The New York Time’s Michael Kimmelman described it as an “ennobling experience, a gift,” a lesson on what architecture, at it’s best, can be.
Indeed, entering the Main Concourse of Grand Central Terminal is a pleasure that rivals few others. For me, it took me by surprise: walking, as New Yorkers do, in a determined beeline through an undistinguished tunnel, I was suddenly struck by light. I stopped, as New Yorkers never do, to observe a vaulted, starry ceiling, the changing light, and multitudes of people whipping by.
Grand Central is one of New York’s most beloved icons, one of the few which tourists and natives share alike. Which is not to say, of course, that it isn’t in need of a face-lift.
The Terminal’s upcoming centennial, which corresponds with proposed re-zoning laws that would completely change the face of Midtown, makes now the perfect moment to consider how Grand Central’s grandeur can be preserved and its neighborhood reinvigorated. Last week, the Metropolitan Art Society (MAS) invited three firms to share their visions – and while SOM’s gravity-defying “halo” may have stolen the show, only one truly captured the spirit of Grand Central, and explored the full potential of what it could – and should – one day be.
As part of the Sukkahville Design Competition in Toronto, organized by the Kehilla Residential Programme, Christina Zeibak and Daphne Dow were selected as winners for their ‘Hegemonikon’ exhibition. The seat of the soul which rules and guides all the others, the project is considered to exist within the heart of all living things. The complete development of the human Hegemonikon comprises absolute rationality; it chooses action according to reason. This philosophy was the foundation and inspiration behind the design concept of this project. More images and the designers’ description after the break.
Designed by A-001 Taller de Arquitectura and BNKR Arquitectura…, their proposal for the new National Museum of Afghanistan turns to the Afghan people for their version of history. Through an eloquent architectural plan and a daring museographic concept, the
Architects: Burgos & Garrido arquitectos
Location: Paseo de la Cuba, Albacete, Spain
Architects: Francisco Burgos & Ginés Garrido / BGAA
Collaborators: Agustín Martín, María José Arquero, Pierre Banchet, Carlos Carnicer, Myriam López-Rodero, Javier Malo de Molina, Elena de las Moras, Emilio Ontiveros, Pilar Recio, Marta Rogado
Project Year: 2010
Project Area: 9.778,25 sqm
Photographs: Ángel Baltanás
The winning proposal in the Daegu Gosan Library competition, by architect Gorka Blas, conceives the library as a cultural and social space for the local community. For this purpose the project focuses in obtaining a functional, attractive and confortable facility that constitutes an essential element for neighborhood´s everyday life. In order to achieve this objective, the project translates the scale of the domestic space to a public facility, without lack of its public dimension. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Last week, Donaire Arquitectos was selected as the winner of the international competition, organized by ArchiFolio, to build the new A.M. Qattan Building, which is a charity that has worked towards the development of culture and education, with a particular focus on children, teachers and young artists. Located in Ramallah, Palestine, the winning proposal for the Quattan Foundation is perceived as a lighthouse bringing enlightenment to the Palestinian people. This role as flagship of Palestinian culture is in need for a recognizable image worthy to represent its social leadership with a physical landmark. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Sou Fujimoto Architects have shared with us their first place proposal for the Beton Hala Waterfront Centre in Belgrade, Serbia. Contrasting the medieval fabric of the capital city, Sou Fujimoto’s “floating cloud” intertwines an array of social and transportation programs into an organized tangle of suspended ramps that emerge from the static platform of the Beton Hala. It was lauded by the jury to be a “brave proposal” that holds the “highest emblematic potential among all of Beton Hala entries”.
Learn more after the break.
SOM recently shared with us their new tower located in Manila’s Makati Central Business District that has been shortlisted for a 2012 MIPIM Asia award. Rising 33 stories to height of 160 meters, the Zuellig Building is the first premium office tower in the Philippines to be erected since 2000. It is also the first building in Makati that has been pre-certified by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) at the LEED Gold level, and is expected to achieve LEED Platinum certification by September 2013. More details after the break.