The selling of Counterfeiting products in Chinatown has become the main source of income for the retailers and the people living in Chinatown. Tourists are primarily drawn to Chinatown to purchase counterfeited products. Canal Street serves as the primary retail artery in which the selling of pirated products has become dominant. The counterfeiting industry has generated $45,000,000 from 2003-2005 along and has created a deficit of 1.6 billion dollars in potential state tax from the city of New York.
In 2013 Council Margaret Chin, proposed a law that will also criminalize the buyers of these products with a prison sentence of up to a year. This law will change the retail fabric of Chinatown, therefore the district will need to rely on a new source of production and income.
The MADE IN CHINATOWN project envisions an alternative of new manufacturing ecologies and residential spaces in the city. The project examines the existing typological conditions of the retail spaces on the ground, second floor and more specifically the “back room”, where most of these activities happen.
After studying these areas, the project occupies the counterfeit spaces to form a new platform of commercial activities through typological incisions at the lower levels of the block.
These new platforms offer new residential, office, recreational, manufacturing and community spaces and seek to function as a new manufacturing and residential ecology.
The new commercial artery will also engage with the hybrid towers, creating vertical circulation to the horizontal programmatic platforms above.
The horizontal buildings derive from the architectural operation of the ground, changing the 3 blocks into a super block that becomes a prototype for Chinatown and replicated throughout Manhattan.
The project is a three dimensional urban space that works on three different levels: the bottom, the top, and the new hybrid towers without affecting the in between spaces of the blocks. It becomes the structure of the new manufacturing block in Chinatown. At first the project addresses the local suppluyers of the Made-in-Chinatown district, and then provides manufacturing spaces for future outside investors.