Client: Oases Development
Size: 30,000 sf
Location: New York, New York

Turnstyle is a retail development that will transform a heavily traversed existing public passageway within the Metropolitan Transit Authority system into a vibrant public space for shopping, eating, and gathering. Extending from West 57th to 58th Street below Eighth Avenue and above the train tunnel, the 200’ long concourse connects the busy Columbus Circle subway station to multiple sidewalk entries and office building lobbies.  In our design for the concourse, we bring a familiar street-level urbanism into the underground space.

The project aims to appreciate occupying the infrastructure under the city as a special experience by first stripping away the familiar MTA paraphernalia and then showing-off the remaining raw condition of the beams and vaults with the most basic interventions: white paint and light. New functional elements intentionally defer to existing infrastructure and reference classic subway elements. Storefronts have glass transoms to allow the vaults to carry through making the low concourse more spacious feeling. The new spine enclosure, with laser cut pattern openings derived from subway tile patterns and sizes, organizes but does not attempt to hide pipes, conduits, and devices along central column line. Large black floor tile arranged in a herringbone pattern makes a durable walking surface which loosely references the Gustavino tiles in Grand Central Station. New custom "light pipes" at entry ceilings are perforated tubes around LED strips which are slyly integrated with the tangle of existing station conduits to further blur the line between architecture and infrastructure.

Thirty-four small store spaces lining the concourse allow for great tenant diversity. Store type “zoning” distinguished with distinct storefronts and sign types breaks-up the monotony of the long passageway. New small program "hot spots" where people pause to eat, talk, or buy something are identified with colorful flooring, kiosks, and tables. Interactive digital columns, as physical objects and in their digital curation, will further contribute to the vitality of the space.