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JERSEY CITY TEC
PROPOSAL FOR THE 4TH FLOOR RENOVATION AT JERSEY CITY, CITY HALL
280 Grove Street, Jersey City, NJ 07302
“You cannot imagine falsely. The imagination is a function of belief and experience; that is of course why the realization of a poem is an event of belief and experience. This event takes place in a time-sequence involving the reverberation of images and sounds. The reaction is one which discovery and memory are sealed together for you; and the relationship that seals them is what we call beautiful”.
Muriel Rukeyser – "The Life of Poetry”
Jersey City TEC is a proposal for a new vision of the currently unoccupied 4th floor attic in Jersey City’s historic City Hall building that ushers in a new era for Jersey City: Transparent, Efficient, and Clean. City Hall – the historic crown gem of Jersey City completed in 1896 – is transformed to represent a new relationship between the administration and the people it serves, using its architecture as a symbol for new governance. In contrast to the infamous desk of Mayor Frank Hague in the early 20th century which utilized a hidden 2-way drawer underneath the desk to accept bribes, Jersey City TEC is a symbol of transparency and honesty, a new ‘urban drawer’ characterized by the light and centered around a public rooftop courtyard for all to inhabit.
With over 17,000 square feet of additional office space, the fourth floor also provides areas for an art gallery displaying local artists’ work, a library, café, open assembly space, and kid’s play area all situated around a centrally located outdoor green courtyard. It becomes an extension of the city’s public space within the very building that represents it.
The solid brick load-bearing walls that outline the inner perimeter of the courtyard are replaced with a window wall that allows natural light to illuminate the interior of the fourth floor and provides views to the surrounding cityscape from any location without compromising the building’s historic exterior shell as viewed from the street level. The existing sloped roof is raised and leveled off creating a green roof that nurtures a range of local flora tying the structure to its environment.
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