Pardon Our Appearance-Not Anymore

Pardon Our Appearance-Not Anymore

In renovation and remodeling construction, it always seems necessary to apologize for the inconvenience, the dust, the noise. PARDON OUR APPEARANCE.  In New York City, the constant eyesore is the sidewalk bridge that is put up in order to do exterior restoration, Local Law 11, or other work requiring protection of the sidewalk and the pedestrians that use them.

In 2009, the city of New York held a design competition requesting proposals for an alternative to this eyesore.   The winner: Urban Umbrella, a fantastic alternative to the horrible sidewalks you see everywhere today. Urban Umbrella is a collaboration between Young Choi with architect Andres Cortes and structural engineer Sarrah Khan from the New York based design firm Agencie Group.  Although I would presume the costs to fabricate, install, rent, and dismantle this type of sidewalk/pedestrian protection is higher, Urban Umbrella does make some good points on the value added benefit of having this type of structure instead of the standard sidewalk bridge. Here are some exciting concept images:

As their website describes it:

“In December of this past year [2011], Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Building’s Commissioner Robert LiMandri unveiled the Urban Umbrella as the new model for sidewalk sheds for the City of New York. The Urban Umbrella was the winning entry in a city-sponsored competition to challenge architects and engineers to find the most innovative, cutting-edge design solution to the dark boxy scaffolding that is ubiquitous in New York City. Urban Umbrella was selected for its sustainable characteristics, increased safety elements and, of course, beauty.The Umbrella was selected by a jury composed of some of the most influential professionals and policy-makers in New York City today including David M. Childs of SOM; Craig Dykers of Sn??hetta; Craig Schwitter of Buro Happold North America; and Frank Sciame, of Sciame Construction. The Umbrella’s sidewalk debut is the culmination of two years of intense engineering reviews and testing since the Urban Umbrella won the city contest 2009. The Umbrella’s architects and engineers produced over 100 configuration options and 450 pages of structural analysis for personal review by the Department’s Chief Structural Engineer Dan Eschenasy.The Umbrella is the first design alternative to the sidewalk shed in over 50 years.”
All images courtesy of www.UrbanUmbrella.com