The project title is derived from the intention of developing Roosevelt Island to become an attraction for people living in Manhattan and Queens through the creation of a sequence of nodes “Commons” that act as public spaces with different atmospheres and serving different functions in order to generate spaces for interaction and integration “Fusion” of all different races, ages, interests, groups in trial to merge between educational, recreational, cultural, leisure and co-working spaces all oriented to public spaces, landscape and waterfront.
The main concept of the design is trying to act to the existing situation of the island and taking full advantage of the potential of having “Cornell Tech Campus” buildings on one end of the project area and the “Historical Ruin of the Hospital” and “Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park and Memorial”. Considering these two areas as main attraction nodes on the island, the design strategy is to connect them through a main path passing through a third node in the center of the path designing the new mixed use intervention of the project around it. Starting with a linear path going through the three zones where all different functions are placed on both sides of the path creating a central space giving more advantage to the Island borders to be designed as waterfront public spaces and landscape areas with visual relationship to Manhattan and Queens. Playing with the shape of the path one side adjacent to educational and co-working buildings was kept linear and on the other side where most public functions are the path started to deform in shape of cracks reflecting on the shape of masses and their orientation in a way to differentiate between functions and create a dynamic path and spaces.
Focusing on designing all the ground floor of all buildings in order to understand better how all buildings function in terms of entrances, circulation, functionality and relationship between indoor and outdoor spaces and how they are affecting each other. Three buildings are chosen to be designed in details; the choice was to focus on the interaction point between the new design intervention and the historical ruin which is the SmallPox hospital that is the cultural zone of the design, where the library, the underground museum “the end of the main path” and the historical building with the new intervention added to it will merge everything together as a renovation design to create an exhibition space and a flexible events space.