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Urban Architecture Sketching NYC: World Trade Center

Westfield World Trade Center

For my third summer sketch location I went to Westfield World Trade Center. I’m a big fan of Santiago Calatrava especially for designing the Milwaukee Art Museum addition. I can’t always get back to Wisconsin when I like so this gorgeous little anomaly is my NYC fix. There is controversy about the significance, cost, value and function of Wesfield as a transit hub, shopping mall or even a monument. I can see the perspective of most of those arguments but from a purely experiential perspective, Calatrava did create a spectacle that provokes awe and wonder.

World Trade Center Westfield Sketches

Urban Architecture Sketchers

I looked for the best angle through flourished trees which ended up being on the ground tucked under a tree. I was surprised that was allowed, I’ve been told not to sit on the ground in densely trafficked areas before. Happily, I was out of the way and passers by enjoyed watching. Someone was playing bag pipes in the distance so I opted not to install my usual iPod playlist.

World Trade Center Westfield Sketches

 Pencil or Color?

I wanted to keep it about light, shadow and form so I didn’t use my usual watercolor set. Next time I will bring my gray scale markers. I think this would have been a great opportunity to pull them out and erase the pencil lines. Out in the wild I don’t always know what I’ll need so I plan with the most efficient tools and least baggage, a pencil and my travel watercolor set.

Westfield World Trade Center Sketches

Studio Revisited

Back in the studio, I still wanted to try those markers and even throw down a little color.

Westfield World Trade Center Sketches

I went in 30%, 50% & 70% gray then brightened with white gouache and tossed in the sky. Combining materials after the fact is a fun way to think back around the process. I had fun in the sun and made in the shade.