The Daring
Diagonal
Virtual
Museum

A division of the Center
for the Study of Diagonality
in World Culture

Daring Diagonal Virtual Museum
William Vale Hotel
THE WILLIAM VALE HOTEL
Yohay Albo & Nicholas Liberis
2017
Executed by:
Date:

This 21-story hotel project is an expression of Diagonality in the form of structural members and structure used as decoration in this bold design completed in 2017. Designed by Yohay Albo, originally from Israel, and Nicholas Liberis, originally from Greece, this complex at 55 Wythe Avenue in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn shows in stark fashion where Diagonality in the 21st century may be heading.

Structural members supporting the block of spaces below the balconied hotel floors are canted off the vertical, as are some structural members for the lower-level commercial spaces. The diagonals of the giant white truss serve structural purposes but the architects state that they were also influenced by being introduced to the "play of forms" in "local bridges and manufacturing facilities … and tower support structures in the area." The design team go on to say that the truss also "represents a desire to express the sculptural qualities of the building's structural elements."

The two narrow ends of the truss crisscrossing the five office floors and one open-air public space are symmetrical but the arrangement of members on the long sides is asymmetrical. Certain minor truss members are set back from the primary plane adding to the sculptural feel of this project component.

Diagonality comes into play also in the positioning of stairways leading up to a 15,000-square-foot park above the ground-level commercial spaces and in the configuration of walkways and planters on this park level. Just above the ground level there is a pool area wrapped in an orange slatted skirting to create a sense of privacy in the urban setting. Here, too, the diagonal motif is used to further the overall diagonal motif. An open-air pedestrian bridge is slung under the office block. Diagonal structural members boldly angle across the bridge and the ceiling panels. Lighting fixtures are also set on the bias

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