Governors Island Ferry Terminal

[EDGES: A Room with a View]

Governors Island identity lies on its edge condition. Its greatest amenity is its continuous promenade, a clean and uninterrupted view of the Manhattan skyline and surrounding burroughs. Governos Island is a void in which to behind the shape and marvel of Manhattan. Its edge is high real estate, a room with an expensive view.

[NONPLACE: The ephemeral qualities of traveling]

The terminal, regardless of transportation type, is experienced differently upon arrival or departure. Departure requires waiting, whereas Arrival focuses on finding the nearest exit. Both rituals treat the terminal as an empty container sitting between destinations: a bridge between two points. Anything within it is merely used for either distraction or wayfinding. An architecture of emptiness emerges from these set of qualities.



With these two ideas in mind, I propose a new edge for Governors Island. This new edge is situated in the north side of the island, between the historical icons of the island (Castle Williams, Fort Jay) and the spectacular view of Manhattan. This edge will form another degree of difference (an additional, visual layer) between Governors Island and Manhattan, segmenting the void while maintaining the main attraction of voyeurism. It aims to disrupt the edge and grant the island a sense of place beyond its relationship to Manhattan.


The terminal takes the form of a bridge --- not only as a means to connect the new edge to the old, but also as a means to visually disrupt the promenade, while keeping its continuity intact.

Structurally, it is one, monolithic concrete plate, thickened and arched for support, with a light-weight, repeating steel structure which sits on top of it. This open-air “cage” supports only itself, and is made of painted, welded steel tube frames, which are striated by steel cables, anchored to the perimeter of the bridge, and wrapped around. This “ghostly” form of unconditioned space, and provides the shape of the terminal, and sets the stage for the program within it. It is porous, yet clearly defined.

Feature 3

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