10/25/2010 12:53 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Is New York Architecture Past Its Prime?

The Center for Architecture currently has, on exhibition, a piece called the "liquid wall," the winner of a competition for "innovative" material for building exteriors, as part of a show called Innovate/Integrate, which will be on display until Jan. 15.

Displayed in the back of the soaring concrete-floored gallery two floors below street level, the liquid wall has the clean, white, sculptural appeal of something from a movie that takes place in the future; it's made of an elegant poured-concrete grid and glass panels, each of which frames what looks like a semi-transparent garden hose that snakes up and down several times as you watch the display. This cladding has never actually been used on a building, but according to the curator, everything chosen for the contest could feasibly be used as one.

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