Obsolecence do rascacielos | Marcelo Gardinetti

“Assuming condescendientemente the worse of the taste and value of his clients, the big signatures of architecture are prolonging the life of a type that has not been affected by new ideas or ambitions from the accomplishment of the World Trade Center in 1972. After having turned New York into an unbearable demonstration of architectural mediocrity, now they follow his mission in another continent”

Rem Koolhaas [1]

The skyscraper has been established as an object that enthrones images of power relativizing the aim of the architecture as modeladora the city. Generator of urban slightly encouraging spaces, stratified in hierarchic caps, plunged in a career for excelling itself in height, represents a way of constructing that some time ago it proves to be anachronistic.

Head office of Television China of Beijing ©Iwan Baan

The work of Rem Koolhaas answers this way of conceiving the architecture. The declaration of the initial paragraph is conclusive. This presentation realized before constructing his first building in height is corroborated in the accomplishment of one of the more interesting designs of architecture of this century, the CCTV of Beijing. The Head office of Television China composes a concrete position on the building materialization in height that overcomes the lacks of his predecessors.

Koolhaas avoids to take part of this infertile struggle for raising the highest building, declaring that always there will be someone who will make other one major. His aim is focused in constructing a new urban image on the basis of two concepts that allow him to replace typical lacks of the buildings in height:

– Establishing a building that forms a part of the urban space instead of prevailing in height: “if only the uprightness is attended, it does not offer at all to the city”.

– Proposing an idea of tour that allows to distribute the program especially the building, avoiding the stratification for floors.

Koolhaas plans a volumetry that is established from the emptiness, propitiating the generation of an urban significant space. This decision is supported in the definition of a program that allows a strong relation between work and company, situation to which Koolhaas always was attentive.

CCTV of Beijing ©OMA

The design proposes a common platform with a square risen up to level of street, of which they emerge two towers. Both promote parallel bars becoming closer as they rise. This formal game distorts the sense of the perspective, which shows them investors from one of the sides and narrow and weak from other one.

The towers conclude joined in the top part for perpendicular girders between yes, that they re-compose the rectangular figure that covers the square. The proposed curl gives form to a three-dimensional figure that frames a new urban space simultaneously that accentuates his spectacular image icons.

The surrounding exterior one avoids to show divisions between floors and modulations of windows, eliminating any sign that demonstrates the human scale. Hereby it is impeded to obtain references on his size to the distance. A diagonal network of steel at sight shows the structural reinforcements, network that becomes dense in the points where the efforts are more intense.

CCTV of Beijing ©Iwan Baan

The principal access is located in the base of one of the towers. In this point the visitor prepares himself for the internal tour for the totality of the building. The proposed circuit begins in one of the towers, establishes a viewing-point in the bridge in projecting and concludes in decrease interacting in the activities of other one.

The first contact with the internal activity is established in the bordering museum to the access. In the first level, a wide hall of distribution links with a theatre of 1.500 persons and the rooms of digital cinema. The visitor has the possibility of establishing circuits between the recording studios and the areas of production for programs of tv. It sequences a of rooms of exhibitions and restaurants allows to enjoy the viewing-point located in the angle of the bridge. Three round windows cut the floor of the terrace and allow conference towards the garden located in the low square. The decrease allows to visualize another part of the studies, areas of production and recording.

The tour is not established only as a walk for the visitor, proposes the understanding of the functional process that is carried out inside the building.

CCTV ofBeijing ©Philippe Ruault

The emptiness framed by the architecture changes according to the point of view and the distance of observation. The projecting one ends for defining the sculptural image of the building. It composes a place inside the urban space that establishes the point of contact between the street and the building.

This icon of the 21st century establishes a point of inflexion in the character of urban buildings of high density. The interaction makes possible with the public space from a complete and homogeneous structure that does not resign symbolic image.

With this work, OMA does not re-formulate the skyscraper, betrays his obsolescence.

Marcelo Gardinetti . architect
La Plata. april 2013

Notes:
[1] Koolhaas, Rem. Content, 2004, Taschen, New York.

Marcelo Gardinetti

No voy a hablar de la penumbra, mejor voy a ver si puedo despertar.

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