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continuous city

2009 to Present

Continuous City examines how we may coexist with infrastructure in a dense, vertical arrangement, exploiting the potential for specific infrastructural typologies to participate in a continuum of energy exchange, serving as the substrate for the creation of new civic habitation and ritual. The project nests itself at select intervals along the forthcoming Second Avenue Subway in Manhattan, capitalizing on and absorbing the heavy flow of traffic, while taking advantage of the subway tunnel which provides a physical structure for routing of bandwidth for multiple data centers. This proposal highlights one case study of how an overlap in infrastructure and habitation can sustain a criticalmass of inhabitants and delve into the ever-evolving relationship between public vs. private, fixity vs. flexibility, physical vs. virtual properties and the geopolitics of regulation and evasion. The growing physical presence of the internet in our urban centers—with an exponentially expanding network of fiber-optic roots and the aggregation of server farms—offer a unique, yet systemic, deployment opportunity when paired with the development possibilities of subway infrastructure. A new data center installation, configured as a tower, yields waste heat and serves as a scaffolding to host a curtain of housing, retail, civic programs, and green space. Vertical neighborhoods are developed around this excess of energy, engaging in a symbiotic behavior for heat and heat sink properties. Continuous City expresses this lifestyle of urban codependence between a network of people and the coming urban landscape, which will be determined by the invisible spatial regime of the internet and data capital.


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Westin Building, Seattle, 1981 Number of Floors: 34 Height: 409 ft

global internet traffic volume

CRGP Limited, Market Post Tower, San Jose CA, 1984 Number of Floors: 15

CRGP Limited, Market Post Tower, San Jose CA, 1984 Number of Floors: 15

North America

Europe 380.7 M 482.1 M

246.1 M 287.3 M

A s i a 560.2 M 937.7 M

South America

Africa

157.1 M 238.8 M

111.1 M 224.6 M 2008 actual online population 2015 projected online population

proliferation of data in the built environment

Financial Market, Investment Banking and High Speed Trading High frequency trading represents an automated process of providing liquidity, subdividing orders to maximize market response, and assessing risk. Analyzed through proprietary algorithms and implemented by super computers with the capacity to respond instantaneously (milliseconds) to real-time market behavior, high frequency trading constituted a third of all equity trade volume for EU and US markets in 2006. The necessity to receive the most current and realtime market data has driven investment bankers to move their supercomputers closer to the markets in an attempt to shorten the length of wire and the latency associated to a minimum. As a result, a leasing war has erupted over server real estate hosted by data centers closest to the markets, with each banker seeking advantage through low-latency adjacencies—some times at high (financial and/or legal) costs.

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capital exchange

  waste heat

data capital combustion


7.62xE-5 NS

Latency

7.62xE-5 NS

Latency

7.62xE-5 NS

Latency

7.62xE-5 NS

Latency

150m

Distance

150m

Distance

150m

Distance

150m

Distance

To k y o , J a p a n Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE)

S i n g a p o r e C i t y, S i n g a p o r e Singapore Exchange (SGX)

J e r s e y C i t y, N e w J e r s e y National Stock Exchange (NSX) American Stock Exchange (AMEX)

To r o n t o , O n t a r i o Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX)

7.62xE-5 NS

Latency

7.62xE-5 NS

Latency

7.62xE-5 NS

Latency

7.62xE-5 NS

Latency

150m

Distance

150m

Distance

150m

Distance

150m

Distance

Fr a n k f u r t , G e r m a n y Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FWB) stock market

B o s t o n , M a s s a ch u s e t t s Boston Stock Exchange (BSE)

T i m e S q u a r e , N e w Yo r k New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) NASDAQ

data center

L owe r M a n h at t a n , N ew Yo rk New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) American Stock Exchange (AMEX)

data center-stock market proximity map

Data Centers, Real-Estate and Property Ownership

u.s.

data

center

energ y-use

estimated power consumption (through 2006): 61 billion kWh estimated total electricity cost (through 2006): $4.5 billion projected power consumption (through 2011): 100 billion kWh projected total electricty cost (through 2011): $7.4 billion

Cloud Computing has demanded a revolutionary hard infrastructure. A granular business model that deploys and withdraws based on local conditions such as taxation and energy costs, is changing the way the IT industry leverages its power over the state. The adoption of a containerized data center infrastructure, has allowed for this type of scalability to be realized through a distributed and decentralized bottom up system. Michael Manos previously of Digital Realty Trust and currently Senior Vice President of Technologies at AOL has called the physical infrastructure of the internet the “Substation of the Future”, and has heralded the emergence of a “Complex Asset Class.” With the growth of large data sets and centralized authority over data ownership, data and the opportunities to monetize its parsing has created a “big data” space race that pushes both virtual and physical infrastructure to its limits. Under the hood, and largely ignored by upper crust engineers is the data center. Buildings filled with computers crunch or store data in ways not un-similar to their Mainframe era brethren. Today, data centers have proliferated our cities and regions, obey deployment patterns not obvious to the naked eye and spark a geo-political cat and mouse game of regulation and evasion.

data center monthly cost breakdown

s e r ve r s p ow e r & c o o l i n g i n f r a s t r u c t u re p ow e r other infrastructure

Waste Heat and Ecology Often unnoticed, data center facilities have been rapidly proliferating in our cities and regional landscapes. Known for their ravenous appetite for power and excessive waste heat output, data centers have the largest carbon footprint of any building found in the city. Fully aware of the operating costs, many tech companies have already opted to build their data centers in the frigid regions of the planet in order to take advantage of the cooling benefits of the comparatively low average annual temperatures of northern countries like Sweden, just below the Arctic Circle. Alternatively, other companies have been forming their own energy subsidiaries to remove the middle man between themselves and energy procurement. In the wake of the escalating growth of the virtual space is the excavation of new relationships to energy and waste within the built environment.

Greenhouse & Botanical Garden Southbend, Indiana x3,000

Te l e h o u s e W e s t London, England x9,000

WOS 8 Heat Tra n s fe r S t a t i o n Utrecht, Netherlands x11,000

waste heat precedent


cultural corridors

pedestrian paths and public spaces

In Context Situated on the forthcoming Second Avenue subway line, the site in Fulton Seaport Area in the Financial District provides an interesting intersection of both man-made and natural environments where physical form is defined through the interactions between multiciplicities of behavioral and environmental systems, including poltics, economy, demography and real-estate/habitation trends (to name a few). By utilizing the conflation of infrastructures as a point of departure, this project seeks to find the appropriate forum for the expression of these fluxes in a post-Fordist landscape, and explores the resulting “incubator� of new civic activities in the delirious density of Manhattan.

the site: ecology of manhattan neighborhoods


from cake dome...

...to petri dish

new york city hall 1812

4 5

a i r f l o w vo l u m e : 25.44 m3.s-1 a i r f l o w ve l o c i t y : 1.59 m.s-1 avg. temperature: 28 째C

2 3

airflow volume: 31.25 m3.s-1 airflow velocity: 1.85 m.s-1 a v g . t e mp e r a t u re : 28 째C

T Q

airflow volume: 30.97 m3.s-1 airflow velocity: 1.94 m.s-1 a v g . t e mp e r a t u re : 28 째C

woolworth building 1913

lost messenger pigeons stressed-out investment banker pet golden retriever baby alligators

nyc

water

falls

remainders of an old dutch trading post wooly mammoth remains free-floating water bottle (SPI resin identification coding system number: 1) insoluble industrial waste east river: the river formerly known as wisconsin glaciation

manhattan schist formation inwood limestone formation fordham gneiss formation

the site: the concatenation of wild and artificial things


data centers

subway

parks

streetscapes

private infrastructure

public infrastructure

habitat substrate - conflation of public and private

2+2=4...if granted, all else follows


Neighborhood 5: Hotel, Theater, Luxuary Condominiums, Boutique Retail Solarium Park 290m/952ft 68th floor

290m/952ft 68th floor

Neighborhood 4: Gym, Lofts, 85th Small 363m/1190ft floor Offices, Medium Offices, Grad Student Housing Neighborhood 4: Gym, Lofts, 85th Small 363m/1190ft floor Offices, Medium Offices, Neighborhood 5: Grad Student Housing Hotel, Theater, 217m/714ft 51st floor Luxuary Condominiums, Boutique Retail Solarium Park Neighborhood 5: Hotel, Theater, 217m/714ft 51st floor Luxuary Condominiums, Boutique Retail Neighborhood 3: Solarium Park Pharmacy, Ventilarium Park, 290m/952ft 68th floor University Extension, Student Housing, Service Retail Neighborhood 3: 363m/1190ft 85th floor Pharmacy, Ventilarium Park, 290m/952ft 68th floor University Extension, Student Housing, Neighborhood Service Retail 4: Gym, Lofts,34th Small 145m/476ft floor Offices, Medium Offices, 363m/1190ft 85thHousing floor Grad Student

Residential Unit Building Blocks

Neighborhood 5: Hotel, Theater, 4: Neighborhood Luxuary Condominiums, Gym, Lofts, Small 145m/476ft 34th floor Offices, Boutique Retail Medium Offices, Solarium Park Housing Grad Student Neighborhood 2: 217m/714ft 51st 5: Neighborhood School, Familyfloor Housing, Hotel, Local Theater, Retail Luxuary Condominiums, Boutique Retail Solarium Park 290m/952ft 68th floor Neighborhood 2: 217m/714ft 51st floor School, Family Housing, Local Retail Neighborhood 3: Pharmacy, Ventilarium Park, 72m/238ft 17th floor University Extension, Student Housing, 290m/952ft 68th floor Service Retail

Public & Private Initiatives: Programming the Grain

Residential Unit Building Blocks

Neighborhood Neighborhood 4: 3: Gym, Lofts, Ventilarium Small Offices, Pharmacy, Park, 72m/238ft 17th floor Medium Offices, University Extension, Grad Student Housing Student Housing, Service Retail Neighborhood 1: 145m/476ft 34th floor Laundry, Apartments, Big Box Retail, Neighborhood 4: Boutique, Gym, Lofts,Supermarket, Small Offices,Bazzar Medium Offices, Grad Student Housing 217m/714ft 51st floor Neighborhood 1: 145m/476ft 34th floor Laundry, Apartments, Big Box Retail, Boutique, Supermarket, Bazzar

Within the context of a competitive globalized economy, public space has become fragile in the contemporary city and must, therefore, be addressed in such a way that future infrastructural proposals bear an authenticity and a vibrancy worth preserving. Continuous City envisions a lifestyle that extends the interior of the enclosure to the immediate neighborhood vicinity, advocating hybrid use where the domains of public and private blend naturally. A menagerie of public space typologies are positioned, yielding a gradient of mediation rather than strict borders. Manhattan has made air rights available to private property developers in exchange for public space, resulting in a public space classification known as “Privately Owned Public Space” (POPS). On the surface, POPS offers public space to visitors when, in reality, they have become fiefdoms ruled by their tenants. Recognizing this tendency, POPS are paired in Continuous City with re-deeded municipal parks and streetscapes, thereby creating a progression through a range of public space conditions and preserving a level of democracy.

Neighborhood 2: School, Family Housing, Local Retail 217m/714ft 51st floor Neighborhood 3: Pharmacy, Ventilarium Park, Neighborhood 2: University Extension, School, Housing, Family Housing, Student Local Retail Service Retail 72m/238ft 17th floor Neighborhood 3: Pharmacy, Ventilarium Park, University Extension, Student Housing, Service Retail 145m/476ft 34th floor 72m/238ft 17th floor

Neighborhood 1: Laundry, Apartments, Big Box Retail, Boutique, Supermarket, Bazzar 145m/476ft 34th floor Neighborhood 2:

Neighborhood School, Family 1: Housing, Laundry, Apartments, Big Box Retail, Local Retail Boutique, Supermarket, Bazzar

porosity: 50%

Neighborhood 2: School, Family Housing, Local Retail porosity: 50% 72m/238ft 17th floor

Floor Porosity: 50% 72m/238ft 17th floor

Neighborhood 1: Laundry, Apartments, Big Box Retail, Boutique, Supermarket, Bazzar

Neighborhood 1: Laundry, Apartments, Big Box Retail, Boutique, Supermarket, Bazzar

Floor Porosity: 50% porosity: 25%

porosity: 25% porosity: 50%

Stacking Logic

Residential Stack Exploded

Stacking Logic

Residential Stack Exploded

Residential Unit Clusters

Residential Stack

Residential Unit Clusters

Residential Stack

porosity: 50%

porosity: 0%

porosity: 25% 0% porosity:

porosity: 50%

porosity: 25%

porosity: 50%

Floor Porosity: 25%

Floor Porosity: 25%

porosity: 0% porosity: 25%

porosity: 0% porosity: 25%

porosity: 0%

porosity: 0%

Floor Porosity: 0% Floor Porosity: 0%

grain stacking strategies

commercial & retail & office housing parks & greenspace civic typical vertical “land use map”

85th floor Hotel Theater Luxury Condo Boutique Retail Solarium

5 68th floor

Gyms Lofts Small Offices Grad Student Housing

4 51th floor

Pharmacy University Extension Student Housing Service Retail Ventilarium

3 34th floor

School Family Housing Local Retail

2 17th floor

Laundry Apartments Big Box Retail Boutique Retail Subway-Bazaar

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vertical neighborhood distribution


grain: 3

grain: 4

grain: 5

grain: 6

grain: 7

manhattan building blocks


plinth

data-center

cores

circulation

parks

floorplates


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unit typologies


+0m (+0’-0”) b a z a a r l e v e l


+251.4 m (+825’-0”) g y m l e v e l

+226.1 m (+742’-0”) t y p i c a l r e s i d e n t i a l n e i g h b o r h o o d

+162.1 m (+532’-0”) p h a r m a c e u t i c a l r e s e a r c h l a b o r a t o r y l e v e l

+76.8 m (+252’-0”) s c h o o l l e v e l

-9.1 m (-30’-0”) s u b w a y l e v e l


U t i l i z i n g Wa s t e H e a t At first glance, the efficient cooling of data centers is achieved by heat exchangers that transfer waste heat to a chiller, which then works to offset the excess heat load. The large quantity of resultant energy returns to the heat exchange medium (glycol), achieving an optimal temperature for continued cooling work. Continuous City proposes a thermodynamic exchange similar to that of the chiller, but functioning rather like a heat sink on a monumental scale. A typical server enclosure (3’x5’x6’) generates the equivalent waste heat to satisfy the heating needs of an average single family residence over all heating degree days in a northern climate. When coupled with the recent proliferation of data centers in our urban landscapes, this convergence of circumstances presents a design opportunity. Here, infrastructure and human habitation exist in a symbiotic exchange of its heat sink properties: servers produce waste heat, while inhabitants bask in the primal comfort of warmth. Through this reconfiguration of the human relationship to waste energy, new forms of habitation—indivisible from their infrastructural source—are conceived.

41,212 BTUs

3,709,080 BTUs

123,636 BTUs

618,180 BTUs

server-to-household ratio

data center core: approximately 63,000 servers and expanding...

heating and cooling manifolds


automated plant carrier app. distance of track: 1 mile plants on track: 1032

air in-take volume: 843,992 ft 3 a i r- exch a n ge cyc l e s p e r h o u r : 2 air changes per hour: 1,686,984 ft3

“return air” grille

continuous city park: solarium +345.6 m (+1134’-0”)

continuous city park: ventilarium +183.8 m (+603’-0”)

venturi

scrubber

typical public space: neighborhood commons the money plant epipremnum aureum

ventilarium viewing deck smoking lounge & bar

continuous city park: bazaar +0m (+0’-0”)

“air in-take” grille

mother-in-law’s tongue sansevieria trifaciata the areca palm chrysalidocarpus lutescens

undeground plant incubator plants in reserve: 23,000 *restricted public access

Parks and Public Spaces Continuous City envisions a lifestyle that extends the interior of the enclosure to the immediate neighborhood vicinity, advocating hybrid use where the domains of public and private blend naturally. In addition to open spaces such as terraces, courtyards, streetscapes, and neighborhood parks, Continuous City proposes a new taxonomy of open space, where the status, definition, and traditional preservation of nature are reoriented. These “interiorized” parks, or “post-Olmsteadian” open spaces, make the case for a future where the delineation between what is deemed artificial versus natural becomes less clear. They not only serve the purpose of providing a forum for leisure/pleasure, but also serve environmental or infrastructural ne cessities. As a series of habitats or terrariums, these parks suggest new types of behavior public spaces go ver tical

or interactions with the indoors.


+183.8 m (+603’-0”) v e n t i l a r i u m


“new modes of civic rituals”


+345.6 m (+1134’-0”) s o l a r i u m


epilogue: continuous beyond the city Continuous City continues beyond the boundaries of the city, examining the issues surrounding ecology, flows of waste and energy, resource scarcity, and shifting economies. The dematerialized, ethereal space of the Internet today represents an ever-growing presence in the material world, fueled by society’s ceaseless appetite for consumption of data, information and connectivity. As immaterial as it may seem on the screens of ubiquitous electronic devices, the virtual realm of data is inextricably entangled in a symbiotic relationship with its physical analogue. Though many of these infrastructures--which sustain, satiate, and magnify society’s hunger for all things virtual--remain largely unnoticed by the masses, the footprint of virtual space on the physical space is very real. Reveling in its newly found mobility and flexibility, the data center is no longer anchored down, merely existing in the anonymity of a standard brick-and-mortar institution. Instead, the data center’s realm extends from the back of a speeding 18-wheeler to small rural farms of American midwest, as all aspects of our physical world become an opportunity for the infrastructure of the invisible to take hold. The resulting landscape, constantly in flux, defined by the flows of energy, waste, people, capital, information and resources allude to new urban typologies and methods of land-use... ...to be continued...


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st. grand

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chatham sq.

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fulton seaport

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hanover st.

continuous beyond manhattan: data center coupling

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continuous in manhattan: urban infrastructure coupling



Continuous City