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Liberty State Park, New Jersey


The site selected for this design proposal is in Liberty State Park, New Jersey. This beautiful site not only looks out to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, two iconic symbols of migration in the United States, but also New York City, a place where many migrant families have called home for decades. The site includes not only a 13.3-acre area of land but an equivalent amount of water real estate in the Hudson Bay just across the existing path.

Sitting on this site is the proposed World Institute of Migration (WIM) with 200,000 sqft of event space, offices, a restaurant, retail, and much more. The on-land site also incorporates a “Garden of Nations” that represents the people it serves. On the Hudson Bay portion of the site sits a pier that includes a multi-purpose space/ amphitheater, areas for food trucks and stands, as well as a dog park, children’s playground, gift shop, and a water taxi dock. It should also be noted that this entire site is designed to be IBC and ADA compliant.

This design is very expressive in its steel structure. One of the first detail that catches the eye is the strong use of a diagrid. This building takes full advantage of the diagrid to withstand the vertical and lateral forces put on the building. A long-span truss can also be seen supporting a section of the building that connects the two rising ends of the structure.

The concept behind this design proposal focuses on how migration is a new start for many. These new beginnings are about change, new paths forward and the opportunities found along the journey. This idea is reflected in this design by using floor orientation and massing and void to represent change, creating pathways that are conflicting with what exists and itself representing new paths forward, and creating unique spaces and feature that individuals discover as they move through and around the building such as sculptures, rooftop patios, gardens, and spaces that offer unique views, representing new opportunities.

The orientation of this building is very important to its design. The site is laid out on a 45-degree grid, and this was done for a few reasons.

The first is due to the design breaking the existing 90-degree pathways. This creates a sense of entering the site, even when walking down the existing pathway. It also manages a strong relationship between the land site and the pier because the angles are so prominent.

The second reason for the site’s orientation is the views that are available around the site. Since the site is facing such historical locations in terms of migration, it was key to give individuals the opportunity to experience this skyline.

The final reason is to better align the site with true north. This takes advantage of the light from the north and the solar radiation from the south. Large overhangs, the rotation of the upper floors creates then act as shading devices for the floors below.

The World Institute of Migration: Towards a New Monumentality: Text
The World Institute of Migration: Towards a New Monumentality: Pro Gallery
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