urbanSHED International Design Competition Finalist
New York, NY
The protective sidewalk shed can improve the pedestrian experience instead of detracting from it. The shed should be a PLUS to the sidewalk and street life. Ductile polymer-blocks (poly-blocks) absorb the energy of construction impacts, reducing the risk to pedestrians on the sidewalk and to bicycles and cars on the street. Sidewalk PLUS eliminates the need for obstructive cross bracing. The roof structure itself provides rigidity. Protruding joints are gone, and the sidewalk is given back to the pedestrian. The translucent poly-blocks diffuse sunlight by day. By night, they glow. Efficient linear fluorescents above the deck backlight the structure. An integral gutter system directs water away from the people below. The poly-blocks act as beams, decks, and cross bracing at once. Fewer components = less visual clutter; easy packing/shipping, and a safe four-step installation: place deck, place poles, ratchet up, secure. The kit of parts is industrial and recyclable: high strength, lightweight cellular polymer block panels, standard sized steel poles, limited steel and high density rubber hardware components. When poly-block panels wear out they are recycled, remolded, and reused. The system accommodates any site condition. Different sized poly-blocks link and overlap for easy installation and rigidity. Double-up the poly-blocks for added strength when needed; position the poles at any of the core sleeves in the panels’ cellular structure for easy configuration and installation.