What do you see when you see this U-shaped skyscraper that might be built in New York?

What do you see when you see this U-shaped skyscraper that might be built in New York?
PHOTO: Olio

When design firm Olio proposed its inverted U-shaped skyscraper for New York city and calling it "the longest building in the world", it probably did not expect it to turn into a flashpoint for criticism and ridicule.

The conceptual iconic building named The Big Bend has been derided as a Dyson fan, a magnet and a diamond necklace (one that's upside down), among online responses and memes that have given it a cold shoulder.

One 'Steven c' wrote: "Building this with unused space in the middle seems like a waste and how long until a 9/11 scenario again? It just seems like a bad idea. also, is it really the 'longest' when it includes height to this degree? The longest to me would be in a straight line. Not the shape of a magnet."

Another person named Robomagon said: "I have an incredible desire to try to fly a commercial airline through it sideways."

Someone named Mallord thought it was a fun idea too. "Woah, I already see people in wingsuits flying through it!"

Photo: Olio studio

Others had no such imaginings when they expressed distaste for the loopy shape of The Big Bend, which would be formed from a very thin structure that curves at the top and returns to the ground, creating what Olio describes as the longest building in the world - at 1.22 km end to end.

Netizen 'studio' thought the Olio team probably ran out of ideas. "Someone's been staring at their paper clips too long... back to the navel."

Lonn slammed it as a "ridiculous structure" that would go down easily in a seismic zone. "That would take care of it pronto," said the netizen.

But some commentators like 'jon' loved it despite the "ridiculous" design.

"It's ridiculous, of course, but somehow I absolutely love it...There's a certain freedom in its zaniness and an almost naive playfulness to its formal simplicity that has somehow disarmed my usual stand against groundless ostentation. I can envision the upper arch being some sort of observation platform, similar to the St. Louis arch, and the rest of the building being occupied as a normal commercial or residential property."

Giving more ideas on how the building could benefit New York city, he added: "They could call it 'Liberty Gate' or 'The Gateway to America', in a nod to the city and its role as an entry point to the US, and it could become a huge tourist attraction.

"They could even create an underground entry passage connecting to Central Park so as to not clog traffic at the street level, and it could become a new symbol of NYC - instantly iconic and recognizable."

Meanwhile, many of us see it as the towering Dyson fan.

chenj@sph.com.sg

Which is cooler? A Dyson fan or Big Bend?
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