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Architecture Illustration Competition

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Elif Aybuke Turgut, Selda Serifsoy, & Travis Norling

ID: 1336

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ID: 1336
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New YoLk

New York City is a beacon, like a lighthouse announcing both a challenge and a caution. As Sinatra famously crooned, “if I can make it here, I’ll make it anywhere” but what makes NYC so undeniable as a global metropolis, what components combine to create this image?
With this curiosity in mind, as three outsiders to NYC, we picked the most recent, the most extravagant architectural product on the stage: The Vessel. A 150-foot-tall climbable sculpture in NYC's truly designed neighborhood, Hudson Yards. It cost an estimated $200 million to build and features 154 interconnected staircases, nearly 2,500 steps, and 80 landings. The main intention was stated as a desire to create a monument in Hudson Yards that engages, not overshadows, the surrounding towers, and a “living room” for the public and residents who call the new neighborhood home.
We chose to start our investigation of NYC in this public living room, hoping it would prove to be a gateway to the beating heart of a living city. Rounding the corner from 11th Ave, the subdued luster of its polished copper skin did take our breath away but never returned the warmth that went with it. With closer intimacy it felt cold when it should be warm, seemingly made primarily to encourage selfies. Its 80 vistas were unexpectedly closed to us without digital reservations; apparently, Heatherwick’s goal to make a centerpiece that everybody could relate to was gated by a technological waitlist.
Maybe being an outsider is, in fact, what being a New Yorker is really about? Or perhaps, as many criticize, the vessel isn’t what its marketers and masterminds are selling it as? Maybe this unwelcoming reception was just the introduction to NYC architecture we needed – a gateway to the questions, critiques and perspectives that meaningfully define a built but living city that can’t be singularly defined. As critique, as question of “what else is possible?”, as our perspective - we chose to create a vessel for transparent consumerism, a vessel of possibilities, a vessel of contradictions.

We all came to look for America
Some came by boat, some came by plane
Some never made it along the way
We all came looking for Land and a Dream
Here’s where I’ll die, here is where I’ll stay
I know where I am going, I long for where I have been
My heart bleeds red, white and blue
I’ve built cities, bridges, and towns
My hands are tired, the Dream is still new

Augusto Amador





Elif Aybuke Turgut, Selda Serifsoy, & Travis NorlingElif Aybuke Turgut, Selda Serifsoy, & Travis NorlingElif Aybuke Turgut, Selda Serifsoy, & Travis NorlingElif Aybuke Turgut, Selda Serifsoy, & Travis Norling

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