Projet de Michael Hensel, Achim Menges et Birger Sevaldson
In 2001, in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, the Max Protetch Gallery in New York commissioned a series of architectural projects for Ground Zero, presented during the exhibition entitled A New World Trade Center. Invited to participate in the event, OCEAN imagined the creation of a space symbolizing encounter and multiculturalism, offering freedom of expression to emerging cultures and peoples who lack the representation of a nation-state and in many cases visibility. A new structural envelope contains the same volume as architect Minoru Yamasaki’s destroyed Twin Towers. Like nested baskets, this textured and folded skin is achieved by intermingling two elements. The two trunks play both the role of structural elements and spaces for vertical circulations, enhancing the structural stability while increasing the number of possible pathways. The building is both single and double: 440 meters high, it is composed of two parts which meld into each other, touch, separate and then blend into one. OCEAN proposes a new policy of space based on difference and heterogeneity. The formal representation of emergence results in an unusual organization of form and space, designed to foster new social configurations. Thus, by blending heterogeneous data – formal, spatial, material and environmental – unusual spatial and social experiences with unpredictable outcomes can unfold, perhaps eliminating even the possibility of cultural discrimination.