A Hybrid of the Empire State Building and the Porcelain Pagoda
Pen and Ink
This drawing is produced as a reflection of SITE's pen drawing of "Perpetual Saving and Loan Bank". As the founder of SITE, James Wines recalled, the project is designed with the theme of “saving” and “loan” with potential variations relating to various environmental features in South Dakota. The building is a cube-shaped structure that was diagonally split into two halves by a harsh, bold zigzag line: one half is the “secure” part, based on the Classical Greek Revival style as the
most common form for bank designs in the United States of America, and the other is
the “creative” half, based on the traditional stone barn reflecting the vast American landscape.
Similarly, the drawing above depicts an imagination of a hybrid architecture for the new Bank of China in New York City. It combines the Empire States States Building (New York, USA) and the Porcelain Pagoda (Nanjing, China), two significant and distinctive pieces of architecture from different cultures and eras. The physical configuration and its surround context enables the building to be perceived differently from various angles; from eye-level, viewers observe the lower half of the building as a traditional Chinese pagoda (same one that has appeared on all Chinese takeaway boxes in the US), forming its solid foundation on American soil; while viewing the cityscape from above (such as public observation deck), the building will reveal its top half as a modern skyscraper among other architecture in the city, competing against each other.