Smith-Miller + Hawkinson Architects
Years ago, historian Nikolaus Pevsner
famously pronounced that a bicycle shed is only a building,
while Lincoln Cathedral is architecture. It might seem, at
a glance, as if the Wall Street Ferry Terminal on New Yorks
East River belongs to the first category. In many ways, it
is functionally and typologically an overgrown bike shed.
But as Pevsner noted, the difference between a building and
architecture can be determined by the structures engagement
with space. In this case, the shed, or rather, terminal, designed
by Smith-Miller + Hawkinson Architects, qualifies as architecture
in the way it expands the sense of space with the thrust of
its linear steel structure and the transparency and reflectiveness
of its glass and metal planes. At the same time, it is functional
in the good old Modernist sense of providing an array of open
and closed waiting areas where Wall Street office workers
may linger while waiting for private ferries to New Jersey,
Brooklyn, and La Guardia Airport.
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