Urban Canopy, New York, United States
Buro Koray Duman

Few could have imagined that the fall of a piece of debris from a building in 1980 would have such a major impact on New Yorkers' everyday lives. As a result, New York City passed Local Law 10, which required buildings taller than 6 stories to have a front facade inspection every five year. Since then, scaffolding has a permanent presence in New York City sidewalks. At any given area in Lower Manhattan, 20-25% of sidewalks are covered in scaffolding, thus making it one of the most essential elements of the cityscape.
 
Scaffolding accounts for public safety, yet it is so central to our experience to public space that serving this sole function is insufficient. The research and design studies in this application provide a new way of thinking about scaffolding that enriches our experience and use of public space by proposing various public furniture elements as plug-in objects. 
 
Existing scaffolding structures use a conventional post and beam system with diagonal bracing elements for lateral forces. The new design studies look at these basic structural elements in a more efficient way, each using modular, kit-of-parts systems, designed to be implemented in any New York block. 
 
Structural Sensitivity: The first proposal deploys a series of diagonal posts and beams to provide both vertical and lateral support while reducing the number of elements needed. The pillars are offset from each other at ground to provide an in-between space to slide in pubic furniture. A series of kit-a-part public furniture including benches, side tables, bike racks and food vendors, slide the in-between and hang on the off-set pillars. The new structural truss system, both in vertical and horizontal direction, easily stretches over wide sidewalks without additional support between pillars.
 
Collapsible/ Easy to Erect: If scaffolding is in a constant motion of assembly, disassembly and re-assembly, the second proposal looks at new ways of installation on site. The scheme is a folding and collapsible scaffolding system. Rather than the installation of various elements on site the design proposes an accordion structure with central pillars to attach onto the building and onto vertical polls at the edge of the sidewalk. A series of kit-a-part public furniture; stools, bike racks, newspaper stands and food vendors fasten into the main pillars to provide public services. The application is ideal for wide sidewalks where the central posts can direct circulation while creating a structurally efficient canopy to cover and protect the sidewalk.

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