

Project Type: Southpoint International Competition
Location: New York, NY
Date: 2005
Project Team: Ryan Ludwig