Work: Speculative: Emeryville City Hall
The town/city hall has been defined as the true governing center for all cities. Which brings into question, whose center is this, the denizen or politician? The center therefore articulates physical and symbolic distance or proximity , position or opposition , and spatial and temporal identity. The town/city hall represents an idea or ideal, and serves something larger than itself, thus becoming a bearer for meaning of place. In both rural and urban contexts, the town/city hall emphasizes center and positions itself as a dominant feature. Whether the town’s/city’s center serves as a collective expression of faith as in the Gothic cathedrals of the Ile-de-France, the reification of political/military control as in the keeps of castles, or illustrates the nascent iconography of transnational economics as in the Petronas towers of Malaysia, the town/city hall is a reflection of social relations. A town/city hall dominating a skyline is a potent symbol of a place, claiming a territory far wider than its footprint. As an element of the urban landscape, the town/city hall is not only an important component of the image of the city but can also serve as the embodiment of the city itself. The town/city hall is a symbol of human power, of advancement, and of desire.