The Van Alen Institute, a non-profit organization devoted to public realm improvements in New York City, has announced Collective-LOK as the winner of its Ground/Work competition. The winning team—a collaboration between Jon Lott (PARA-Project), William O’Brien Jr. (WOJR), and Michael Kubo (over,under)—was selected from a pool of over 100 applicants, and beat out two other finalists: Of Possible Architectures and EFGH. The competition called on designers to re-imagine the ground floor level to accommodate new offices, bookselling platform, galleries, and event and programming space.
Collective-LOK’s proposal uses a variety of screens to keep the space flexible and open: “To accommodate this range of possibilities within a limited square footage, we propose a Screen Play; a mechanism to order these spatial, curatorial, and temporal scenarios through a subtle interplay of surfaces that creates a complex and ambiguous presence in the city.”
Next year marks the 120th anniversary of the institute, which has a long history of research, competitions, and programming, and will now gear up to refocus its efforts on consulting and implementing public realm programs.