Strange Lands *
Between land as ground that is politically charged, and floor as land that is programmatically charged a friction occurs. Both remain subjects of the horizontal. The tilting of the floor plate and it’s restriction beyond a certain (walkable) angle is a clear example of how land and floor still function primarily in the same manner. However, a new spectrum of possibilities arises when the concept of use and the concept of property come into play. Floor that is primarily devoted to the concept of use, allows no escape from the horizontal. Land on the other hand, divorced from its association with the floor, dedicates itself to the concept of property and becomes liberated. A large model of Manhattan was constructed together with the seven collaborators in the Architecture and Urban Design group with seven personal projects. A primitive geography consisting of piles of lands; dissected, delaminated, stripped of its programmatic concerns emerges in Harlem. The gridded sub-division of Manhattan begins a systematic process of taming the wild object akin to Mannahatta a while ago. Circulations, accesses, floors, and plinths are produced; ideas of inhabitation are produced. Yet the object remains awkwardly positioned on the line between Harlem and midtown Manhattan; two possibilities of the same grid. It stands for the concept of use and the concept of ownership all in one. It stands for the pristine geometric logic of real-estate and the very real geographic formation of the pile. The floor is dead, long live the land.