The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) has unveiled three proposals for redesigning the public spaces around New York’s 19ha Grand Central Terminal and the East Midtown neighbourhood in the US.
Three architecture firms including Skimore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), Foster + Partners, and WXY Architecture + Urban Design have offered proposals after MAS invited them to present ideas about the future of Grand Central Terminal’s public realm as part of its third annual summit for New York City.
Marking the summit’s call to study ‘Grand Central: The Next 100 Years’, SOM had come up with a vision comprising three different solutions to improve the public space around the station.
The first solution will restructure privately-owned public spaces to create pedestrian corridors through multiple city blocks, linking Grand Central to nearby urban attractors, while the second solution is to create additional levels of public space above and below the existing spaces that are funded privately but under public ownership.
The third idea involves a 24-hour precinct around Grand Central Terminal created in the form of a circular pedestrian observation deck suspended above Grand Central, which would offer a 360-degree panoramic view of the city.
Commenting on its proposal SOM design partner Roger Duffy said, "With the Department of City Planning’s proposed up-zoning of East Midtown and the anticipated completion of East Side Access in 2019, the city prepares itself for a new phase of urban growth."
Foster + Partners’ proposal includes creation of concourses, with new and improved entrances.
Streets will be reconfigured externally as shared vehicle/pedestrian routes, and Vanderbilt Avenue will be fully pedestrianised.
The proposal also creates new civic spaces that will provide Grand Central with an appropriate urban setting for the next 100 years.
WXY Architecture’s proposal includes creation of new public spaces around the base of MetLife building and access from Vanderbilt Avenue to the tracks below.
Image: SOM offered three solutions in its proposal, which will provide improvements to the public space around the station. Photo: Skimore, Owings and Merrill.