A sidewalk shed is the scaffolding erected above the sidewalk during a construction project. Several NYC institutions - the NYC Department of Buildings, American Institute of Architects New York Chapter, the Alliance for Downtown New York, the New York Building Congress, the Illuminating Engineering Society of New York, the Association for a Better New York Foundation, the Structural Engineers Association of New York, the NYC Department of City Planning, and the NYC Department of Transportation - hosted the urbanSHED International Design Competition to generate alternatives to standard sidewalk sheds which "hide the beauty of New York City’s architecture." Three finalists were selected and their proposals can be viewed at the AIA NYC gallery on Laguardia Place in Greenwich Village.
The three winning proposals are Tripod MOD(ule) (XChange Architects with Ex Nihilo Studio, Rider Levett Bucknall, and Weidlinger Associates)
urbanCLOUD (KNEstudio with Arup)
and Urban Umbrella (Young Hwan Choi, University of Pennsylvania student, with Agencie Group).
Two of the entries - not among the finalists - incorporated vegetation as an element of their sheds. (All the entries account for existing street trees.) These vegetated entries - New Urban Ecosystem and urbantreeshed - remind me of sidewalk sheds I observed in Hong Kong last year (photographs below). The sidewalks sheds in Hong Kong were constructed from vegetation; bamboo stems were used as framing material(see photograph at the start of the post).