Biennale Bulletin: Interboro’s “LentSpace” Helps “Remake” The City
September 5, 2012
This post is part of a series dedicated to the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale. In addition to on-the-ground reports, we’re featuring firms and projects showcased in the U.S. pavilion’s exhibition, Spontaneous Interventions.
“Why are American cities so segregated?” asks architect and instructor Georgeen Theodore, to which the rhetorical follow-up would be, “And what can we do to fix them?”. Theodore, along with Tobias Armborst and Daniel D’Oca, form Interboro Partners, a young architecture firm whose inventive, socially-minded, and decidedly urban works aim to both expose and reverse the exclusionary tendencies that have infiltrated nearly all aspects of public design. “LentSpace“, the group’s interim installation on an empty privately-owned Lower Manhattan lot, deals with many of the trio’s preoccupations, offering a new model for urban planning that nimbly navigates the line between private and public jurisdictions. Continue.
LentSpace by Interboro Partners. Photos: Interboro
The park-like project sits on a stalled development site, a bare half-block of urban real estate on which the architects arranged a series of different modular units, or tools, including pivoting screens (with built-in benches) and a nursery of movable trees and planters. These will be co-opted by adjoining streets and nearby public spaces once the site is marked for construction and the land cleared for foundation work.
In the video above, produced for the “Spontaneous Interventions” exhibition on display at the U.S. Pavilion at this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale, Theodore posits an a simple–astoundingly so–answer to the question of urban segregation : “remake the city”. And how does one go about remaking the city? By crafting and utilizing “tools”, like those found at LentSpace,that augment the public’s ability to give form and shape their urban space.