Jeff Turko - NEKTON STUDIO ltd. /

architecture

design

urbanism

info@nekton.org


2002

world centre for human concerns

project coordinators: Michael Hensel and Birger Sevaldson

project members Lip-Khoon Chiong - Morten Gregersen - Achim Menges

with: Urban Office, London (early NEKTON) - Jeffrey P. Turko

digital animations and video rendering: Placebo Effects, Olso - Kim Baumann Larsen

rapid prototyping: Institute for Industrial Design @ Oslo School of Architecture - Steinar Killi - Are Nielsen

to post-humankind[ness]

The 'human' signifies a strategic, translational sign that gives ground to, or gains ground for, emergent demands for representation, redistribution and responsibility... Homi K. Bhabha i

The World Trade Center is a living symbol of man's dedication to world peace. Minoru Yamasaki, Chief Architect of the World Trade Center

OCEAN NORTH's study for a World Center for Human Concerns for New York proposes a space for all peoples and cultures, whether existing or emergent. The 430 meter tall volume of the World Center provokes a sensuous image of formation, continuity and multiplicity. It remains intelligible whether one single object folds upon itself or divides, or whether two objects are entwined in conflict or fusion. The object is and becomes both one and many at the same time, suggesting the multiplicity and connectedness of human existence. As a memorial to the drama of 11 September 2001 and a statement against all acts of violence, the volume of the World Center inscribes within itself the volume of Minoru Yamasaki's Twin Towers, which are visible as vague figures through the textured and folded skins of the new building. The World Center's spaces result from the draping and folding of the building skin around the volume of the twin towers and articulates the building volume as a set of interstitial spaces that escape a singular spatial hierarchy and homogenous relation between the built environment and its inhabitants. On the contrary, the design commences from the notion that dynamic relations between material object and human subject establish a potential space in which social, cultural and political experience can be located. In other words, the differential material geometry of the object enables a spatial politic of provisional experiential formations - both individual and collective - and yields their differentiation, proliferation and distribution. Every viewpoint grants a distinguished view of the object. Every route into and through the building provides a varied sequence of spatial experiences. The tension between formal and organisational ambiguity and articulation grants in every location a unique experience for the human subject. The scheme's surface geometry articulates spaces, while its material make-up and striated articulation - similar to the one of to the previous Twin Towers - enables a modulated transparency of both the skin and the spaces within and beyond it. Together, the combined differential formal and material articulation and circulation space enhance the differential experience. The scheme abandons the common high-rise organisation of central service and circulation-cores and uses instead the building skin as a space for circulation, with 120 vertical circulation channels nested within it - resulting in an infinite number of ways of getting around the building and social encounters en route. The basket-like circulation channel system is developed into a structural principle, resulting in a system that will be less vulnerable to local disruption. Common structural cores withstand impact through rigidity and are limited in accepting disruption and deformation, the scheme's basket-like structure is tough and can be disrupted and deformed to a much greater extend. . Instead of an impossible horizontal expansion of Manhattan and the obvious difficulties with vertical growth, the scheme proposes a 'thickening' of the space of existing buildings by adding layers around them. With this approach arises a need for rethinking the question of daylight in deep plans and structures. By questioning an equal need for daylight, differentiated interior habitats can be articulated instead. Rainforests and the oceans serve as organisational models, where even in the lowest and darkest regions micro-ecologies flourish. This suggests a redefinition of what constitutes a 24-hour city. So far this notion implied available programmes around the clock. The alternative entails diverse daylight conditions at all times. The darker core constitutes a 24-hour night program zone, while the outer and peripheral areas enable a flexible negotiation of programs relative to less constant ambient conditions. Through the above-described approach the scheme seeks at this stage to be provocative and projective towards emergent social and institutional arrangements. In further pursuing this aim other design practices, engineers and experts will be invited to join the collaborative effort of developing the design of the scheme. In recognizing the enormous size of the scheme, it becomes soon evident that this project must be treated as a piece of city that emerges from the collective efforts of many contributors. The way in which the UN- Headquarter in New York was designed by an international team suggest models of collaboration that would make the new World Center of Human Concerns a truly post-national project.

in Homi K. Bhabha, Democracy De-realised, Berlin Platform, Documenta 11, 2001


4/5

Next project: → landsc[r]aper- Urban Ring Bridge

Previous project: ← minimal membrane tent (membrella), phase 1

world centre for human concerns
world centre for human concerns
world centre for human concerns
world centre for human concerns
world centre for human concerns
world centre for human concerns
world centre for human concerns
world centre for human concerns
world centre for human concerns
world centre for human concerns