HETEROTROPIA | VENICE BIENNALE 2014 POP-UP EVENT
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ARCHINECT |  Re-reading Delirious New York In Venice
ARCHITIZER | 10 Influences on NYC Architeture Over 100 Years
DISCRETE EVENTS DISPERSED ACROSS THE GROUNDS ADDS A NEW PROGRAMMATIC LAYER TO THE EXHIBITION, ILLUSTRATING THE EFFECTS OF INDUSTRIALIZATION, BUILDING SCIENCE INNOVATIONS, ECONOMIC CYCLES, SOCIAL MOVEMENTS, AND POPULAR CULTURE.
1.      OLD WORLD TO NEW WORLD
 
Originating as a 9th century lighthouse, St. Mark’s Campanile (1549) is one of the most recognizable symbols of Venice and has inspired countless designs and replicas across four continents. New York’s Met Life Tower is derived from St. Mark’s Campanile and held the record as the world’s tallest building from 1909 – 1913. From 1914 onwards, skyscraper design drew less inspiration from the Old World and developed an entirely new and modern expression.
2.      MODERN ICONS
 
Conceived during the roaring twenties, the Chrysler Building (1930) and the Empire State Building (1931) are distinguished by monumental illuminated spires that have become New York Architectural trademarks. Dubbed the 8th Wonder of the World, The Empire State Building stood as the World’s Tallest building for nearly 40 years and has inspired the development of modern skylines around the world. 
3.      CORPORATE GLAMOUR
 
Symbolic of the transparency, honesty and confidence of postwar Corporate America, SOM’s Lever House (1952) and the Seagram Building (1958) are icons that inspired high rise towers around the world. A luminous canopy structure reminiscent of 1950s high modernism houses an after-hours club, juxtaposing the veneer of Corporate activity and efficiency against nature and excess.
4.      NEON DREAMS
 
Neon signs are synonymous with the bygone age of Times Square, when it was known as the Devil’s Playground. As depicted in Midnight Cowboy (1969) and Taxi Driver (1976), Times Square was gritty, dark and desperate. City mandated clean-up efforts began in the 1980s, followed by “Disneyfication” of the district in the 1990s. Within Architecture, much change has occurred since the 1970s : the marginalization of Women & minorities has decreased, but the hustler mentality carries on.
5.      RUINS & REBUILDING
 
Eclipsing the Empire State Building, The World Trade Center (1972) held the record for the world’s tallest building for 2 years. In 2001, it was destroyed by Terrorist acts of an unprecedented scale. Presided over by developers, bureaucrats, star architects, amateur fantasists, and the global media, the 16 acre redevelopment is one of the most charged building projects of the Century, an attempt to raise a new icon amidst conflicting interests.
6.      PROTEST & OCCUPY
 
In a city known for its in-your-face persona, New Yorkers have demonstrated on the streets over the past century for causes as diverse as civil rights, overseas conflict, sexual orientation, religious freedom, climate change, low wages, and rising inequality. The Occupy Wall Street movement which began in New York’s Financial district (2011) has inspired countless movements in the Middle East, Europe, and most recently Asia. At the makeshift campground and protest site at the intersection of the US and Israel Pavilions, Foreign policy, Wall Street Malfeasance, and unpaid Architecture internships are the most urgent concerns.
7.      POST CRISIS
 
Following the Financial Crisis, many Italian Luxury Brands went public to raise funds. The wave of global investment financed new “cathedrals” of consumption designed by Brand appointed Architects. As stated in Perspecta 47 “Money plays a paradoxical role in the creation of architecture. Formless itself, money is a fundamental form giver…” The multi-disciplinary and polyphonic space of “Monditalia” hosts a runway show against a backdrop of Stock Indexes and Euro valuations, demonstrating the co-dependency of Global Finance, Fashion & Architecture.
8.      UNDERGROUND ECONOMY
 
Bridging the divide in New York City between the prosperous elites, struggling locals and desperate immigrants, there is a vast underground economy. An invisible network of illicit transactions ranging from street level drug deals to money laundering to billion dollar Ponzi Schemes finances a wide range of Architectural activity. However, the exact degree to which Architects are complicit with this underground economy remains unclear.
9.      GLOBAL PLAYGROUND
 
There has been a proliferation of super-slim luxury residential towers in Manhattan over the past decade. These pencil-thin buildings ranging from 50 to 90 stories represent a new subset within the well-established skyscraper typology. These super tall residential towers are made possible by air rights transfers, real estate speculation, sophisticated engineering, and advances in material technology. For newly developed penthouse units with soaring Park views, record breaking sales figures have been reported. Many foreign buyers seek to park their cash in New York real estate to safeguard against market volatility and government scrutiny in their homelands.
10.     NEW ORDER
 
Following this hundred year survey of New York Architecture (1914-2014), it appears that the skyscraper typology has reached its peak expression. If so, can we speculate about the future holds? Rather than building upwards, perhaps future innovation will involve amorphous nomadic structures that migrate and adapt to different cities, along with the emergence of a new Nomadic Architecture Office.
HETEROTROPIA | VENICE BIENNALE 2014 POP-UP EVENT
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HETEROTROPIA | VENICE BIENNALE 2014 POP-UP EVENT

DISPERSED ACROSS THE VENICE BIENNALE GROUNDS, THE PROPOSED POP-UP EVENT ENTITLED HETEROTOPIA EXAMINES A CENTURY OF DEVELOPMENTS IN NEW YORK CITY Read more
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