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134 Citygroup / A Proposal for a Reverse Stoop
A pool, slide, cabinet of curiosities, and community archive for a gallery in Chinatown, NYC; a proposal for Citygroup's First Annual ‘pootS’ Competition, with Sherry Aine Te and Aaron Smolar
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Citygroup / A Proposal for a Reverse Stoop

A pool, slide, cabinet of curiosities, and community archive for a gallery in Chinatown, NYC; a proposal for Citygroup's First Annual ‘pootS’ Competition, with Sherry Aine Te and Aaron Smolar.

Exhibition ↴
Citygroup
104b Forsyth Street
New York, NY 10009

First Annual ‘pootS’ Competition ↴
A proposal for a reverse stoop.

Image ↴
Photo by Citygroup.

Exhibition Description ↴
For two decades, The Young Architects Program (YAP) organized by MoMA PS1 purported to discern and exalt emerging architectural talent. The annual competition to transform the museum’s courtyard in advance of a series of outdoor summer performances and parties was fundamental to identifying the so-called architectural vanguard. The opportunity to produce a temporary structure and experiment with the many material and formal manifestations of a ruled surface bolstered the careers of numerous architects who are redefining New York City’s skyline today.

Sadly, the YAP was put on hiatus in 2019. Since then, the public has been at a loss for how to determine who constitutes the freshest, best, and brightest new voices in the field of architecture. In light of this gaping void, activist tastemaker Citygroup is thrilled to step in with an opportunity for emerging talent to flaunt their prowess so that we might anoint the Next Big Thing.

Although the Citygroup space is not fronted by an exclusive monumental walled courtyard, the entry to our storefront lies at the bottom of a very public reverse stoop, affectionately dubbed the poots. The poots is also host to the Citygroup Bulletin, an initiative that asks artists to respond to Citygroup activities by making an artwork that projects out toward the street and engages pedestrians as they pass by. With the first annual Poots Competition, Citygroup is soliciting design proposals for the interstitial stepped zone between the sidewalk and the collective’s indoor space.

Proposal Description ↴
The Snark Tank is an exquisite corpse of discrete, heterogeneous interventions, and through the tension between these moments produces an engaging street experience. Accordingly, our proposal is threefold. The slide destabilizes the everyday notion of ground-as-surface, and takes “ground” instead as a three-dimensional zone that is continuous with sites like the Poots, and which nevertheless encompasses the foregoing understandings. The slide lets out into the gallery, which we fill with a pool that is complete with an array of sea creatures that includes real sharks - after all, who doesn’t like sharks. The cabinet of curiosities allows the public to display items of interest, constituting an archive - stewarded by Citygroup - that is not beholden to institutional interests.

Picture this: it's a hot summer afternoon in New York City, and the streets are packed with people looking for a way to cool off. Suddenly, a crowd gathers around a corner of Chinatown, called the Snark Tank where a giant slide goes from the sidewalk down into the pool. It's a place where people can come together to cool off, have fun, and make memories archived at the Cabinet of Curiosities. The slide is a new addition to Chinatown’s cultural landscape.

About Citygroup ↴
Citygroup is an architecture collective based in the Lower East Side of New York City. Learn more on their website.

In collaboration with Sherry Aine Te and Aaron Smolar. Full case study forthcoming.

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Contact ↴
@andrewchee
[email protected]
1 917 375 2524

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Updated ↴
2024 Jul 17 16:38:31 UTC, CC BY-SA International, Andrew Chee.

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Citygroup / A Proposal for a Reverse Stoop
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