Results tagged “New York City” from kwc blog

Frank Gehry - InterActiveCorp Building

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The New York Times Building may not have ended up as Gehry's ticket into New York City, but the less skyscraper-y IAC Building got him a nice spot on the Chelsea waterfront -- he even got to put in a nice deck overlooking the High Line.

The design of the building is meant to mimic sails. You can't really tell from my photos as I was too lazy to cross the street to get the prototypical shot of the building. Instead I was enthralled with how well the glass was able to contort and reflect the blue sky and clouds -- definitely an advantage over Gehry's metal designs. From the adjacent sidewalk its a bit difficult to get a feel for the form of the building --not enough setback -- but you do get a closeup look at the faux-frosting on the windows: little white circles increase in concentration to transition the windows from transparent to opaque.

The building has two things going against it:

1) The lot size is too small for the form imposed upon it. Instead of floating glass sails, it feels like embellishments on a box. Other Gehry designs have been much more successful at deconstructing the rectilinear form

2) The stock IAC logo is ugly.

Gehry will soon have over a block's worth of buildings in Brooklyn at Atlantic Yards, so he'll have more opportunity to make his mark on NYC.

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High Line NYC

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Thanks to advice from Christian, I was able to find easy access to the High Line in Chelsea. The High Line is an old elevated train track that snakes along the west side of Manhattan. I've been a fan of the High Line because it combines all the joy of relaxing in a park with the thrill of playing on train tracks.

Its a bit hard to figure out from the current construction what the final vision is, but thankfully Curbed just posted some new renderings of the park design:

Brooklyn Bridge

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Olafur Eliasson: Take Your Time @ MOMA

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Olafus Eliasson created one of my favorite installations I've never saw -- The Weather Project at the Tate Modern -- so I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon his "Take Your Time" exhibit at the MOMA. I can't think of any American museum that can really rival the Tate's Turbine Hall for immersive art, but Eliasson took over every knook and cranny he could find in the MOMA. A fan propels itself in the atrium, an opening in the wall takes you to a platform that hovers over infinite reflections of yourself, and yellow flourescent lights in the hallway turn everyone into an intense monochrome gray. My favorite part of the exhibit was a multi-faceted kaleidoscope light that sent colors of every stripe onto the surrounding walls.

If only I had been in NYC this weekend instead of last: Eliasson's Brooklyn Bridge Waterfalls are due to open tomorrow. Perhaps another favorite never-seen installation to add to my list.

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Renzo Piano's New York Times Building

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nyt-gehry.jpgBack in 2003 I went to a Frank Gehry exhibition at the Moca commemorating the opening of the Walt Disney Concert Hall across the street. The exhibition was full of many models, some for buildings already built, some to be built, and some never to be built. In this last category was a series of models for the New York Times Building, which stood out because they were skyscrapers, something unusual for Gehry's portfolio. I believe that some of the models used crumpled tissue paper to simulate facade elements.

Two years later, I went to a Renzo Piano exhibit at LACMA commemorating Piano's future renovations to the museum. Among the many models there was his New York Times Building model, which was predictably more subdued than Gehry's though just as unusual for being a skyscraper. Gehry's design was considered a front runner, but he withdrew from the process. Piano's design employed a grilled facade that has won him many a museum proposal in recent years and this time secured him a skyscraper.

nytimes20080621_0068Mimicking the New York Times "Gray Lady" moniker, the relatively unadorned, very gray building stands tall with the vertical grill lines that are only interrupted by the giant New York Times banner logo. Buttresses on the side add a little bit of form to the building, but are minimal. I hear it can be quite beautiful at night with the newsroom lighting out through the facade. During the day the gray grills make even a gray sky more gray.

I would have preferred the Gehry design to be built, though I have a feeling that the Piano design has greater longevity. The un-offending building fits well within the Gotham skyline and they gray grills will soak up the grime and soot of the city with hardly a complaint. The New York Times nearly made it to the 21st century without color and it now has a color-less building to lead it to the next.

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The Week in Links

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For the engineer that prefers applied math, there's this guide to cracking Master Locks, which explains some of the math behind how Master Lock chooses combinations as well as some hands-on technique for getting the last number in the combination. You should be able to narrow the number of possible combinations down to 100 for any particular lock. For the "I'm a Ph.D mathematician, applied stuff is for wusses," there is the McNugget number, which (I hope) is keeping some theoretical math major busy somewhere (and safely off the streets).

In the world of architecture, the Torres de Calatrava look pretty cool (gallery 1, gallery 2). Not having seen Calatrava-style skyscrapers before, I wonder what Calatrava's New York City might have looked like, in comparison to the imagined NYC's of Norman Foster, Gaudi, and Spielberg.

There were a bunch of historical links this week. In light of current dollar/yen investment issues, let us harken back to the day of the One Yen bill, facilitated by this nice overlay of Tokyo in 1948 and 1992. For those of you who prefer historical comparisons via sequential art, this tour of Batman logos over the years shows some of the 20th century's best and worst graphic design, but which one did the caped crusader battle under when he made his greatest boner?

Staying in the 1940s, we can look at these World War 2 color photos. They could add even more photos to the collection using this really interesting colorization technique for black and white photos/video that only requires some scribbled color hints (I wonder if the technique would work on these 1910 Paris flood photos).