NYT architecture critic Nicolai Ourousoff weighs in on the Snohetta's
printer/fax/copier Cultural Center for the World Trade Center Site. Though he finds the plans for the place "strangely seductive," he feels a dastardly vibe in the building's overall plan:
...The experience soon becomes Orwellian. The center's upper-level galleries will be arranged in a spiral around the central light well. Under the current design, visitors will have to ride an elevator to the top and then walk back down along the spiral on a so-called "Freedom Walk." This kind of manipulation seems silly, especially in a museum that celebrates freedom... (An early rendering of the Freedom Center that was circulated at the development corporation's offices included an image of a woman flashing a victory sign after voting in the recent Iraqi elections; that image has been replaced by a photo of Lyndon B. Johnson and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)
LBJ! Always a classic. Oh, and before anyone wastes much more breath dissecting these plans, Ourousoff notes that they're as fictional as everything else at the WTC site: "Because the current plans do not take into account the additional 40,000 square feet of mechanical space demanded by the Port Authority, the renderings unveiled yesterday are a fiction of sorts; the building would be a full story and a half taller than shown." For double the printer/fax/copier power!
· A Temple of Contemplation and Conflict [NYTimes]
· WTC Cultural Center: Park, Slope [Curbed]