S.O.S. Peace Pentagon
A collaborative project proposal for saving the Peace Pentagon [architectural competition] in downtown Manhattan. Submitted for panel review by Maureen Connor & Christian Bjone December 2009.
S.O.S. repurposes an obsolete ocean liner as headquarters for the Peace Pentagon. Literally (almost) a fish out of water, an imperiled but not yet sinking ship of fools--with passengers and crew still foolish enough to set a course toward social justice--this building will direct attention to the values of its occupants.
The repurposed ship has been rescued from the ship breaking industry, one of the most destructive consequences of globalization that has developed in southeast Asia. With the outsourcing of production to China, India and other Southeast Asian locations, all kinds of ships, including battleships, and cruise ships are frequently reconfigured to transport goods and materials between Asia and the west. Often barely seaworthy, these ships are a lucrative source of income for their owners. And heir last journey lands them on the beaches of Bangladesh, India or Pakistan where they are taken apart by unskilled laborers who risk disability or even death because of unsafe working conditions.
S.O.S. mandates that the initial renovation as well as continued maintenance of the ship/building be performed by Bangladesh laborers who are taught the necessary skills by out of work shipbuilders from defunct American shipyards.