This project, called Contemporary Vernacular, does not appear to satisfy the second part of its name. The viewer might begin to look for signs of homegrown materials, native styles and local cultural expression, but these physical elements are overwhelmed by a chaotic structure and a riot of color. It might actually surprise you that traditional architecture really is wrapped up in this building somewhere.
Jason Orbe-Smith began with compiling images of Ecuadorian edifices, choosing them based on their intriguing textures and tints. He combined these into an abstract mass and relocated them to the unfamiliar soil of New York City. Contemporary Vernacular would become the new New York Central Library. It would comprise different times and places, just like its literary collection inside.