Statue of Liberty with its changing timely definition has always been a universal symbol of freedom, patriotism and liberty. A gift by France to the USA in 1889, it embodied hope and opportunity in the era the country had entered into.
The terminal along with nearby Ellis Island and Liberty Park constitutes the Historic Trilogy. It holds great national value besides being a cultural and historic melting point. Despite the universality of its image, what the place represents is open to interpretation. In the broadest sense - it was a gateway to America. The first welcoming sight for immigrants. It also was a symbol of liberation for slaves during the late 1800s. During the 2001 Terrorist attack, it became a symbol of strength. It’s meaning changing with time and through many cultural barriers.
The presidency of Donald Trump has stirred debate about what it means to be an American today. In lieu of changing political and cultural spectrum, what does liberty mean today?
Challenge is to rethink a disused 4000 sqm railway shed into space for culture, art and public relationships. Design that retrieves collective memories and also responds to the contemporary idea of what the space stands for. It can be a memorial, a relic, an interpretation, an urban park - any idea that infuses new meaning of liberty in the existent urban void?