Reconnecting Roosevelt, New York.


Roosevelt Island is a sliver of reclaimed land that lies directly to the East of Manhattan; rather like  a shark’s pilot fish, it remains overlooked. The subject of innumerable whimsical development plans, including those of Le Corbusier and OMA, the island retains a defiantly independent spirit, with its own city department and building codes. It is within this framework that a new sports focused hub is imagined, structurally supported by the epic and dominant Queensboro Bridge that completely oversails the island. The structure combines a sweeping cycle gyratory and community facilities for islanders: Simultaneously accommodating the competing needs of lycra-clad road cyclists, ageing fixie riding hipsters, yoga fanatics and slightly overweight Cornell undergrads. 


A steel reinforced fibreglass ramp structure connects to the existing cycle path on the Queensboro Bridge before looping underneath, minimally balancing on a series of pre-tensioned cables that are anchored to the bridge deck and island’s surface.


The ramp exists in tandem with a  slender core structure which houses community facilities, vertically extending the site’s existing Sportspark facilities. These new spaces target a ‘typical’ younger, working New Yorker and the future Cornell students, providing spaces to de-stress with rooftop yoga classes and evening dance courses.  


 A primary aim of the project was to create transparency within the structure, to minimize impact on the site and also allow unobstructed views over Manhattan for users inside.  In occupying air space rather than the ground plane, the structure also draws on the site context of the existing tennis bubbles, mimicking their flexible, and inflatable nature by using a transparent ETFE film construction method.


The final film for the project was created using 3ds Max and Vray in which the entire structure was 3d modelled and populated with individually animated cyclists and people. Cameras were then attached to the cyclists capturing the dramatic journey as they race down the ramp from a first person POV.