Published March 9, 2008
Tags: 3-D, 5th avenue, architect, book spiral, distribution, exterior, general audience, human figure, interactive, interior, living room, photograph, plan, professional audience, reading room, Rex, section, tour, web
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.
This representation depicts the first floor of the library, and like all plans, it is drawn from an imaginary point in space. This conceptual view, also known as “top view,” is based on the premises of a section plan, parallel roughly three feet above the plane depicted in the drawing, in a constructed orthogonal view, upon which everything shown in the plan is projected. This sort of representation is in many ways similar to code, as it is comprised by a specific language understood by architects and other building professionals but not easily understood by people outside the field. Nonetheless, untrained eyes can still discern a general idea of some elements here depicted (a notion of space, for example). Discernment of other elements like materiality and structural integrity require another level of training. Like code, the language of such plans is highly reliant on conventions and serves as a fundamental element of the design and construction process, as fluency enables architects and builders to establish communication and illustrate ideas. However, instead of being decoded into software operations or instructions on a computer, this simple two dimensional drawing is immediately converted into a three dimensional space, firstly in the minds of all the people involved in the design and (later) in the construction process. It is interesting to note how this plan makes visible the subtle interplay between the main program (in this case/plan, the children’s section) and the “dirty realism” often forgotten or erased in similar representations with a different audience, like the multiple directional structural columns punctuating the actual space.