Mankind and the way people think is a time changing value. Of course time is not the only parameter to evaluate the deformities that have been done there, but it’s a tool of vital importance to understand them.
Some people can still consider that the world is divided in Western side (more European and Christianity affected) and to the Easter (more Arabic and Islamic affected) side. That way it is not strange that there is an awkward similarity between what Tahrir square and New York stock exchange building represent. These two states of manmade structures have a different approach. Tahrir accounts as a big plaza next to an important public-state building, where an extremely notable number of people could gather to demonstrate against corruption, misleading and injustice. On the other hand the New York stock exchange building is the true representative of the “modern God” of the West thinking. Literally it is a solid and unable to move building but through it the global market are moved and affected. Never in the history of mankind could a stable and unmovable object or place cause such harm so quickly and easily as the New York stock exchange does. There is no need to refer in depth to situations as the 1929 crash and to the domino reaction that came after, but it is important to notice the strong bond between other stock markets and of course governments and markets. Therefore it is easy to understand why the people of the U.S. turn their arrows against the New York Stock Exchange building. It is for them the personification of the same feelings that overwhelm the people of the demonstrations of the Arab Spring.
Even though there might be vast and important differences between these two types of demonstrations the truth is that they refer to the same problems. As a famous quote says, especially through the last century, people were getting poorer but at the same time the rich were getting richer. In New York and Europe the massive gatherings were/are “attacking” this 1% which actually keeps in possession almost more than 50% of the world’s total income and gets it easily out of trouble and taxes. The demonstrations in Egypt, Tunisia, now Syria, etc. are attacking their governments who might be controlled, as many people claim by the West. Even if this not true, what is definitely a fact is that they also represent the 1% or maybe even less.
In the book of Kenneth Frampton “modern architecture a critical history” the first picture that can someone see is a gravure of the 19th century where some workers of the baron Haussmann during the new urban planning of the city of Paris are destroying the Barriere de l’ Etoile of the architect Claude-Nicolas Ledoux. Probably this isn’t the first time that people attack buildings only for their meaning but the remarkable thing is that this one of the first time that people after a revolution (in this example the French Revolution) destroyed or damaged buildings that were the symbol of the injustice and corruption of the political system (in this example the octroi taxation by the emperor). What is worthwhile keeping from this example is that the modern revolution and protestation even from the early 19th century from the various revolutions is attacking the mechanisms of the system and not the system by itself.
Why we are saying all this things is that through the research and study of the New York Stock Exchange façade we understood that even if you “kill” or destroy the structural reincarnation of the system you don’t destroy the system by its own. It is like the myth of Hercules and the Lernaean Hydra. It’s time you cut a head a new will pop up and the monster will become more and more hostile and difficult to defeat. This is not a civil world between humans it is a war between 99% and 1%. So people need to keep in mind that this 1% is the reason of all this injustice but we don’t suggest any hostile or violent methods of solving the problem. The thing we want to bring in front is to emerge people’s intolerance towards injustice, corruption and misleading. The people who control humanity from going towards a new future and better times have to be put down according to a clear, fair and humanistic law system where end in itself will be social prosperity.
Corruption is spread as a tumor, a living cancer that affects the deepest aspects of our society and even life. Their true faces are hidden through some really successful masks as it is in The New York Stock Exchange Building. The façade is a quick reference to the modules and rights of the Greek democracy and its analogies based on the golden ratio make it “easy to digest” by the humans eye. Nevertheless the white color makes it almost invisible among the rest buildings of Manhattan and moreover the need to keep a patriotic feeling to gain trust by using most of the times across the façade the U.S. flag.
It is time now for people to show their true power. People need to come in action and if we always resemble we need to change something then now it is the time to change it. We have the power, we have the strength and we are the solution. Everything that is done by the people has to come to the people and for the people. The action we need to do this is to mark their true nature. Masks have to come down and their face has to come in public. As in Tahrir square all mankind have to truly see who is the “enemy” and its true form. A close looks to the New York Stock Exchange façade gives us immediately the feeling we mentioned about the white face where everything is clean, but the interior and the heart of the building is hidden and totally black. Everything is in shadows and what comes in shadows never can me revealed. There might be an arena where “bulls and bears” fight as they say in their own language but besides the arena they control the fates of all humans. Let’s tear this face out.
Let’s Stretch their mask out of their fake face. A drilling and sucking vortex will start sucking the “balance of democracy” of the existing façade. Columns will be squashed, the frieze and the tympanum will come down and all of these by the multiple legs of the twisting octopus. This stretching twisting that will have an immediate interaction with the public and especially with the public in terms of demonstrations will be an opposite infection of their own system. White will be black and black will be white. Things will turn opposite and like a nuclear parasite this form will shake history.
At the same time there will be an “x-change”. As we know uranium and other nuclear elements have the prospect of having self-luminance. This way even people that aren’t familiar with the dangerous features of nuclear elements can easily understand their significance and abnormality. So except of stretching, extracting and twisting we will add the ability of “nuclear” glowing. A black glow will come from the buildings innards signifying the abnormality of the New York Stock Exchange and simultaneously will point the interest for the understanding of the true nature, the true face even for the next generations.
The British used to admit in the past that it is less expensive to create, preserve and maintain a working class and employees than doing the same for slaves. Even nowadays if the multinational industries, the markets, the banks or the governments follow the same… “rule” we can answer them with true and reliable examples from history. We will also rise and claim what is fair and right for everyone as modern Helots revolting against the rule of our “Spartans”.
Project New York facade change
Status ICARCH, International Competition
Design Ketham Santosh Kumar, Thanasis Farangas
Awards Second Place