Three Ways of Looking, 1, 2, 3

New station, office tower, hotel and shopping centre, Turin, Italy

A new station some hundred meters long marked with a new tower some hundred meters high. The station roof and the tower to south and west don suns screens cookie cut from Turin’s map whilst to the north and east the station tower combination is a close up of the ground at its feet.

Sited at the city’s centre and dressed in its digitally mapped fabric, the new station building is both marker and navigator.

We can be in Turin – If you look at the city whilst standing in its midst, you see the inexhaustible abundance of forms that house and support the lives of its inhabitants. As you look around and as the light changes, say, from cloudy day to sunny afternoon, from day into night, these forms are constantly changing. Their flux makes the city a vibrant place of continuous transformation.

Or we can’t. We can understand the city by gazing at its plan – If you look at the map or plan of a city you see these forms trapped as shapes within the conventions of drawing. A park, a corner, a road are all reduced to a few lines. The lines nevertheless hold the promise of all the action to be found within the city itself. They are an inanimate rendering of a limitless activity.

So we can gaze at the city through its plan – On approach the city (seen from the mountains that surround it, say) or seen as its plan can appear as a single thing, an object. Once within its streets, it is seen to be composed of many. Further in still the city is seen held by a window, framed within one of the forms it contains.

Our station is this – It is a landmark building composed of the city itself Two sides, near and far. The site for the station runs from the South East to the North West, but our building, though rectangular in plan, only has two sides, a south side and a north side. The south side reflects the city from afar. The north side is local.

Service: Architects

Location: Turin, Italy

Client: Turin

Cost: Undisclosed

Areas: XX m2

Dates: 2006

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