TOWERS ON THE CAPE
“The Future of Provincetown”
With Preston Scott Cohen
An urban proposition in Cape Cod
Cape Cod Times
The proposal consists of sixteen towers, each demarcating a breach of the towns public thoroughfare. Connecting each set of towers is a pedestrian bridge, re-establishing the linear continuity of the city while allowing the tide to pass below, allowing new intraurban beaches to begin to shape a new coastline. While these beaches are allowed to intrude into the city, a hard edge, an articulated bulkhead, protects the areas of the city which are less vulnerable to surging seas, due to their higher elevation, resulting in a kind of hard/soft reading of the edge condition which memorializes the historical patterns of habitation as well as reacting to the changes in elevation along the coastline.
The new residential towers perform in four ways; Indexing the breaks in the linear continuity of the main street, reconstituting the residential and commercial building stock lost to the intruding tide, referencing and naturalizing the existing Pilgrim Monument tower, and finally providing abutment infrastructure in the way of foundations for public bridges to stitch the broken city back together.
The tower is assembled with cross laminated timber, a load bearing exterior envelope. The facade is articulated and units are differentiated with the placement of awnings, balconies and balconettes.
Compact living spaces, airy and relatively exposed to the outdoors, are commensurate with the forms of domesticity engendered by existing housing stock. Each floor is composed of egress and a small one bedroom apartment, allowing residents their own private floor with panoramic views.
Pairs of towers are coupled by a bridge spanning between. Thus they act as markers of the ruptured linearity of the city, indexing the loss of urban form and historic built fabric along the coastline. Structurally, as well as financially, the foundations of the towers serve as abutments for the bridge, as a model of privately subsidized public infrastructure.
The top floor of each tower is some kind of public amenity; observatories, galleries, dance floors, but mostly bars. The tower culminates with the re-articulation of the vernacular gable forms of the historical cape house type, re-presenting an image of domesticity for the new vertical neighborhood.