Critic : Adam Frampton (Only-If)
The project attempts to explore the paradoxical logic that exists between the form of the circle and the ability of the circle to relate to its environment. The circle, as a pure, Euclidian form created independently of site, offers unbroken, continuous, panoramic views of the surrounding environment, a paradoxical relationship that exists due to the circle’s indisputable, formal neutrality. By experimenting with this formal logic and subverting the circle, the project begins to choreograph the panoramas intrinsic to the circle, subverting its neutrality. The use of this logic is synergistic with the project’s 14th Street/East River site, as the site is notable due its unusual placement above the water and out of the strict, contextual framework of Manhattan. Here, the controlled circle and its choreographed panoramas and edges allow the project to visually relate to the surrounding cityscape.
The circle was used as a starting point in order to explore the possibilities of an infinite loop. By twisting, warping, and unfolding the circle, a figure eight is derived, granting the once neutral, infinite loop direction and heirarchy. As there exist two centers within a figure eight, the spaces gesture to two, related poles that function spatially as served and servant space. In the case of this project, this served and servant space is rendered as the pool and the water collection and filtration facility, respectively.
As previously mentioned, the logic of the project is defined heavily by the choreography of views in order to create an image of New York that will serve as the project’s site. This logic lends itself to the articulation of façvade and surface in order to further control views and sightlines. Two systems were chosen in order to coat the two façades of the figure eight: the perforated surface and the louver. These systems offer two, differing experiences and perceptions of the city, and establish an element of voyeurism within the project, creating a pier to peer.