Benjamin Evans

Complex Projects

Manhattan Forum Aerial View

Manhattan Forum – Architecture and Democracy in the Valley of Giants

The recent rezoning of Midtown Manhattan is further densifying the city. Historically, city growth in New York is correlated with economic growth. However, 90% of buildings in Manhattan are built ‘as-of-right’, a planning procedure which bypasses public hearings and democratic processes. The city’s zoning laws control the growth of the city and preserve public assets such as open space, light and air. However, technological advances have allowed loopholes in these laws to be exploited for financial gain with local communities being deprived of a voice.

The Manhattan Forum is a municipal and mixed-use building, located between Grand Central Terminal and the Chrysler Building. It provides the space and facilities to fast-track the public review process, making the growth of the city more democratic and participative. Through the re-use of an iconic hotel and integration of natural ventilation, the Manhattan Forum is a building made for an environmentally and socially sustainable future.

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