New York is represented through a large amount of ‘souvenired’ buildings that together shape the collective memory of the city. Most of these buildings are of ce towers. Very few contain housing, the recent wave of slender luxury towers being the notable exception - those actually turn into marketable icons even before being built. Ironically not a single one of these souvenirs is affordable.
To genuinely represent New York we must imagine the city beyond the obvious. We should visualize the unseen against a background of an enlarging gap between rich and poor, manifested through the spreading of the luxury condominium on the one hand and the poor circumstances of an increasing part of the community on the other. Currently, more than 60.000 citizens don’t have a house to live in. Therefore, the next New York Souvenir is a House for the Homeless: the ‘HotH’.
The city of New York should be able to provide shelter for all its inhabitants and the ‘HotH’ does exactly that. It is conceived of 60.000 apartments within a public infrastructure of 155 collective gardens. It offers a place for all those sleeping under bridges and in cardboard boxes. The ‘HotH’ is brutally big yet human and romantic. This House is the ultimate understatement: it is a building that is far larger than even New York’s largest. It shows a prosperous metropolis that is incapable of distributing its wealth fairly amongst its citizens.
The ‘HotH’ is a metropolitan souvenir that not simply highlights obvious architectural splendour but instead marks an era where societies and cities are at the crossroads of either becoming territories of segregation or places of shared welfare. With the ‘HotH’ New York will choose to be the latter and add its rst truly affordable souvenir to its collective memory.