TRAVEL § EVENTS § PORTRAITS

Dreaming of Space

Hello! Clearly I’m not much of a blogger… sorry!  But recently I visited a truly amazing place which inspired me to share a few (very few) words and shots here – a (slightly) more permanent remembrance than instagram 😏.

A sneak peak inside the Grand Hall of the New York Hall of Science was one of the Open Access highlights of the annual Open House New York weekend, held on October 11-12 this year (2014).  The Hall was designed by Wallace K. Harrison in 1964 for the 1964-65 World’s Fair, and is one of few remaining buildings from then.  Influenced by the Space Age, it has 100ft high walls, with no corners or straight walls.  It showed films on space exploration for the Fair, and was fittingly revived for Björk’s first US Biophilia concerts in 2012.

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The Hall has been under renovation since 2008 by Ennead Architects, and is due to reopen to the public in Spring 2015.  An architect from Ennead explained the painstaking work to match the 5 different shades of concrete (and that’s just on the inside!), repair all the holes which had been drilled to mount lights etc, waterproof the constantly waterlogged building (which had seemingly been built on a pond with sawdust thrown on top), and patch or replace cracks as faithfully to the originals as possible (including switching old tiles down as eye level replacements and inserting new tiles at the top).  Work has largely been completed on the building itself, with the final stages focused on landscaping and lighting the outside of the building.

The Hall was breathtaking to visit, and I hope a small sense of that comes through in the pictures (click through to get the full, uncropped versions on flickr: my rudimentary coding can’t make it work in wp!).  I’m so glad it wasn’t dismantled like the other World’s Fair buildings, and can’t wait to visit when it’s all done!

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