Manhattan Oneirocritica  Fredrik Hellberg CFVH

A study of the non-material architecture of
the island of Manhattan, New York City

Architectural Association School of Architecture. 2007
Carl Fredrik Valdemar Hellberg

Oneironauts of Manhattan
Le Corbusier
Ssu-Cheng Liang
Oscar Niemeyer
Wallace K. Harrison
Nikolai Bassov
Ernest Cormier
Vladimir Bodiansky
G. A. Soilleux
Max Abramovitz
This project visualizes the unbuilt twentieth-century visionary projects for Manhattan. It was generated through a quest to explore spatial languages that goes beyond the material and into the deep oceans of the mind, imagination, thought, meditation, fantasy, spirituality, psychedelic journeys and the dream. The language of the project is that of dreams: a state where the mind itself creates the space while perceiving it. To explore the world of dreams is to debate the logic of your own mind and universe.


Oneironaut of Manhattan
Robert Moses

Oneironauts of Manhattan
Wallace K. Harrison
Dwight Eisenhower

Oneironauts of Manhattan
Arthur Rasenblatt
Peter Blake
I. M. Pei
Thomas P. F. Hoving

Walking City
Archigram, (Ron Herron & Brian Harvey) 1963
Most celebrated of early Archigram projects, Largely because of the alarm caused among the older planning establishment by the thought of "elements of the capital city" being put on legs and set to roam the world. There location here in the East River

The Continuous Monument
Superstudio, 1969
"New York for example. A super-structure passes over the Hudson and the point of the peninsula joining Brooklyn and New Jersey. And a second perpendicular structure for expansion. All the rest is Central Park. This is sufficient to hold the entire built-up volume of Manhattan. A bunch of ancient skyscrapers, preserved in memory of a time when cities were built with no single plan.... And from the Bay, we see New New York arranged by the The Continuous Monument into a great plain of ice, clouds or sky...."

World Trade Center
Minoru Yamasaki & Associates, Inc, 1973
The World Trade Center's Ionic Twin Towers where a national icon, they where New York's most recognized building of the late 20th Century, along with the Empire State Building. They soared above the Lower Manhattan Skyline, and could be seen in almost all directions. And among all the projects in this book the most known and recognized, with images of varying kinds in the minds of the population of the world.

Fort Amsterdam
Inigo Jones, 1625
was a fort on the southern tip of Manhattan that was the administrative headquarters for the Dutch and then British rule of New York from 1625 until being torn down in 1790 after the American Revolution The construction of the fort marked the official founding date of New York City’s recognized by the Seal of New York City Guns at the fort formed the original battery that is today called Battery Park.

Chase Car Font Skyscraper
Hans Hollein, 1966
A super wide slab, wittily decorated with classical pediments, overshadowing its surroundings and blocking out the pinnacles of Wall Street buildings. His version of the building bland box of the Chase not so different from the radiator grill of a Rolls-Royce was never seen as a serious proposal.

World Trade Center Proposal
Hans Hollein, -
Hollein proposed to rebuild the World Trade Center towers, connecting them with a horizontal structure that appears to hover above them, based in part on the ideas for adding horizontal extensions to Manhattan's vertical skyline that Hollein began to develop in the early 1960's. The proposal contains a memorial to victims of terrorism around the globe, and an information center on the fight against terrorism.

World Trade Centre Proposal
Foster & Partners, 2002
The towers crystalline form was based on triangular geometries - cross-cultural symbols of harmony, unity and strength. The two parts of the tower 'kissed' at three intervals over its 500-metre height, creating strategic links - escape routes in case of emergency which corresponded with public levels containing observation decks, exhibition spaces and cafs.

World Trade Centre Proposal
United Architects, 2002
The team of Richard Meier, Peter Eisenman, Charles Gwathmey and Steven Holl, along with their respective partners and offices, worked together on a girdded mega structure. Two structures with five towers contain a mix of uses – 9 million square feet for offices, a hotel, a convention center and cultural facilities – in buildings that rise 1,111 feet.

World Trade Centre Proposal
Jakob + MacFarlane, 2002
Jakob + MacFarlane dedicated the site of Ground Zero totally to a memorial as an alternative to creating yet another facility to accommodate trade. Slender, fingerlike towers are illuminated with messages meant to have global significance

Grand Hotel
Antoni Gaudi, 1908
Gaudi's vision for a 360-metre hotel, topped with a star and looking like a spaceship, dates from 1908. It would have been the world's tallest structure until the Empire State Building was built in 1930. According to some, Gaudi planned the hotel for the same site in Lower Manhattan as the space left by the collapse of the twin skyscrapers of the World Trade Centre after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Zoning Law Building
Hugh Ferris, 1926
Theoretical envelope of 1916 Zoning Law appearing between the Municipal Building and the Woolworth. The new York Law, formulated by a group of technical experts, was based on purely practical considerations. By limiting the bulk of a building, the number of occupants was limited; fewer people required access and egress; traffic on adjoing streets was lightened. The limitation in mass had also of course the effect of permitting more light and air into the streets as well as into the buildings them selves. After 1916, no structure in Manhattan could exceed the limitations of this spectral shape. There was no limitation on the height of the buildings.

World Trade Center, East River
Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, 1960
The first proposal for a World trade Center in New York. The idea of the World trade Center began to take form in January 1960, when Rockefeller-supported Downtown-Lower Manhattan Associated issued a plan calling for a combination office and hotel structure of fifty to seventy stories, a six-story international trade mart and exhibition hall and a central securities exchange building in which it hoped the New York Stock Exchange would relocate. All of these facilities would sit on a three-story podium that would virtually fill a 13.5 acre site along the Eats River bounded by Old Slip, Fulton, Water and South Street. The platform’s roof would provide a promenade with view’s over the river

80 South Street
Santiago Calatrava, 2007
The tower was to be composed of a base and twelve 45x45x45 ft cubes rising along the towers core. The lowest two cubes would house commercial space, while the higher cubes would each contain one to four apartments

Governors Island Gondola
Santiago Calatrava, 2006
Santiago Calatrava’s proposal for a lightweight tram bridge linking lower Manhattan with Governors Island

New York Stock Exchange Tower

Kohn Pedersen Fox, 1996
Donald Trump development for Lower Manhattan by Kohn Pedersen Fox which was canceled due to disagreements with the client, the New York Stock Exchange.

Civic Center Building

Chester B. Price & Thomas Adams, 1996
Proposed Skyscraper covering two blocks at Broadway, Chambers, Centre, and Duane Street by the City Hall.

ABC Building
Bertrand Goldberg, 1963
The tower, an octagon in plan and situated at Columbus (9th) Avenue and 67th Street would have been occupied by 1200 workers. The design was abandoned because the directors of ABC (American Broadcasting Company) were afraid that the unusual space, quite suitable for ABC, would not be commercially rentable if ABC were to abandon it. The tower also incorporated a broadcasting tower higher than Empire State building.

Parallex Towers
Steven Holl, 1995
Theoretical project by Steven Holl for Hudson River, between West Sixty-sixth and West Seventieth Street.

"Walk-on” City
Hans Hollein, 1963
"A city is formed with the concepts of buildings as integrated structural units, usable in all dimensions. Building surfaces are at the disposal of the inhabitants, and the system allows for integration of all elements necessary for city life: transportation, recreation, sport, ritual – accommodated at appropriate areas on surfaces and subsurface level. The basic grid structure of New York has been retained to facilitate transformation of existing conditions into future needs."
Hans Hollein

Lower Manhattan Express Way
Paul Rudolph, 1967
The proposed Lower Manhattan Express Way, with connections to the Williamsburg Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge to the east, and the Holland Tunnel and the West side Highway to the west. It would have been one of the largest buildings in the world.

Lincoln Square
John Barrington Bayley, 1959
Roman architecture is facade architecture. Interior and exterior stand apart; structure and finish are independent. In modern building, structure is of course the master, and is free to abolish the visible envelope in favor of metal panels or glass, which often cost more than masonry. The best structure is that which supports a building most economically.

10 Columbus Circle

Eli Attia Architects, 1959
This is the tallest building ever proposed by Donald Trump and was to be situated near the geographical center of Manhattan. The tower's geometry is derived from simple but efficient spiral truss framing and a decahedral (10 sided) plan. The telescoping segments of the tower are proportioned by the ratio "phi" (the Golden Ratio of 1.618... to 1) allowing each segment's height to be the sum of the two segments previous to it. The base was to be an 85' high marble and glass arcade that enveloped the entire block with the rising tower above. This site is now the location of the Time Warner Center.

Dome Over Midtown Manhattan
Buckminster R. Fuller, 1968
"There is no method more effective in wasting heat and cooling energy than the system employed in New York and other skyscraper cities in the world. A dome over-Manhattan would reduce its energy losses approximately 50-fold. Such a dome would reach from East River to Hudson at 42nd Street on its east-west axis, from 64th to 22nd street on its north-south axis, and would consist of a hemisphere to miles in diameter and one mile high at its center. "
Buckminster R. Fuller

Metropolitan Life North Building
Harvey Wiley Corbett, 1929
Designed by Harvey Wiley Corbett. The Depression caused this building's construction to be topped out at the 30th floor. It was to reclaim the title of Worlds Tallest from the Empire State building.

Larkin Building
Edward Larkin, 1925
The Larkin Tower was to be located at the McGraw-Hill Building site (42nd Street, between 8th and 9th Streets) in Midtown Manhattan and was proposed in 1925. This building was designed by Edward Larkin and was to stand 1208 feet tall with 110 floors. The Larkin was never constructed because its design wasn’t practical, but if it had been built it would have been the first structure to pass the Eiffel Tower in height.

Grand Central Hyperboloid
I. M. Pei, 1956
Proposal to replace Grand Central Terminal, East Forty-second Street at Park Avenue

West Side Convergence
Cedric Price, 2002
Cedric Price’s proposal for the IFCCA Competition in the Center of Manhattan’s Eight Avenue and Hudson River between 30th and 34th Street.

Midtown Airport
Raymond Loewy
To meet New York’s need for more rapid and convenient air transport, Loewy proposed a helicopter landing field, built high up in steel pylons over the park behind the Public Library. The helicopters would act air taxis between the city and main field outside. The designer claims a dual value for his scheme: it could be used over an air raid shelter, the landing surface serving to break the impact of large bombs

UN Extension
William Zeckendorf, 1947
Proposal for the area to the west of the United Nations, from First to Second Avenue, East Forty-sixth to East Forty-eighth Street.


Wallace K. Harrison, 1946
X-city, on site of present UN Building, two curved slabs straddle a colossal, blob surrounded by office towers. X-City was conceived by Harrison simultaneously as the retroactive realization of the “dream” of Rockafellar Center – the blob would finally contain, among other theaters, accommodation for the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic.

Steel Cathedral
Frank Lloyd Wright, 1926
The Steel Cathedral was Wright’s first New York project. No specific site was mentioned for the project, but it would have obliterated block after block of the city grid. At one-and-a-half times the height of the Eiffel Tower, the Steel Cathedral if completed in 1926, would have been the tallest building in the world. Surrounded by vast, star-shaped terraces, it was projected as a hexagonal tent of steel and glass roughly 1’500 feet tall and equally as wide. At the foot were six cathedrals for the “major faiths,” but the heart of the scheme was a central glazed courtyard, a space half again as tall as the Eiffel Tower.

Central Park Pyramid.
Hugh Ferris, 1934
“New York, you are an Egypt!” The 491-foot high pyramid of Cheops as Hugh Ferris imagines it would look like in Central Park against the Skyline.

New York International Exhibition Building
William Preston, 1883
The first gentleman to propose the holding of a World's Fair in New York was ex-Judge Henry Hilton. Associated with him were men of wealth and position, whose money and reputation would have been staked to make the Fair a success. Congress, however, refused to grant the legislation of funds. On the site where Columbia University is today this building stretches from One Hundred and Tenth and One Hundred and Twenty-Fifth Street.

Sky rise for Harlem

Buckminster Fuller & Shoji Sadau, 1965
Harlem redevelopment including fourteen towers all connected with a four lane spiral ramps inside for vehicular traffic.

Manhattan Bridge with Apartments
Raymond Hood, 1929
New York was already densely built up as far as the location of apartments near business centers was concerned. To alleviate this situation Hood came up with the idea of great bridges of skyscraper apartments across the rivers. He carried the idea further to combining offices, apartments, stores, hotels and theaters in one great building covering three blocks, so that all activities of daily life could take place within one building.
Walter H. Kilham, Jr., Raymond Hood: Architects, 1973