Gateways To Chinatown


Situated at the crossing of three streets, the Canal Street Triangle embodies interaction,
motion, multifaceted-ness, and unity. We have proposed a solution to the Gateways to
Chinatown that equally applies these notions. Unlike some other monuments or portals,
this site lacks a singular or overwhelmingly axial approach. The Gateway must present
interest, excitement, and recognition equally from all directions. The Gateway will be
iconic and recognizable, but through perfect use of harmony—solid balancing with void,
enclosure balancing with exposure—it will be so tied to the cultural and architectural
landscape of Chinatown that it will not become merely an object. Like the seeming
opposing forces of feminine and masculine, the Gateway represents the seeming opposing
concepts of motion and stillness. It is a contextualizing concept, one that puts the bold and
honorable spirit of Chinatown—its people, its history, and its culture—into a landmark that
services the community and attracts people to visit and learn more.
“Architecture and cities are the cultural synthesis of the built environment. “
 Chinatowns in urban context
 Gateway
“Form follows Culture!”
 Form embraces Chinese Culture
 Computational design
The design for Gateways to Chinatown acknowledges the impact technology has made in
architecture, in storing and sharing information, and in our daily lives. Previously, design
had been more passive, reliant upon basic tools and materials. The digital age has allowed
construction to be more generative, heading towards the intuitive. The speed of sketching
means it will always be a major tool in design, but computer applications, 3D printing, and
animations have given us the ability to experiment and explore space and buildings in
newer and more realistic ways, allowing for considerations of surface tension, structural
analysis, lighting effects, relationships of scale and procession, and more.
Humanity is the characteristic that transforms a group of individual buildings into a city,
and so the Gateways to Chinatown landmark create a venue that promotes social
interactions. It offers a vibrant and stimulating setting for meeting up with friends,
discussing music and art, or watch street performances. The dynamic and engaging form
adds visual delight and a sense of passage to morning commuters. Bluetooth and wifi
technologies deliver the necessary orientation and wayfinding resources, while
touchscreens enable users to have constant access to current community information. The
planar construction provides both shelter and transparency, making a structure that
transforms its image as the position of the sun changes throughout the day and the year.
The central clear height ensures the existing gingko trees have ample space, lighting, and
water, and the wide spacing of the pillars even allows for future growth of the green space.

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