One Airport Square - Multifunctional building | The Plan
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One Airport Square - Multifunctional building

MCA - Mario Cucinella Architects

As is well known, human beings are tormented by unanswerable questions. “Of what and of whom are we contemporary?” or, “What does being contemporary mean?” These are questions that resurface time and again, troubling individuals in general and architects in particular. Giorgio Agamben has provided masterly answers informed by a progression of meaning. We call contemporary those who are able “to look in the face their own time to perceive the darkness, rather than the light”. For those who are able to experience its contemporaneity, time is dark. Such darkness is not experienced in a passive fashion. The darkness presupposes a certain courage on the part of contemporary man, who is not blinded by the light of his time and, on the contrary, within the dazzling light that invests him, manages to discern the darkness of its time as something that needs to be tackled because it concerns him.
To be contemporary in architecture is a status everyone aspires to. Yet, it is a status achieved by those few who resist the prevailing (and distorted) rhetoric of their time-like the rhetoric of sustainability, modernism, hyper-modernism, parametricism, being smart-and all the various pseudo-cultural viruses that afflict our time. The latter is presently engulfed by the hyper activism of individuals busy trying to get the most visibility possible by resorting to gratuitous “escamotage”, like useless, ill-directed digital applications presented as panaceas of human salvation and, failing to understand that human beings are not algorithms, continue to use the urn as a chamber pot and the chamber pot as an urn (Hello Karl Kraus!).
Within this depressing scenario, One Airport Square, a multi-functional, 9-level building designed by Mario Cucinella in Ghana, emerges as a convincing materialization of a new modernity in which technical and architectural form are declined in relation to the climate and the cultural heritage...

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