Tired of scurrying under makeshift unpleasant scaffolding hovering over the streets of Manhattan? Back in 2009, Bloomberg launched an urban design intervention initiative calling for designers to provide a “fresh new sidewalk shed” to replace its dingy predecessors. Entitled urbanSHED, the international design competition challenged participants to develop a sustainable and economic prototype to be used for New York’s 1,000,000+ linear feet of sidewalks. Such a prototype must meet or exceed the City’s current safety requirements and regulations, and improve technical and structural performance. The winning shed was designed by Young-Hwan Choi, a student from the University of Pennsylvania. The shed is the first design to be approved under the City’s Buildings Bulletin 2011 and will be installted in Lower Manhattan soon! More about the design after the break.
The Urban Umbrella design concept is strongly rooted in providing an appealing aesthetic to those passing underway. Constructed from 85% recycled content, the high strength 50ksi steel shed has a 300 pounds per square foot load capacity which will safely protect the public from any falling debris. Plus, the structure sustains a horizontal load equal to 2% of its vertical load and eliminates cross-bracing that visually obstructs ground floor storefronts and building entrances.
The light design creates an attractive sidewalk environment that increases visibility for properties. Plus, the shed has the option of translucent overhead panels that transmits incident ambient light onto the sidewalk. These ½ inch polycarbonate panels have been tested to sustain 300 pounds dead load and the equivalent impact energy of a standard clay masonry brick falling 300 feet. The LED lighting fixture will achieve the full 1 foot candle per square foot requirement established by the NYC Building Code.
The design is envisioned as a flexible system where different component connections can be achieved to fit the differing needs of construction sites. In fact, adjustable feet can pivot and extend in order to accommodate changes in sidewalk pitch, eliminating the need for wood shims.