January 28, 2013

Grand Central Station: the perfect building

I think Grand Central Station in Manhattan is the most beautiful building in the world. I used to go there as a teenager, just to hang out and stare. It's so open and accommodating, and so huge! There's a great little article about the terminal at NY1 this morning. In case you don't feel like clicking on over to read it, here's an excerpt:
Yet the building's Beaux Arts style of architecture, which was designed 100 years ago, is all about the people who walk through it.

"Beaux Arts design is based first and foremost on the importance of the individual," says urban historian Justin Ferate. "Every architectural detail in the space has some physical relationship to your body and that's very import because it helps you figure out where you are."

The architecture of the building is as much about psychology as it is about style. Every single corridor is designed to create a sense of consciousness and comfort.

"If you look around the Grand Concourse, you’ll find that the railings are roughly your waist height. The counters are just the right height to be leaned on," Ferate says. "Each block of stone in the upstairs concourse is one footstep wide for walking and one footstep long for running. And because the blocks relate to your physical movement, you use it subliminally as you run across the platform."
Image: Wikipedia Commons.

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