Gallery: Spiraling Theater Adds Futuristic Flair to Queens’ Iconic Worl...

Design firm Caples Jefferson has made the world-renowned World's Fair site in Queens (you may remember it from a cameo in Men in Black) even more of a spectacle by adding a spiraling viewing pavilion to the infamous Queens Park icon. The Philip Johnson World’s Fair complex was originally built in 1964 and includes a circular pavilion and two towers which were added in 1991. Visible during many a ride to LaGuardia Airport, the old structures were meant to represent the future, and the new pavilion is in keeping with that spacey inspiration.

Nestled near Johnson’s New York State Pavilion, the round reception room holds 600 people.  With a tight budget, Caples Jefferson created the illusion of round spiraling forms in the interior of the pavilion. Metal fins were projected out of the budget constrained glazed wall, which create a focus on vanishing perspective as the eye gazes around the curve of the interior.

The new structure is also energy efficient. The curtain wall is coated with solar heat reducing emulsion – silicone sealant joints are used instead of heat-attracting metal caps – and heating costs are further kept low by gas-filled insulating units. Almost the entire façade is glass, allowing the interior to be flooded with light, and also providing views of the World’s Fair structures. Made of 5000 glass panels, the exterior has the illusion of being perfectly round, thanks to digital design techniques.

The resulting new pavilion fits in seamlessly with the previous structures, while also staying within the budgetary and architectural constraints of publicly funded city buildings. The new Borough reception center also adds a 75 person cabaret for cultural performances.

+ Caples Jefferson

Via Arch Daily

Images © Nic Lehoux for Caples Jefferson


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