“Lower East Side Quarry” by Rebecca Fode (at the time of the project, a student of Unit 11 at the Bartlett School of Architecture—, taught by Mark Smout, Laura Allen, and Kyle Buchanan) is a speculative project elaborated through an interesting narrative and some compelling maps. In this scenario, a paradoxical event takes place: the ground underneath Manhattan, in its mineral composition, reveals to have a greater exchange value than both the ground floor land and the real estate built upon it.
The discovery leads a group of residents on a rent-controlled street on the Lower East Side to join forces and start to mine the soil in order to access the buried wealth. As the mining works advance years after years, the buildings start to become isolated entities in an open-air quarry.
All images © Rebecca Fode