Hugh Ferriss
The sphere and the needle

In his paranoid-critical view the cupola becomes an ideal “sphere” whose womb contains “genuinely new and revolutionary techniques and inventions” destined to be “turned loose” in the buildings of Manhattan […] while the Latting Observatory is “the thinnest, least voluminous structure” and “with a negligible consumption of ground”, a “needle”. The Darwinian evolution of the Manhattan skyscraper would have happened, in Koolhaas’s surreal tale, through a “cross-fertilization” of the archetypal figures of the sphere and the needle, generating “a series of successful hybrids”

Roberto Gargiani, Rem Koolhaas/OMA: the construction of merveilles, 2008.

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