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A Flawed Revival

Deen Sharp

Terreform Co-Director Deen Sharp was interviewed by Diwan on his partipation at Carnegie Middle East Center's roundtable on postwar reconstruction, at which he talked about the postwar reconstruction of Beirut.   

You can see the interview in full here

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Downward Spiral, Terreform UR's 10th book has arrived

Hilary Huckins-Weidner

Downward Spiral: El Helicoide's Descent from Mall to Prison
Editors: Celeste Olalquiaga and Lisa Blackmore
Contributors: Pedro Alonso, Carola Barrios, Ángela Bonadies, Bonadies & Olavarría, Rodrigo Blanco Calderón, René Davids, Liliana De Simone, Luis Duno-Gottberg, Diego Larrique, Vicente Lecuna, Engel Leonardo, Albinson Linares, Sandra Pinardi, Iris Rosas, Alberto Sato, Elisa Silva, Federico Vegas, Jorge Villota. Designed by Álvaro Sotillo and Gabriella Fontanillas (VACA).

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This comprehensive volume of critical essays, testimonials, creative work, and archival photography follows the successful exhibition on El Helicoide that was held at the Center for Architecture during the summer of 2017. A scholarly reference and an engaging tale of mid-20th-century petro-modernity, Downward Spiral establishes the contrast between the architects’ grand plans for a futuristic, drive-in shopping mall and the building’s ultimate use as a homeless shelter and, to this day, a prison.

Purchase the book here

South Side Stories - Update

Deen Sharp



Terreform is gearing up for a trip to Chicago next month to charrette with community partners, document sites and circumstances, and finalize our proposal for mobilizing positive changes on the South Side. Our goal is to produce a series of proposals that can channel the great history, energy, and creativity of the communities on the South Side and leverage the huge impetus that the Obama Presidential Center promises to bring. Nonetheless, as concerns mount over the impacts the Center will have on neighborhood economic development, transportation, and open space among others, the time is imminent for alternative visions.  


Introducing New Terreform Team Member Amy Vogel

Deen Sharp


Amy Vogel is a sophomore at MIT studying Civil and Environmental Engineering. She is interning at Terreform in January, during MIT’s 4-week Independent Activity Period through the Externship Program, a program that matches students with alumni mentors at workplaces anywhere in the world. Amy will be launching the energy volume of the New York City (Steady) State project, which will examine NYC’s potential to be self-sufficient in energy.

Amy’s research interests include urban design, sustainability, and transportation systems. She is excited to learn about and work on Terreform’s unique strategies in modern urban design.

Read about Amy's first few weeks at Terreform here


Terreform Proposes Plan To Combine New Pier 55 Program With Reconstruction Of Pier 40

Hilary Huckins-Weidner


      We’ve long taken an interest in the fate of Pier 40 (our studio is a few blocks away) and the development of the Hudson River waterfront. We were involved in doing analysis and design in response to the recent air rights transfer across West Street and the funding it brought for vital repairs to the pier. We’d previously offered a proposal for relocation of a portion of the NYU expansion to the site.
       We’ve been closely observing the on-going contretemps over Barry Diller’s proposal to build a new entertainment pier on the site of the largely vanished Pier 55 at a project cost of $250 million. While we greatly admire the work of Thomas Heatherwick (the scheme’s imaginative designer), have no issue with generous philanthropy, and ardently wish to see the Hudson River Park become ever more splendid and capacious, we do wonder at the logic of this particular investment in the context of a public space obliged to financially fend for itself and monumentally strapped. More specifically, we wonder whether this enormous investment – and the program it will support – might be directed to a place where it is far more urgently needed and appropriately housed: Pier 40.
       Pier 40 has represented a frustrating combination of problem and opportunity for years, somehow stymying all efforts to realize its full public potential. At present, it provides invaluable and beloved sports fields to the community but its primary “service” is as a huge parking lot. This may be a cash cow for the Hudson River Park Trust but it’s surely the least appropriate possible use for such a vast and charismatically-sited facility. Likewise, most of the proposals that have been floated for Pier 40’s renewal over the years have been over-focused on too private styles of reconstruction, on luxury housing or office space rather than on realizing its truly remarkable potential as a scene of pleasure and recreation.
       Our idea is simple: invest the $250 million ear-marked for Pier 55 in Pier 40. Build facilities theaters and a park – of exactly the same size and capacity as planned for the uptown site. Then add as much additional fabulousness as possible. The attached sketches show expanded recreational and sports facilities (including indoor tennis courts and gyms and a pool), more theaters and performance spaces (featuring a large amphitheater with a floating stage that might migrate around the city), a vast forested roof-top and sculpture garden, a marina, a complex of waterside restaurants, a school, community offices, a small hotel, ample opportunities for strolling and sitting along the water, and dock space for a variety of ships and boats. The whole might not generate quite the revenue as parked cars but the stream could be ample and the initial subvention would take care of the expense of construction. Thomas Heatherwick would be great choice for architect!
       We look forward to the hand-shake between Barry Diller, Douglas Durst, Bill De Blasio, and Andrew Cuomo that seals this win-win deal!