96102302 ICM plans
96102302 ICM plans
Free Library designs
Last night four architects presented their preliminary designs (/ideas) for the renovation and expansion of the Free Library of Philadelphia Central Branch. The architects were:
Spencer de Gray (of Foster + Partners)
Enrique Norton (of TEN Arquitectos)
Each architect presented for 30 minutes, and it was actually enjoyable seeing them present in front of both the client and the public. The final architect will be named by the end of this year.
Each presentation featured a full schematic design. Safdie's is perhaps the most whimsical design, albeit fully restrained. The Foster and Pelli designs were close to almost identical. And the Norton design was certainly the most 'avant-garde'. I really can't guess for sure who will be chosen in the end because they all seem to be good and/or interesting designs. Safdie stands a chance because his design is different, but not outlandish. The Foster and Pelli design have a good conservative appeal, and they reinforce each other's approach. If Norton's design is chosen, then Philadelphia will have its first truly 21st century building, and a real eye catcher (but I'm not altogether sure that's a good thing).
Throughout the presentations, all the architects referred to the existing 1920s Free Library by Trumbauer as "really a 19th century (library) building." I don't like this ongoing distortion of history because the Free Library is a great 20th century building that just happens to not be modern. I wish I thought all this through last night during the 'questions & comments' session following the presentations, because I would have had great fun 'commenting' on how the Foster and Pelli designs seem to be great 20th century buildings, Safdie's a borderline millennial building, and Norton's an almost 21st century building.
Really, what boundaries have you pushed?
Is the rollercoaster a boundary? Or is riding the rollercoaster an experience of pushing boundaries?
food for thought:
"Writing in a language never fully his own, Kafka pushes that language further and further in the direction of his own deterritorialization, to the point where it shakes free all literariness, taking on a concrete but strange--surreal? hyperreal?--materiality. Deleuze and Guattari actually characterize Kafka's mode of writing as a "new sobriety." They contrast the rigorous strangeness of his form of literary enunciation with the esoteric and kabbalistic mysticism of Max Brod, his friend and fellow Czech-Jewish writer, the latter attempting to effect a symbolic reterritorialization by artificially enriching the appropriated German language with arcane signifiers. Likewise, citing the parallel instance of two Irish writers, James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, Deleuze and Guattari compare Joyce's excessive, polyglot Irish-English with Beckett's parsimonious English and French: "The former never stops operating by exhilaration and overdetermination and brings about all sorts of worldwide reterritorializations. The other proceeds by dryness and sobriety, a willed poverty, pushing deterritorialization to such an extreme that nothing remains but intensities."
"We happen to be fundamentally interested in challenging and advancing typologies. So from day one we were much more interested in "OK, this has to be a flexible theater. What does that mean? How do we do that? How do we make that happen."
15102301 Section House working model Governor's Palace elevation