Designing experience through architecture and environment:

Arks of Time

Slowing down in a 24-hour city, with dynamic architecture as landscape bridge across the East River.

Create a new Pier-X for the East River Waterfront in NYC.

The Arks of Time, a system of five floating platforms moving at different time intervals to create a dynamic landbridge across the East River — and spaces for slowing down in NYC.
Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP)
Core I Architecture Studio
Karla Rothstein, instructor
Fall 2015


The arks of time are a system composed of landform ramps, floating platforms and moving arks.

The system is a device to reshape the experience of time; its elements rise above, float on and enter the water, blurring preconceived edges and creating new temporal tethers for New York City. Shifting between Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the East River, at any given moment the system occupies one, some or all of those places as both object and field.

The moving arks traverse the East River over distinct periods of time: a day, a week, a month and a year. The porosity of the envelope, number of interior spaces, and density of occupation of the moving enclosures vary across a gradient that calibrates to their rates of travel. Differing travel speeds also produce periodic intersections that activate the enclosures, transforming the qualitative experience and creating new programmatic spaces.

Passengers inhabiting the system are both lost and found. The river crossing removes all frames of reference, save that of the sky. Over the course of one cycle, the moving arks subtly transform, periodically building ephemeral adjacencies and reshaping the journey.

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