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I remember hating this building when I first saw it. The crown looked like a mess, and the facade didn't help much. I've got to admit though, I really love this building now. It's grown on me and it really is a cool, prominent skyscraper
My friend came up with a hilarious nickname for her though, due to all the urban mountaineers who have messed with her.
"Little miss climb-me"
I think a good section of 5th avenue heard me laugh when my pal said that!
"Build me to the heavens, and Life never stops"
"Live as if the world were as it should be, to show it what it can be"
"Prayers are fleeting and wars are forgotten, but what is built endures"
-Ambassador DeLenn, Babylon 5
By NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF
Published: November 20, 2007
..What makes a great New York skyscraper? The greatest of them tug at our heartstrings. We seek them out in the skyline, both to get our bearings and to anchor ourselves psychologically in the life of the city.
Mr. Piano’s tower is unlikely to inspire that kind of affection. The building’s most original feature is a scrim of horizontal ceramic rods that diffuses sunlight and lends the exterior a clean, uniform appearance. Mr. Piano used a similar screening system for his 1997 Debis Tower for Daimler-Benz in Berlin, to mixed results. For The Times, he spent months adjusting the rods’ color and scale, and in the early renderings they had a lovely, ethereal quality.
Viewed from a side street today, they have the precision and texture of a finely tuned machine. But despite the architect’s best efforts, the screens look flat and lifeless in the skyline. The uniformity of the bars gives them a slightly menacing air, and the problem is compounded by the battleship gray of the tower’s steel frame. Their dull finish deprives the facades of an enlivening play light and shadow.
The tower’s crown is also disappointing. To hide the rooftop’s mechanical equipment and create the impression that the tower is dissolving into the sky, Mr. Piano extended the screens a full six stories past the top of the building’s frame. Yet the effect is ragged and unfinished. Rather than gathering momentum as it rises, the tower seems to fizzle.
But if the building is less than spectacular in the skyline, it comes to life when it hits the ground. All of Mr. Piano’s best qualities are in evidence here — the fine sense of proportion, the love of structural detail, the healthy sense of civic responsibility.
The architect’s goal is to blur the boundary between inside and out, between the life of the newspaper and the life of the street. The lobby is encased entirely in glass, and its transparency plays delightfully against the muscular steel beams and spandrels that support the soaring tower.