The Upper city

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Virginia Tech


This architectural thesis challenges the conventional perception of cities as horizontally sprawling realms dominated by towering edifices and skyscrapers. Inspired by Rem Koolhaas' influential book "Delirious New York," which argues that each block represents an independent fantasy, which creates a more cohesive and united version of the city (Koolhaas, 1994). This thesis introduces a groundbreaking outlook that envisions cities as complex networks of functions, neighborhoods, and pathways within an immersive three-dimensional framework. The proposed approach seeks to merge the established city of Manhattan with a new counterpart, driven by enhancing residents' quality of life and addressing the challenges of metropolitan areas. Three key factors underscore the significance of this approach. Firstly, there is a current dearth of connections between buildings and floors, impeding the cohesive fabric of urban life and hindering social interaction and community engagement. Secondly, the rapid population growth in Manhattan has strained the city's surface, leading to challenges in space availability. Additionally, there is a significant lack of public spaces that cater to the community's needs for socializing, outdoor recreation, and access to nature. Moreover, the looming threat of rising sea levels amplifies the urgency of these challenges. By addressing these key factors, the proposed approach aims to revolutionize the urban fabric, creating a more interconnected, sustainable, and resilient cityscape that elevates the well-being of residents and harmonizes with the dynamic nature of urban life. To address these issues, the thesis examines specific components such as existing voids, the street network, and building elements. Through reimagining and redesigning these elements, the goal is to create a unified and sustainable urban environment that aligns with current trends and harnesses emerging technologies. The ultimate aspiration is to achieve a cohesive urban milieu that enhances and reshapes the well- being of residents while adapting to the dynamic nature of urban life



upper cities, three-dimensional Grid, urban fabric, elevated streets, New York City