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THE RED RIBBON: Gateways to Chinatown

 

Authors: Ana Rolim & Eisner Design.

What if a red ribbon took over the hear of Manhattan's Chinatown, gathering the neighborhood's best? In traditional Chinese culture the ribbon is a meaningful symbol that represents positive energy and a gathering force. Likewise, our proposal swirls, touching the ground and metaphorically pointing towards uttering heights, bringing movement and connection to the site, and amongst city dwellers and visitors.

Just like Chinatown itself and its cultural legacy that has spanned way beyond Chinese immigration, the red ribbon is embracing, communicative and warm. It wants to tell stories, be touched and touch. It also wants to link past, present and future. If Chinese legacy is better passed along through their peoples*, the red ribbon wants to do the same. Its shape unfolds organically, in a continuous flow, a lightweight backlit fiberglass body that is pure energy. 

The stories it tells are housed in its underside, taking the shape of a tridimensional organic screen that showcases past and present traditions, so the future can be imagined and rewritten every time a human approaches, walks through, leans or sits on it. Because tradition can only be truly understood through living, the red ribbon is meant to be an experiential feature of both Chinatown and New York City.

The new structure is located on a triangular traffic island bounded by Canal Street, Baxter Street and Walker Street.

Design Approach

Design approach: The ribbon is a meaningful symbol that represents positive energy and a gathering force

The red ribbon swirls and touches the ground

The shape unfolds organically, in a continuous flow

The red ribbon swirls, touches the ground, and points towards uttering heights

The ribbon represents positive energy and a gathering force

the red ribbon is embracing, communicative and warm

Floor plan

Just like Chinatown, the red ribbon is embracing, communicative and warm

The stories it tells are housed in its underside, taking the shape of a tridimensional organic screen

 by Ana Rolim.