Middle Ground

Living Cities Competition

As the world’s population migrates to urban centers, we have no choice but to combine and layer multiple, differing uses. Typically, residential and office zones are built in isolation, creating segregated neighbourhoods. This creates a scenario where buildings remain empty for large timespans, and amenities are doubled, one created for each zone. In a reconfiguration of this model, Middle Ground creates a novel inter-relationship between an office building and a residential building, with shared uses, amenities, and systems. This manifests an alert and lively mixed-use building that is activated 24 hours a day – by residents in the evening and night, and by office workers during the day. Street life is weaved throughout the building, as residents and office workers cross paths, addressing the lack of social interaction evident in most residential towers and office buildings, while reducing dependence on transportation. To increase the health of both residential and office occupants - each of them boxed up high above the street - Middle Ground radically reconfigures the tower typology, accommodating socially-engaging programs spanning multiple levels and spaces. The well-being and sustainability of living and working in dense high-rise cities relies upon it. Green spaces weave between live and work towers, increasing serendipity and a sense of a community within a larger volume. To reconfigure the tower, we must bend the street into the sky.

Brooklyn, NY
Metropolis Magazine
Project Lead
Steve Socha