PODIA aims to give travelers an activity while waiting and attract citizens to gather in a common space. Composed of two symmetrical volumes facing each other, the project extends on either side of the space around the central circulation. It takes the form of two light system bleachers, structured around a central podium.
The structures offer a wide range of possible configurations such as oral presentations, lectures, debates, artistic performances… all enhanced by their vis-à-vis. In the case of specific events, a gateway might connect the podiums, so as to provide a direct connection between them. In the center of New York, the building of Grand Central Station could certainly be a place for expression, political and social action. More specifically, Vanderbilt Hall, the former area for passengers who took shelter while waiting. This space, whose original function has been abandoned, is a monumental hall located next to the main hall. TVK+PLANDA team therefore propose to reinvest the "waiting room" by giving back its original purpose, while assigning it a new role for promoting citizenship. Everyone, for a minute or for an hour, can express themselves freely, or listen to those who, like them, are simple travelers.
Finally, the installation of the structure in this monumental and historical space, allows us to offer a change of perspective. From above, the look of its architecture changes. It will then be possible to rediscover it with new eyes as space of architectural quality, even after being crossed thousands of times.
PODIA, cultural and civic facility for freedom of speach
Designing for free speech, AIA New York, Theatrum Mundi
Grand Central Station, New York (USA)
Competition 2014, project laureate
Océane Ragoucy (project director), Gemma Milà
A podium (plural podia) is a platform that is used to raise something to a short distance above its surroundings. It derives from the Greek πόδι (foot).