View Full Version : Raphael Vinoly Speech

June 13th, 2003, 10:18 AM
I found this on skyscraperpage.com. If you've got a free hour its fascinating.


June 13th, 2003, 02:05 PM
I supposedly have broadband access yet the sound and image are distorted.

June 13th, 2003, 02:24 PM
It was near perfect on my PC. It's really very funny and informative.

June 14th, 2003, 01:10 PM
I often have that problem with Real Player, so I switch to Windows Media whenever I can (impossible in this case).

June 14th, 2003, 02:17 PM
That's too bad Christian because it really is fantastic. Not only does he give critiques of all the plans but explains the politics of why certain plans were not picked and even hints at sinister (or at least less than up-front) goings on with the final selection.

June 15th, 2003, 01:49 AM
I saw it and felt that it was a bit slow, at first, but got very interesting when he was on of the seven finalists.

But I felt that one has to keep in midn the very subjective nature of his critique of the other proposals. I think that some of the very things he pointed as being bad about the other proposals, one can similarly say of his.

But as archival material into the LMDC and the process behing the rebuilding process, it is invaluable.

June 15th, 2003, 08:25 AM
I don't want to bother you, but what are the most interesting or surprising insights?

June 15th, 2003, 11:30 AM
Quote: from Kris on 9:25 am on June 15, 2003
I don't want to bother you, but what are the most interesting or surprising insights?No bother at all.

I thought it was interesting how much the program for the planning changed from the first round of plans, with BBB to the final seven. It became more general, focusing on many of the things that many people thought were important. (Listening to the City)

It was surprising/refreshing that at such an early point into the program, Vinoly’s team thought about materials, cost, structure, accessibility and safety.

I also thought it was surprising that the LMDC actually went out of their way to get at least two architects to submit proposals, in the final seven. This revelation was a bit disturbing… or disconcerting.

Vinoly’s diagram showing the relationship between the memorial and private sector portions of the program ( remember the blue and green triangles related to cost) was brilliant. I can just bet no one else thought of that.

I also thought that his statement about symbolism and literally attempting to incorporate it into architecture was insightful. It is unfortunate that many architects do not see this and too many people believe that you should do this.

I also thought his criticism of each of the proposals was interesting, but that would/could go on.

June 15th, 2003, 11:40 AM
Some things from memory:

The LMDC specifically said in their initial documentation that this would not be a competition and no winner would be chosen. (Its still on their website.)

Foster and Libeskind were the only 2 architects that were sought out by the LMDC to enter. The thinking was that Foster may be best for the commercial redevelopment and Libeskind for the memorial space.

The LMDC reviewed the architects proposals well before they were originally presented and suggested which of the architects ideas they would like to see officially proposed.

Foster was considered a shoo in before the proposals were unveiled.

The LMDC specifically told Foster not to propose the scheme that he did. He was arrogant enough to ignore them. The proposal didn't have a hope of winning because the floorplates where too small by US standards and the building was un-phaseable. Foster's plan was so hi-tech that to tone it down it got an illustrator of children's books to do a lot of the presentation drawings.

Neither SOM nor P/L were originally selected to present designs. SOM withdrew due to conflicts of interest without even telling the non-SOM people on the plan.

Richard Meier has no sense of humor. Vinoly thought the symbolism in the architecture was overdone and hoped that it was not the direction the architectural profession would take. He feels the symbolism in the Libeskind plan as well is inappropriate for architecture.

He said like the UA proposal but made a couple of sarcastic comments basically claiming its style is a bit too trendy.

P/L, who are planners not architects, made the mistake (he said) of putting post-modern architecture on top of their plan and of hiring a run of the mill water-colorist to do their presentation.

He thinks the Libeskind proposal with all the refences to "Hero's Park", "Wedge of Light" etc. is too literal. He didn't use the word "kitsch" but you could tell he wanted to.

He had some slides of some models and drawings for the site that did not get proposed that looked quite interesting.

The original idea to float towers above and around the footprints was Schwartz's.

The WCC was a favorite of many in the LMDC, especially Doctoroff, from the beginning.

The process starting with the original small LTTC up through the final selection was so long that people generally lost interest.

The WCC tower if built, would have been built from the top down. In other words the top section would have been built first then jacked up and the next to the top section built next underneath it and so on. So, one day a month the towers would have taken a large (about 100 feet) single leap upward.

He is afraid the memorial will not be something to truely memorialize the events but rather a lamentation.

He was actually called by the LMDC and told that he won. As we all know, Pataki/Bloomberg over-rode the LMDC sub-committee's choice the next day.

We asked if he knew why the decision was changed, he said he did but would not make it public without incontravertible evidence.

He also said the the money that was to be used to build the WCC towers was switched from the WTC site to depress West St. between the WFC and WTC.

He also showed a lot of slides with details of the modified proposal. Many more that were made public.

June 15th, 2003, 12:06 PM
Excellent memory. I finished listenting to it late last night around 1.30 CST. This is exactly what I remember.

I wish more people would see it.

By the way, I have a newer machine, DSL connection and had no problems with seeing it.

What are some of your personal thoughts?

June 15th, 2003, 12:43 PM
I was fortunate enough to attend this lecture at MIT and just reviewed my notes. *

"slice a piece of sky and frame it" -on the Twin Towers

"the most organized New York neighborhood" -on Battery Park City

"the owner of death or something" -on Libeskind

"in the penthouse" -on the New York Times

"genius" -on Fred Schwartz

"serves as a support system for your own emotions" -on Maya Lin's Vietnam Memorial

Raphael Vinoly had a brilliant knowing glimmer in his eye throughout the lecture, thoroughly charismatic and captivating. *A bit bitter that the merits of THINK team's design were not judged by knowledgable authorities, -just politicians.

I really hope an insider writes a book on this someday

June 16th, 2003, 08:27 PM
Thanks for the accounts.

June 17th, 2003, 09:45 AM
Sorry for my ignorance. *Can someone tell me what WCC is an acronym for?

June 17th, 2003, 10:12 AM
World Cultural Center - Vinoly's twin lattice towers.