Jumpstart New York 2004

Parsons School of Design: Masters of Architecture Thesis

How can the work activity of modern cities be displayed?  Department stores and boutique shops display their work for all to see from the street; defining the identity of the stores and the character of the surrounding neighborhood.  Aside from two story lobbies and obvious signage facing the street, it is difficult to discern the work that exists in office buildings.  How can the character of office buildings change when the work is displayed on the exterior for all to see?  The concept of this project, “The display of labor and the labor of display” seeks to address these issues of work in a modern society.

The site, located on Lafayette Street between Great Jones and Bond Streets features excellent examples of display.  Billboards display advertisements for events and products, and a Minekee shop displays the labor of auto work by maintaining its doors open during working hours.  Outdoor stacked parking garages and sidewalk cafes flanking the site also continue the display of labor for the street.  The site is also organized through a series of cells, ranging in size from the cobblestone roads and brick facades to apartment units and billboards on the larger scale. One of the most important features of the site in relation to the program is its relation to three major nearby universities (NYU, Cooper Union, and The New School). 

Based on the opportunities that this site offers, a program of temporary office space for recent graduates and entrepreneurs was developed.  The building is meant to be a stepping stone for young professionals, allowing space for a range of functions including storage, small and large client meetings and most important; exposure.  The billboard sections of the façade will display the work happening within the building while advertising the services each client has to offer. In effect, Jumpstart NYC may become a device for measuring new business and the local economy of the city of New York.

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