Something to whale about…
On January 1st, 2015, Ikaika, a male SeaWorld born orca, had been reported missing in SeaWorld Orlando. Two weeks later, the police tracked down the whale-laden truck as it was passing through Manhattan. Upon hearing warnings from the police, the whalenappers abandoned the orca. Ikaika was dropped into the nearest body of water available, a pond-like roof of the underground spa on Houston between Thompson and Sullivan. Orca experts immediately rescued Ikaika, but unfortunately Ikaika’s weight caused irreparable damages to the spa, burying the already underground spa in its own rubble. No one was hurt. The whalenappers were last seen heading west.
Architecture is noticing, exploring, defining, and expressing the “in between”. It separates the inside from the outside, the bedroom from the bathroom, the church from the supermarket etc. More often than not we take these separations for granted. Like the black stuff that holds stained glass windows together – it fills the cracks and brings the pieces together to create a whole. Water has this same filling of spaces or seepage effect. This spa attempts to further inhabit the “in between”.
You either believe Tsien&Williams or you don’t and you either open the book super enlightened or slightly skeptical (yeah, I was the former). The cover’s serenity carries on throughout the book, which consists of predominately black and white photographs. Any color is represented in palette-like photography, and the gray text within the book never takes up more than one paragraph per page. You sort of read any text by accident, as it doesn’t stand out. Leafing through the book is low stress and an instant OHMM. Just like their architecture.