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One Worldwide Plaza in the SkyscraperPage Database

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  #1  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2008, 4:41 AM
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NEW YORK | Worldwide Plaza | 778 FT / 237 M | 49 FLOORS | 1989

Overlooked New York

WORLDWIDE PLAZA
1989
Postmodern


17th Tallest Building in New York City.

(Description from Wikipedia)

Built in 1989, One Worldwide Plaza is part of a three-building, mixed-use commercial and residential complex located in the New York City borough of Manhattan, known collectively as Worldwide Plaza. One Worldwide Plaza is a commercial office tower on Eighth Avenue. Two Worldwide Plaza is a condominium residential tower west of the center of the block, and Three Worldwide Plaza is a low-rise condominum residential building with street level stores on Ninth Avenue, to the west of the towers. The complex occupies an entire city block, bounded by Eighth Avenue, Ninth Avenue, 49th Street, and 50th Street. Located on the west side of Eighth Avenue, One Worldwide Plaza is built on the site of New York City's third Madison Square Garden. The 50th Street subway station is underneath.

Designed by David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the complex was developed by William Zeckendorf, Jr. The building of One Worldwide Plaza was documented in a BBC / PBS mini-series and a companion book Skyscraper: The Making of a Building by Karl Sabbagh (ISBN 978-0140152845).

One Worldwide Plaza is a 49-story, 1.5 million square feet (139,355 m²), 778-foot (237 m) tall office skyscraper. The building has three separate entrances to accommodate the various tenants in the building, which include the law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore and the international advertising agency of Ogilvy & Mather. The base of the building is made of granite and precast concrete. The tower facade is made of brick. The building is crowned by a copper roof known as "David's Diamond" after the architect, David Childs.

A mid-block public plaza separates One Worldwide Plaza from the residential buildings of Two Worldwide Plaza and Three Worldwide Plaza. The public plaza is a bonus space granted under New York City Department of City Planning. The creation and maintenance of the public plaza resulted in permission to build additional floors in the office tower. The landscaping of the plaza contains over 40 trees and numerous plantings, and a cafe. The center of the plaza is highlighted by a fountain created by Sidney Simon called "The Four Seasons". Four female statues hold up a globe; each represents a season. Public seating is available year round. Model for the female statues is the expansionist painter Molly Ackerman, who studied at the Art Students League of New York and lives nowadays in Leiden in the Netherlands. She's married to the Dutch photographer Fred Rohde. They are the owners of the Expansionist Art Empire Gallery.

A theater space is located beneath the public plaza. Originally a six-screen movie theater, the space is now occupied by five off-Broadway theaters known as New World Stages. Access is gained by two kiosk buildings, one located on 49th Street and the other on 50th Street.

Pictures from nycarchitecture.com/wikipedia



pictures from wirednewyork.com




flickr (noj.johnson) http://www.flickr.com/photos/noj-johnson/290894374/

Last edited by Patrick; Jun 6, 2008 at 12:32 AM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2008, 7:25 AM
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Decent details and shapes, but the proportions are way off; thing looks like a giant pencil. That top carries way too much visual weight. Not bad for the 80s, I guess.
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  #3  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2008, 7:33 AM
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Looking up 8th Ave :

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  #4  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2008, 12:35 PM
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I've always liked this building. It's very classy.
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  #5  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2008, 12:58 PM
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It looks like true art deco, it really does
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  #6  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2008, 2:11 PM
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The tower facade is made of brick

Perhaps that's the magic why it is the best neo-Art Deco tower ever
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  #7  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2008, 7:39 PM
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It seems to have a weird mix of both the old and the new.
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  #8  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2008, 5:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrightguy0 View Post
It looks like true art deco, it really does
No, I disagree.
The curved facade at the bottom of the tower is really not art-deco. The vertical lines are not enough emphasized.
I think it's a pomo hybrid.

Just my opinion, though. No offence to anyone.
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  #9  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2008, 1:42 AM
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It was built just before the 90's?! wow,it looks alot older. I never new it was so ..new.

It looks great when just one side is visible,but from the corners it seems kinda fat. I love though.
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  #10  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2008, 3:26 AM
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It is obvious what the inspiration for Worldwide Plaza was:


NYC-Architecture


A wonderful building.
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  #11  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2008, 3:32 AM
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^I was just going to post that, aha I just noticed that!
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  #12  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2008, 6:49 PM
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So many people love it, I don't. I see what Childs was going for, but instead of building a "classic New York skyscraper" he got an oddly-proportioned, awkward tower that, on top of everything, looks shorter than it actually is. it seems to fit the skyline and cityscape better as the immediate area fills with other towers that put its size in better perspective (and block the bugger out of sight). I'll agree that it does have a stately, grandfatherly presence.
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  #13  
Old Posted Jun 5, 2008, 12:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lecom View Post
So many people love it, I don't. I see what Childs was going for, but instead of building a "classic New York skyscraper" he got an oddly-proportioned, awkward tower that, on top of everything, looks shorter than it actually is.
I have to completely disagree about the ‘odd proportions’. I happen to think they are perfect and are well balanced directly with the Paramount Plaza and indirectly with the AXA Center and the 6th Avenue titans. Looking directly to the right from the Hudson, 1585 Broadway and 1 Astor Plaza contribute to the balance as well.

However, I do agree with you on the fact that the tower does look shorter than it is. I think that’s mainly due to the ‘David’s Diamond’. All in all though I’ve always thought it was a Westside skyline icon and looks beautiful in the skyline. The grounds are too very classy and have a posh feel to them, as does the rest of the building.
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  #14  
Old Posted Jun 5, 2008, 4:01 PM
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I think that the residential mini-me has the wrong proportions... not the office tower.
The placement of the residential addition is also uninspired... too rigid.
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  #15  
Old Posted Jun 5, 2008, 4:14 PM
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I like it. For an eighties building, it has class.
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  #16  
Old Posted Jun 5, 2008, 4:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabb View Post
I think that the residential mini-me has the wrong proportions... not the office tower.
The placement of the residential addition is also uninspired... too rigid.
Actually, although I'm not a big fan of the residential portion myself, one of the things that the project does right is assemblage of the three parts. The project, occupying an entire block, was intended to make a smooth transition between Midtown's highrises on 8th Avenue and the lowrise residential Clinton neighborhood on 9th. Notice the third diamond to the left of the residential tower, right along the roofline of the rowhouse neighborhood. Also notice how the three diamonds are on the same diagonal axis. although it is indeed rigid, I kind of like this almost neo-Classical sense of rigidity and balance. When facing the project from 9th Avenue, you see a rather regular residential block topped by a green diamond that foreshadows the grand scale that lies behind.

On an interesting note, the residential component was not designed by Childs, but by a different architect, same guy who did Righa Royal Hotel, the Marc and the never-built South Ferry Tower, all in New York.
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Old Posted Jun 5, 2008, 5:58 PM
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i know most people won't agree with me, but i always found this building to be an example of some bad 80s ideas. i was never a fan of po-mo, but this building kinda took some of the ideas too far. other forumers have already mentioned the awkward proportions, i'm assuming the proportions were a result of the compromise between the office and residential sections, and because 80s building technology made relatively regular floor plates much easier to build.

for one, the windows are too small. the small window apertures made sense when walls were load bearing. but this was built in the modern era, with a core and skeleton frame. aside from aesthetics, there was no need to have all that masonry/concrete block the occupants' views. or just have bigger windows and the po-mo flourishes throughout the rest of the facade.

for a po-mo/art deco building, its facade is surprisingly bare. for a high-dollar project 80s project, it would have benefited from more detailing.

that said, the fundamental design is sound. po-mo isn't my fav ism, but the building for the most part is done right.
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  #18  
Old Posted Jun 5, 2008, 8:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lecom View Post
The project, occupying an entire block, was intended to make a smooth transition between Midtown's highrises on 8th Avenue and the lowrise residential Clinton neighborhood on 9th. Notice the third diamond to the left of the residential tower, right along the roofline of the rowhouse neighborhood. Also notice how the three diamonds are on the same diagonal axis. although it is indeed rigid, I kind of like this almost neo-Classical sense of rigidity and balance. When facing the project from 9th Avenue, you see a rather regular residential block topped by a green diamond that foreshadows the grand scale that lies behind.
Your analysis was a good eye opener. I had never noticed the third diamond before... which is not a good sign.
I'm inclined to think that if the block is to function as a transition, it means that the tower overwhelms the other smaller parts of the complex.
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Old Posted Jun 5, 2008, 11:58 PM
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Man, I'd love this tower so much more if it weren't so fat. Some people say the proportions are off, others say they're on. I say that the vertical proportions - base, shaft, crown - are fine, but the sheer girth created by the huge floorplates throws the balance of the composition off. It wants to be a slender, soaring structure, but the modern program won't allow it.

Still, it's one of the better examples of pomo out there, and it adds distinction to a part of the Midtown skyline (and for that matter, neighborhood) that desperately needs it.
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  #20  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2008, 12:15 AM
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I never noticed the third diamond! Heres a better look, pictures from Windows Live Local.



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