Serving as the centerpiece of the museum, the USS Monitor gun turret is one of the most important technological inventions in ship design and naval warfare of the 19th century.
The design of the museum plays upon the views experienced both inside and outside of the turret. Although the turret rotates 360 degrees, the views to the outside are extremely limited. This has been translated into the design through forced views focused on Manhattan and the Turret.
The angularity of the buildings façade naturally draws the passer by towards the museum’s entrance. Upon arriving at the entrance, the corner of the building has been elevated, setting the tone of forced field of view. Shifting the geometry of the building creates outdoor areas that also take advantage of the city views, playing on the feeling of being both in and outside of the turret.
Suspended from the ceiling, the turret is the centerpiece of the buildings shifted box. The box begins on the third floor, penetrating the exterior of the building and is scaled down on each floor. The turret’s gallery walls are an exaggerated thickness and feature entrances with forced perspective. From the top floor, the gallery walls have been placed purposely close the perimeter of the turret; allowing the viewer to feel the same sense of uneasiness that was felt when operating the gun.
Location: Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY