It's ironic, of course, that the Fashion District—that area of Manhattan hugging Hell's Kitchen in the West 30s—is itself incredibly ugly. So, in honor of the end of Fashion Week, we're publishing the above image of a reimagined Fashion District. Um, WTF?
The image comes from James Biber of design firm Pentagram, who was among those commissioned by Women's Wear Daily to rethink the Fashion District's built space. Archinect reblogs the proposal, a portion of which reads:
When the business of fashion was about the racks of rolling ‘merchandise’ and buildings full of piece-workers, the Fashion District worked perfectly. You could get anything, make anything and sell anything there. The street was an expanded version of the Lower East Side or the bazaar. Now Fashion is branded, designed and sold in the Fashion District, but manufactured and distributed elsewhere. There is less need for physical presence in the district, but still a need for centralization for buyers and for the Shows. A Fashion District still makes sense, but the street has ceased to be the common ground of activity. The Fashion District needs to be stitched back together, but at the level where the activity now takes place; in buildings far above the ground floor.
Our proposal is the Horizontal Skyscraper. Composed of tower-sized buildings in repose, they connect the various showrooms, designers, sales forces and the occasional workshop while housing the most spectacular runway spaces in the world. The common ground connects the tops of the buildings rather than the bases, and the fashion world gets a home where it deserves one; far above the street, high in the clouds.
Tower-sized buildings in repose. An idea who's time has come, friends, and not a moment too soon.
· The Fashion District Reconsidered [Archinect]