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Guy Nordenson (October 21, 2002)01:17:43

After an introduction by Eric Owen Moss, Guy Nordenson explains that in his work, he tries to communicate the underlying structure, which is often invisible and therefore abstract, through a visible pattern. This often involves making visible elements and surfaces structural. He highlights existing projects that most clearly celebrate his concept of pattern of structure.

Nordenson is interested in imbuing his work with traditional structural concepts, implemented in contemporary materials. Through modern analysis and manufacturing techniques Nordenson produces designs that seem to defy gravity, or at least accomplish more function with less perceptible material. Since he is pushing the materials to their limit, a high degree of collaboration and testing is necessary to ensure a projects’s success.

Nordenson outlines three projects that he has worked on: the Jubilee Church near Rome by Richard Meier, the Simmons Hall Residence at MIT, and the parking garage at the Nelson-Atkins Museum by Steven Holl. The Jubilee Church employs precast concrete shells to achieve an uplifting interior space that appears to defy gravity. In the MIT dorm building, the color scheme of the facade is influenced by the analysis results, which is an example of the stress state being legible through a surface pattern.

Nordenson describes two projects for Manhattan, one for the World Trade Center site and the other a communication tower. Both projects are more an exploration of possibilities, than a resolution of the project. For the WTC site, he proposes a torquing building that could allude to the original towers, but at the same time integrate some novel element. The communication tower is an attempt to propose a realistic, and necessary structure that would also be iconic

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