Hidden in Plain SightSummer 2018 _ Prof. Mark Rakatansky
For this museum expansion, I looked at this idea of visual and color perception, partially because I am colorblind, and because when I went to the MET, I was intrigued by an artifact that, at first glance, looks monochromatic. However, more closely, traces of color seem apparent. I was inspired by Seurat’s pointillism technique, which shows all colors of the painting at almost any given part of it. Controlling the concentrations of points of colors, I extracted colors from limestone of the MET, and replicated the effect with a flexible material which would be easier to control; terrazzo.
The building plays off of the architectural elements of the MET’s neoclassical building as a play on visual perception. Columns are brought up to become windows. Dentils begin to span between the windows. Flutes in the column are translated to the circulation tower to create openings along the stairs. The flutes transform into horizontal reliefs borrowed from the MET’s cornice, and the relief is carried out in other sections of the facade and throughout the building.
The colors of the terrazzo facade is used as a curatorial hint to what is happens behind the walls of the facade. Where there is more of a gradient, that indicates that the programmatic space inside where color plays an important role - in presence or erasure. Where it relates to color, the transition is more gradual. Where it’s visual and depth related, the transition appears to be more sharp.