Posts Tagged '5th avenue'

3-D wireframe: walking approach to building

3D approach

This sequence of images illustrates the approach to the Seattle Central Library by a pedestrian walking North on 5th Avenue. These images have been rendered to wireframe in 3-D Computer Assisted Drawing software, which in this situation was used to calculate the different perspectival views of the East and South elevations of the library, as well as of the surrounding buildings. The library is differentiated from the rest of the buildings by the higher level of detail, conveying a tactile impression of its glass and steel net envelope. Even if in this example the building is central in the images, there is an underlying focus on the absent presence of the human subject, which structures the entire storyboard. On the initial images it is only visible the unusual and dislocated silhouette of the building, but as the pedestrian approaches, the interior of the building and its floating platforms are revealed. In the later views of this sequence, the pedestrian curiously does not enter the library but passes just next to it. This seems to sustain the Benjaminian notion of architecture being collectively consumed and absorbed in a state of distraction. In this case, by not entering, the absent pedestrian appropriates this piece of architecture only by perception (or sight), entirely dismissing the complementary appropriation of architecture by use (or touch).

flash / quicktime vr: virtual tour

virtual tour by rex
Click on the image to start the shockwave virtual tour conceived by OMA and Rex. To view this tour, you need Shockwave installed on your system and a 3D-capable video card. We recommend a card of 64 MB or more to view the movies in high resolution. A video card with less memory requires a bit more loading time and will result in lower resolution.

This representation can best be described as a virtual tour, which using as basis several photographs taken from the same point but towards different positions are combined together in a three dimensional space by the computer, allowing the viewer to look into all possible directions from a given point. This system attempts to recreate an immersive perception of interior and exterior spaces, enhanced by positional information supplied on the x,y coordinate by the plan and on the z coordinate by the cross section. Furthermore, the viewer has the possibility to move through space (from point to point), reflecting the spatial relationship between these points. Therefore, it is possible to meander through all the public spaces of the library, since the staff floor and the headquarters floor are not represented. Despite the wide coverage of this building by the popular and professional media, or perhaps because of it, photographs of the 2nd and 11th floor spaces are not widely available, and are normally physically not accessible to the public. Similar to Intel’s processors equipped with a Protected Mode, the operating system of this building, where staff meets and controls the library is protected from the users, providing a zone of privacy contrasting to the publicity of other media saturated spaces.

sketch: sergio’s white board doodle

Sergio’s Doodle

photo: exterior at twilight

exterior at twilight
This photo appeared in the spanish architectural magazine, El Croquis as part of a monograph on Rem Koolhaas/OMA. This photo was taken from the small public space directly across 5th avenue.

This photo is particularly telling in that it presents the building as a rather whimsical character. Although it has a landscape orientation, the centrality of the building and the very-nearly-symmetrical formal garden in the foreground, lend an air of portraiture. The severe verticality of the buildings in the background stand in sharp contrast to the asymmetry of our daring hero in the foreground who literally shines in comparison. In our hero’s reflective surfaces the sky leads its mirror-life, and he literally reflects back, from the middle of his “face” his square (literally and figuratively) neighbor, demonstrating how much younger and savvier he is.

Note, there are no pesky human figures to draw attention aware from the protagonist in this image. What is more, there is no visual indication whatsoever of an entrance or even the possibility of entrance, as if entrance is not necessary, as if the building’s presence suffices to impart intelligence like a cubist vision of Kubrick’s monolith.