13 April 2006

This morning, I applied to a place called ZEN Associates, even though I wasn't really qualified because I was just tickled pink by their design philosophy. The whole eco-friendly, Japanese garden philosophy is the stuff that got me excited about architecture in the first place, thanks to Bill Hubbard - it was probably one of the only things I truly took from his studio (although these days Norman Foster and Frank Gehry are what get me all hot).

Speaking of which, I found this online the other day:

New York Times TowerThe New York Times Tower competition entry by Frank Gehry and David Childs (Gehry Associates and SOM). From Architectural Record: The architects’ entry was a 1.5-million-square-foot, 45-story glass tower that presented a swirl of facades that, at street level, resembled a folded copy of the Times caught in the wind. As the building rose, the form resolves into a more rectilinear shaft, with leasable floor plates. At its apex, the building erupted into peaks inspired by the Times’s calligraphic masthead font. The duality between calm and chaos they created allowed the building to conform to the street grid, while also carving out a unique identity on the skyline. It has been said that the collaboration between Gehry and Childs was strained, but for whatever reason, the team withdrew its design just weeks before the competition concluded. The commission went to Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Fox & Fowle Architects, whose design is under construction.
Ha. Imagine that...the collaboration was strained *rolls eyes*. I find the rivalries between the big guys in most professions funny, but you have to have a big ego to make it big, I suppose...When I was working at SOM, we could not get the people working on the Memorial garden of the WTC site to tell us what kinds of trees they wanted to use. There was no rhyme or reason. Everyone at the firm signed a confidentiality waiver. No one was allowed to talk about it, and despite the ironclad contracts, they wouldn't release the information when we needed it, which was both frustrating and kind of hilarious.

Gehry was supposed to be working on an Arts Center, and there was a fourth collaborator - but Daddy Silverstein didn't want any of his architects talking to each other! I thought that was just fantastic given that this was supposed to be a sensitive and collaborative design scheme. I particularly loved how Daniel Libeskind wasn't involved in any of the planning beyond his winning submission for the design competition. Silverstein picked SOM because of his prior relationship with them, and would have regardless of what design won the competion. While I like the new building scheme, I also think that it's not quite what Libeskind envisioned.

timesre Just in case anyone cares, this is what the NYTimes building on 8th Ave will look like, by the Renzo Piano Workshop and Fox & Fowle. I guess Renzo Piano and Fox & Fowle are respectable enough, but this looks like every other building around Times Square these days. Call me silly, but there was something really playful and creative about the concept of a copy of the Times blowing away in the wind, and I'm sad that it won't be built. Then again, the New York Times logo is supposed to be HUGE and on the 8th Ave entrance, which does look kind of stunning...she said, grudgingly.

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Links of the Day:
Last Resorts - by Steven Smith at Nerd Elite.com
Rob Corddry Hates You - from dead-frog.com

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