PROJECT OF 2014
‘The Monumental Seed of Castle Clinton’ is a project based on the harbour of New York, Battery Park focusing around the national monument there, Castle Clinton. The castle has been reconstructed to an entertainment complex, then an important immigrant processing station, and then an aquarium, but the material it remains on is truly historical to the castle. As a building changes through time, it is believed that not all matter from its previous being has been banished. Therefore, the true monumentality of Castle Clinton lies beneath the grounds of Battery Park, since the coast of Lower Manhattan is built up on debris and landfill.
Growing a new monument composed of the historical debris on site was the idea. Growth, in this project is portrayed through the narrative: the question concerning an architecture that grows (from a seed). Significantly, Manhattan is a garnet (precious gem) location and the idea of crystallisation and biochemical fusion brought idea and value to the monument which I designed. I focused on the theme of mystery; Combining biological and chemical systems became exciting and this was carried forward for a physical architecture. In this case, a garnet is captured, providing chemical energy for the plant seed to digest existing underground materials - this reaction remains a mystery but inspired the ‘SEED OF NEW YORK’ monument.