Clouds AO has been selected as one of four finalists for the Gateways to Chinatown design competition organized by the NYC Department of Transportation, Chinatown Partnership and Van Alen Institute. This new structure and public space will be located on a triangular traffic island at a key pedestrian node bounded by Canal Street, Baxter Street and Walker Street. The marker is designed to serve as a portal to Chinatown in lower Manhattan. It's iconic lunar shape will become a destination for tourists and residents like, invigorating New York City's oldest Chinatown district.
Based on ancient Chinese cosmology dealing with cycles of time, the form of the gateway is generated by two interwoven circles. The softly curving surface creates a spiral movement with an interplay of light and shadow (陰陽; Yin and Yang). The design reimagines the contemporary moon gate typology not only as an entry point, but also an icon to celebrate cohesiveness of community. As people walk around the site its silhouette transitions from thin crescent to full oval, like the phases of moon.