IN/RE/CON/SUB version responds to Columbia University's historical context in upper Manhattan, and challenges the pervasive conditions of comfort, accessibility, urbanity, and community. Rather than being prescriptive in a pavilion design, our team speculates on a state of dismantling the defined hard edges set by human influence and occupation in an Anthropocentric time.
Currently, the Avery Plaza is characterized by a brick hardscape and stepped levels leading to its core. The site is an imagined subversion to rewild the outer periphery as a method to dismantle the pervasive condition of power. An initial process of excavation unearths the existing brick and opens the space for a new landscape, one of the organic mounds and continuous vegetation. The steps are replaced by a ground intervention that flows through and around the campus buildings, reconnecting the once hidden, and often inaccessible area with the street level Amsterdam gates to invite community members in.
At the onset of spring, brick pavers are to be removed one by one exposing the ground, garden beds of the pavilion will sit empty but fertilized and prepared to host new plants. The project will provide a variety of seedlings and seed bags of native Manhattan species, including wildflowers like Early Meadow Rue, and crops harvested by the native Lenape people, such as beans, herbs, and squash. Columbia University students, local Morningside neighbors, and other community members will be invited to engage with each other and activate the grassland. The method will be progressive in the hopes of imitating the site's natural history while responding to the complex relationship this site holds.