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Part 1 Project 2010
Andrew Dabomprez
University for the Creative Arts, UK
The Manhattan grid provides a perfect framework to support an ever changing cityscape with minimal risk. Safely within the strict geometry of the grid Chelsea’s community and architecture have changed throughout its lifetime.

This flux is on going with the development of the old Hudson Yards into a multi skyscraper goliath. Also to be considered is the reclamation of the Hudson piers from loading docks into a recreational hub. Finally there is the highline, a new pedestrian green space that has been reclaimed from the forces of nature that had began terra-forming the former industrial freight line. These developments are the main forces influencing the site, pulling ecology, recreation and business away from the area. This leaves a vacuum; an opportunity to expand Chelsea’s art movement which has begun to shrink.

To fill this void I have turned to Manhattans classical music community, which in recent years has begun a march to counter the dwindling interest in its art form. To the casual observer the classical scene can be viewed as an impenetrable entity which is stuck in its way and unwilling to compromise. This is an attitude the New York community has begun to challenge head on and it seems the perfect time to spearhead this campaign while also solidifying the Chelsea community.

Part of instrumental performance is the non audio information received by the musician. Direct contact with an instrument provides the player with a wealth of information in regards to the tuning and volume of instrument through the vibrations that are created. This personal connection is part of the process and something that is lost and not observed by the audience.

In the same way a rehearsal can be thought of as a very private moment for an ensemble. It is a time when they freely embrace there flaws in a safe environment and away from a potential audience. By providing a space that is tuned specifically towards to the players themselves on the condition that they allow access to these moments, an opening in this wall appears with the building acting as mediator.

Andrew Dabomprez

The project: ‘Foreign Body, nodal moments | fractured networks’ is located adjacent to the High Line in New York’s Meat Packing district (see: ) After a twenty-five year negotiation the first section of the High Line opened in 2009. This retention and restoration of an elevated railway to create a linear public space has been regarded as a triumph for the local communities but it now seems likely that it will act as a gentrification superhighway producing an inundation of dollars from the vast new financial district that is emerging at its northern end. Developer apartments and hotels threaten to engulf the extraordinarily diverse range of local activities: meatpacking, clubs, social housing and galleries that are currently in place. Students generated their own programmes to address this conflict of interests.

Andrew’s proposal results from a study of rehearsal facilities used by orchestras in New York. His combination of ground level working spaces for musicians that are periodically accessible to the local population adds both to the diversity of the community and reinforces the identity of the area as workplace. At High Line level these work spaces extend into an ambient public space and are used as sources of distorted sound together suggesting a submerged topography without revealing their true purpose. The high level traveller is invited to speculate on the nature of the territory below, to pause, initially imagining an abstract installation and to discover over time that there is another place, another life and that neither the location or orchestral music are quite what they seem.

We nominated this project because of its potential to benefit both the neighbourhood and orchestral music – two contrasting areas of life in New York that are under threat. The initially unlikely possibility of the two re-defining and strengthening one another has been unusually well resolved. The contrasts between work and rest, explicit and vague use and acoustically generated space offset against the grid of the shell and city show excellent imagination and control.

Mr Oliver Froome-Lewis
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