The Municipal Art Society of New York recently presented a program entitled The Next 100, in which they asked three firms to propose designs for Grand Central Terminal.
From the MAS website (mas.org):
Three visionary architectural designs that re-imagine the public spaces in and around Grand Central Terminal and the East Midtown neighborhood will be unveiled this afternoon at the MAS Summit for New York City. From a soaring skyway that rises above Grand Central, to a transformed Park Avenue Viaduct, to expansive pedestrian plazas and bicycle paths, the designs will help inform the future of this critical neighborhood as Grand Central celebrates its 100th anniversary and as New York City develops a new planning framework that calls for the re-zoning of the area’s core.
In creating a new public space framework for Midtown, Foster sought to make a number of small interventions to gradually change the circulation and flow through the streets, buildings, and transit. The focus of their vision is ensuring that the buildings themselves are designed in such a way as to respond to a public space strategy – creating additional room to breathe around Grand Central. With a number of smaller interventions Midtown’s trajectory is shifted – creating an opportunity to linger and admire – rather than simply race through.
Lord Norman Foster (Foster + Partners) said, “The Municipal Art Society’s call to study the Next 100 years of Grand Central Terminal in the wider context of the city and its public realm represents an important and welcome debate that will help shape the future form of the city. The quality of a city’s public realm reflects the level of civic pride and has a direct impact on the quality of everyday life. With the advent of the Long Island Rail Road East Side Access, along with the plan to re-zone the district, there has never been a better opportunity to tackle the issues of public access and mobility around one of the greatest rail terminals in the World.”