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Blue Sky on Canal Street

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The Realistic Proposal
KARL FISCHER ARCHITECTURE

You don’t find sites this wide open anymore, so the prolific Karl Fischer allowed for a plaza (see inset map) to give “pedestrians a reprieve from the traffic of Canal,” he explains. The plaza will perhaps enhance Duarte Square’s neighboring open space, which is a little windswept and underused right now, and add some much-needed trees to the area. It’s also a practical choice, because under New York’s zoning laws, adding a plaza gets you permission to build taller. Fischer’s structure, cleverly designed as hotel space that’s easily convertible into residences, would be faced primarily in two materials—gray brick and glass. Each of the four façades would be unique, making reference to the site’s odd shape.


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