Gateway to

What: Chinatown Gateway

Where: Chinatown, Manhattan

Size: 5,000 sf

Client: Van Allen Institute

Status: Concept 2017

Team: Lap Chi Kwong, Alison von Glinow, Chieh Chih Chiang, Winee Lau; in collaboration with Justin Donnely, Silman Structural Engineers, and Patten Lighting.

Description: Inspired by the Moon Gate’s duality as gateway and window, we reimagine the Chinatown Gateway as a circular archway. Standing 48’ tall, this archway greets visitors to Chinatown to a unique circular form - the universal symbol of inclusion and harmony. Balancing respect for Chinese design heritage and serving an expanded role as a marker not just for Chinatown but Lower Manhattan at large, the Gateway captures the ever-changing streetscapes of Chinatown and its vicinity within its portal. A staple of Chinese architecture, the familiar form of the moongate’s threshold captures a lush urban landscape and the commotion of community within its circular frame. The Gateway is monumental without sacrificing humanism. The new urban icon does not merely mark the entrance to Chinatown but stands as a unifying beacon for the entire neighborhood. Nestled within the Gateway is seating for 40, a performance space, and a garden containing the 5 Gingko trees currently on site.

Chinatown Gateway Aerial view

The Chinatown Gateway on the Canal Street Triangle in Manhattan’s Chinatown.

Chinatown Gateway Diagrams

The Moongate threshold is scaled as an icon for the Chinatown Gateway.

Chinatown Gateway Model

Looking from East Canal Street.

Chinatown Gateway Model

Approaching the Gateway from North Baxter Street.

Chinatown Gateway Model

Approaching the Gateway from Walker Street.