‘Queensway Bilboards’ is a renovation of an abandoned railway in Queens, New York. The project rethinks the typology of billboards, giving them a social function instead of a brand logo. The structures appear along the Queensway site and become local landmarks. They contain vertical communication, such as lifts, escalators, stairs, ramps, slides; and social functions: elevated sportsground, vertical gardens, spaces for art, cinema etc.
International Competition, 2nd Prize, AIA, New York.
Billboards of New York with its’ structural grids of huge letters floating in the sky are iconic symbols of New York boroughs. Some of the billboards become historical landmarks, whereas the object of their advertisement can be gone from the market for a long time.
The new billboards appear in the eventless grid of neighborhood, along the Queensway site. Urban strategy is to create the landmarks, visible from different directions by placing the billboards on the intersections of avenues and streets.
Local community needs neighborhood attractors, without being able to afford expensive solutions. The project of programmatically filled billboards becomes a useful, cheap and elegant solution. The new objects are iconic but easy to construct.
Different incline of the surface leads to different interaction of the person and the “ground”: flat ramp offers a long, tranquil and easy way up, whereas a vertical elevator brings up in seconds without any effort.
The project brings together different means of vertical communication combined with specific functions, thus connecting the ground with the elevated Queensway and bringing new attractors to the site.
Entrance to the elevated park is always sharing the space with the function.
Free structural grid which allows the community to use it flexibly, depending on its’ particular needs.
The billboard always serves several functions:
Infrastrustural - it is containing the means of vertical communication, e.g. lifts, ladders, elevators, escalators, stairs, ramps, slides.
Social – the billboard serves as one of local community’s attractors. Depending on the needs of the local community, it is a sports (elevated) ground, a vertical Community garden, a space for the street art, childrens (elevated) playground, city lounge, drive-in cinema etc. Spaces under the arches of Queensway are used by the commercial functions, related to the “billboard”.