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Vertical City for New York
Affordable and Unaffordable Housing 

This project aims to speculate on the potential future of incentivized zoning in New York City. The proposed site for this project is Billionaire’s Row, located in midtown Manhattan – an area known for its extreme wealth. Though New York City is a diverse urban landscape, this area is known for its extreme gentrification, resulting in a neighborhood that is largely commercialized that lacks affordable housing, public space, and a sense of community. The proposal aims to build a Vertical City, one that reflects the diversity of New York City into a single tower. The resulting tower has bespoke villas for the eight richest men in the world – Bill Gates, Amancio Ortega, Warren Buffet, Carlos Slim, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Ellison, and Michael Bloomberg. Each of the villas was designed by a different architect, ranging from Rem Koolhaas to Bjarke Ingels, that have been matched with each billionaire. The result is a sky-high display case for the world’s greatest architects. We are aiming to sell air rights to 0.01% – with our new model of real estate you can now “buy the sky.” This project exemplifies the paradoxical idea of beauty and beast within New York City development. On one hand, it is introducing affordable housing and public space in an unaffordable and highly built-up area of Manhattan, but conversely, it is only increasing the wealth in an already heavily gentrified area. All of this is to investigate the potential future of incentivized zoning and how we can create symbiotic relationships in order to reintroduce affordability and a sense of community within New York City, resulting in a city in a tower and a tower in the city.

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Vertical Tower creates a relationship between metropolitan culture and the unique architecture that results in a diversity of forms created by each of the distinct units.

Physical Model

Billionaires Villas

3D Print - Laser Cut

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Vertical City proposal includes a variety of programs. In addition to the unaffordable housing of the eight billionaires and the inclusion of affordable housing, there is a renewed sense of community being introduced into the Midtown neighborhood through the introduction of public space and a ground-level Museum of Science with a laboratory and a visual gallery.

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New York, NY | USA




Laura Clark



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