Freedom Rising

In this week’s installment of Fox’s The Rise of Freedom series about ongoing construction at the former World Trade Center site, host Shepard Smith takes a look at the new $3.2 billion transit hub (PATH WTC) designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. When eventually completed in 2014 it should be a fantastic building.

Calatrava has done some work here in Canada in the past; most notably, the spectacular atrium of the Allen Lambert Galleria which connects Bay Street with Heritage Square.

What a refreshing change from the monolithic concrete drivel and apathetic glass boxes that passed for so-called “modern architecture” during the latter half of the 20th century.

About these ads

8 Comments

Filed under Architecture

8 responses to “Freedom Rising

  1. Tomm

    It really elevates the imagination. It was an inspired idea.

    Always had a lot of respect for architectss. It is worth it to add 10% to the price of any public building strictly for architectural purposes.

  2. Amen to that. I really liked what Calatrava had to say about public spaces making people feel worthwhile, or elevating them, to borrow your word. It’s an important concept that seemed to have gotten completely lost for too many years for various reasons.

  3. Tomm

    My visit to Europe with my boys really opened my eyes to beauty in urban spaces.

    In Canada’s case, we are far behind and still trying to work through what creates comfort and “worth” for us.

  4. It’s kind of sad that the expressions “beauty” and “urban spaces” seem almost like an oxymoron in our present day cityscapes.

    Living here in Winnipeg, it saddens me to see the contrast between the exuberant, beautifully detailed, (and dare I say, morally uplifting?) architecture that flourished at the turn of the last century and the dull, ugly blight of brutally oppressive, fascistic modernity that was visited on the city from the 60s and beyond…

    Thankfully, the locals had the good sense (or, to be honest, more likely the unfortunate economic circumstances) to preserve at least some remnants of the past. That’s a good thing, of course, but leads to weird juxtapositions like the 1908 Grain Exchange Building that I happen to work in, residing in the shadows of the Richardson Building, a 32-story pillar of concrete nihilism from 1969 and its gruesome neighbour, the Fairmont Hotel, a Soviet inspired pillbox that was completed the next year.

  5. sapphireandsteel

    Are there a lot of examples of Brutalist architecture in Winnipeg? Haven’t really spent much time there.

  6. There are a few notable ones such as The Manitoba Theatre complex, and the hideous City Hall building. Incredibly, in the 60s, they knocked down a really fantastic gingerbread Victorian structure that served as the City Hall for almost a 100 yrs. and replaced it with an utterly wretched, totally inhuman building in 1965.

  7. sapphireandsteel

    Reminds me of when I was living in Nelson. They moved their city hall from a wonderful 19th century building to a 1960s nightmare sold to them courtesy of the BC Libs. Never understood what possesses some people to make such decisions.

  8. In Victoria, they had the good sense (even in the 60s!) to preserve their impractical, goofy, Disneyish City Hall — for the tourists, you know — and built a mundanely ugly but functional complex in back of it (with the grace to build a mini-park and fountain in the middle of it all, which sadly is now inhabited by heroin addicts during the day…)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s