It is common practice for me as an architect in the making to mentally analyse every space I encounter. If its tough – no beauty, just structures and spaces – I know immediately that an engineer was there. But if its tough, functional and beautiful, ohh!!! I know immediately that an architect was involved.
But recent mental analysis has proven me wrong. I have seen architects design like engineers. I wonder… what happened to the fun, inspirational, aesthetical, and daring side of the architect? The answer I get is loud silence.
Waking up to Mark Foster Gage proposal to design an elaborate gargoyle covered skyscrapers in New York West 57TH Street, was very comforting as it stands as a global reminder to architects the world over about the basics of ANY work of architecture.
Vitruvius postulated these basics in the Roman times as Firmitas, Utilitas, and Venustas. Time traveling to the seventeenth century; Sir Henry Wooton translated these basics to mean Firmitas – Firmness (the ability of a building maintaining its structural and physical integrity through the thick and thin of its service life), Utilitas – Commodity (the ability of a building to perform its design function), and Venustas – Delignt (the perception of beauty as perceived by the observers). Time travelling once again to real time, it is so easy for an architect to support Foster Gages as his proposal is all shades of lucid; Architecture should be in these three basic dimensions and nothing less.
In his exact words “I think that many of the super tall buildings in New York City are virtually free of architectural design – they are just tall boxes covered in selected glass curtain wall products. That is not design. Design is thinking of a great many things like how a building appears from different distances, or in this case, how to make each floor unique to the owner, how to make it more than just floor-space in the sky but also something beautiful and hopefully more meaningful to them and the city”.
Gage’s proposal features blissfully inspired gargoyle- Skyscrapers covered with sculptures and well decorated details; A viewing center at the top and a sky lobby; Retail spaces and Ballrooms at the 64th floor; And customized sculptures for each of the apartments in the building.
This is a piece of fine architecture to brighten up the entire neighborhood.
By: D’zyna Eni