The White House, Reimagined

A recent exhibit invited artists to redesign the White House for the 21st century. Artists suggested painting it black, making it fly, and levitating the building. Many suggested making it literally transparent.
January 20, 2009, 8am PST | Tim Halbur
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments

"IMAGINE a White House where the Oval Office faces an interactive media wall filled with live commentary from citizens and visitors. Or a White House that is raised and lowered according to poll results, with an unpopular president brought down to the level of disgruntled constituents. How about one that changes colors according to the Homeland Security Advisory System? Or that has been emptied of human content and made into a central server for United States democracy?

However intent he is on change, even Barack Obama might draw the line at trading the Lincoln Bedroom for a situation room at the bottom of an abyss or a glass monument in the shape of a W - a couple of the other proposals generated by White House Redux, a recent call for ideas centered on a simple question: What if the White House, the ultimate architectural symbol of political power, were to be designed today?

'I realize the White House will always be there, but I thought it would also make a very fascinating brief,' said Joseph Grima, director of the Storefront for Art and Architecture in Lower Manhattan, which sponsored the competition last year with Control Group, a computer-design consulting firm. 'I can't think of any other house anywhere around the world that has so many questions built into it.'"

Full Story:
Published on Friday, January 16, 2009 in The New York Times
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email