Aniket Shahane, Critic

Core III Studio, Fall 2023

In interpreting an “institute for multilingual citizenry,” this project centers around the idea of interchange - an activity that is already deeply embedded within our site; be it in the form of borrowing and returning books, or in the choreography of hundreds of students arriving and departing from the site every school day, or the criss-crossing of city buses that stop and connect the adjacent blocks along Grand Avenue and Ferry St.

The frenetic theater of pickups and drop-offs presents both challenge and opportunity: the intersection of Ferry St. and Grand Avenue is one of the busiest and as a consequence it is also one of the most chaotic and dangerous. The intersection itself suffers from the highest rate of traffic fatalities in the city, and is deeply tied into both the 2022 Together New Haven initiative which provides the funding for a pedestrianization of Grand Avenue by emphasizing bus and bike lanes and phasing out single-passenger vehicles and the 2019 Move New Haven Transit Mobility Study, which approved an additional state bus transit hub at the intersection of Grand and Ferry.

This project aims to intensify these existing forms of interchange, creating a vibrant hub for educational and cultural programming. On a base level, the project is designed to accommodate the various scales of circulation that exist on this site, in a manner that, in turn, creates a space that is interchangeable and adaptable. Depending on the season and time of day, these transport spaces transform into an interchange for goods, for books, for foods, for ideas — for languages and cultures alike.