Counterproposal for a Gateway


Responding to a competition prompt, Chinatown Gateway speculates on the nature of an "urban gateway". Taking the competition organizers at their word, what would such a defensible edifice look like in New York City?

The project utilizes standardized security objects, the concrete bollard, to separate the occupants from the street. Rather than replicate specific cultural aesthetics, the project simply provides a safe platform for socializing, shaded by a mirrored periscope providing clear views of approaching pedestrians and cars.

In short, the project is completely socially appropriate-able, yet physically impregnable.


Drawing Agency LLC is a design and research practice based in New York City founded by Galen Pardee (Assoc. AIA), with projects in New York, California, and Colorado. Drawing Agency’s work has been published widely and exhibited in the United States and abroad, including the Chicago Architecture Biennal and the Venice Architecture Biennale.

Director Galen Pardee teaches at Columbia University GSAPP; he was the 2019-2021 LeFevre Emerging Practitioner Fellow at The Ohio State University’s Knowlton School of Architecture, and has taught architecture and landscape architecture studios at Barnard University, Sarah Lawrence College, and the University of Tennessee. Galen holds a Masters in Architecture from Columbia University GSAPP where he received the Alpha Rho Chi Medal, and a BA in Politics cum laude from Brandeis University.

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