New York Grid Essay

558 Words3 Pages
Right angles, straight lines, meeting vertices--geometric shapes traced on the sand of the Rhodian shore is a primitive grid that seeks to sever itself from the barbarism of Nature to declare itself modern. A grid, according to Krauss in Grids is the symbol of modernity, in it’s ability, regrading space, to shove out the third dimension by forcing them onto a two dimensional surface of rigidity and organization. Therefore the grid is a symbol of arts and imagination and can never be a direct translation of reality. It is perhaps this artificial aspect of the grid that undermines Koolhass’ argument for “theoretical Manhattan” where the “culture of congestion” would form a vibrant city of creativity and dreams. The “culture of congestion” is built too much upon an overextended…show more content…
New York’s grid was born from the Commissioner’s plan of 1811 for it’s simplicity and commercial gains. The intention of the grid, therefore, is not to bring about an intricate system of constant renovation or an uncompromising space where ideas can be stacked on top of another. Though the New York grid never fulfilled it’s intention, never did it or can it for it Koolhaas’. The actual effect of the grid creates a congestion of traffic that hamstrings its inhabitants and instead of facilitating vivacity, nourishes a suffocating miasma of mindless, fast-past life style and polluted air. The grid can also never create a “city within a city” as it spreads itself in the same pattern wherever the lines crosses and creates a city where every block is connected and homogenous in a convenient but nevertheless dull manner. Koolhaas likely is aware these deficiency in the grid’s implementation on Manhattan as he labels Manhattansim a blueprint and conjecture to justify it’s
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