Monday, March 24, 2008

Nice Tower! Who’s Your Architect?

Nicolai Ouroussoff on New York's current architecture boom.

Interestingly enough, NYC's current love affair with architecture must in some part be attributed to seeds planted by Herbert Muschamp - Ouroussoff's outspoken predecessor at The Times. What would Herbert think of what is being built today? Or as the article suggests, perhaps the bigger questions are who is building and why, and what does it say about New York?

HL23 by Neil Denari

THE HL23 tower, planned for a site on 23rd Street in Chelsea, is the kind of commission Neil Denari has being waiting for his entire working life. Mr. Denari, a Los Angeles architect who once ran the Southern California Institute of Architecture, has labored on the profession’s periphery for decades. But because of a recent demand for name-brand residential architecture in New York, he is finally getting a chance to test his ideas in the real world.

HL23 by Neil Denari

And Mr. Denari is not alone here. His building is part of an eruption of luxury residential towers already constructed or being designed by the profession’s most celebrated luminaries. In the last five years more than a dozen have been completed; maybe a dozen more are scheduled to break ground this year. They range from soaring, elaborately decorated towers by international celebrities like Jean Nouvel and Frank Gehry to smaller but equally ambitious architectural statements by lesser-known talents like Mr. Denari.

With the financial markets in an ominous roil, the realization of this boomlet is far from guaranteed. But even if only a few more are completed, the final effect of these buildings could be the greatest transformation in the city’s physical identity since the 1960s. Bold and formally elaborate — some would say showy — they reflect a mix of attitudes and styles that the city has never seen.
Read on.

1 comment:

Chris Grayson - GigantiCo said...

Ambitious architecture makes me more ambitious. Housing in New York is expensive. Luxury housing in Manhattan is stratospheric. Designs like this make me work harder.