Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, June 09, 2021

diag zigzag
It was already apparent this past Monday that the Times was totally ga-ga over over midtown’s Hearst Tower.

Today, the newspaper piles on the love with Nicolai Ouroussoff’s architectural review of the edifice, wherein it’s hailed as a sign of renaissance for the city’s skyline:

Norman Foster’s new Hearst Tower arrives just in time, slamming through the malaise like a hammer. Crisscrossed by a grid of bold steel cross-braces, its chiseled glass form rises with blunt force from the core of the old 1928 Hearst Building on Eighth Avenue, at 57th Street. Past and present don’t fit seamlessly together here; they collide with ferocious energy.

This 46-story tower may be the most muscular symbol of corporate self-confidence to rise in New York since the 1960’s, when Modernism was in full bloom, and most Americans embraced technological daring as a sure route to social progress…

Part of what makes Lord Foster’s building so mesmerizing is a constant shift in its visual relationship to the skyline. Seen from the south against the backdrop of the taller and blander glass- and brick-clad towers lining Eighth Avenue, its stubby crystalline form seems to have been arbitrarily sliced off at the top, so that it meets the sky abruptly. As you draw nearer, the facade’s oversize triangular windows become disorienting, making the building’s scale harder to grasp.

I, and probably everyone else who’s taken a gander at it, can attest to the visual trickery performed by that glass-and-steel. Maybe the fact that it’s got a good bit of clearance all around it — no other comparable skyscrapers are situated within a block — contributes to this effect.

It’s not mentioned online, but a sidebar on the print edition says that public access to the Hearst Tower won’t start until this fall, after the likes of Esquire and other magazines move their stuff in. So close (I work right across the street), and yet so far…

So much admiration is inevitably accompanied by a scorned object of contrast. Cue up the Time Warner Center, nearby on Columbus Circle. That behemoth has been reviled since it opened, and Ouroussoff uses it (briefly) as a convenient punching bag to further highlight how much he thinks Hearst’s new home is the bee’s knees.

I’m not particularly well-versed in architecture. I think both the Hearst and TW buildings are impressive-looking, but not sure if either is particularly organically placed in the context of their surroundings. But I’m glad to be in their neighborhood during the working hours.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 06/09/2021 04:44:03 PM
Category: Media, Business, New Yorkin'
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    Pictured above is a flyer from the Mariella Pizza on 8th Avenue and 57th. As you can see, they’re pretty proud of the blessing bestowed upon them by Oprah as having the “best pizza in America”.
    As well they should be. I’m sure …

    Trackback by Population Statistic — 02/08/2021 @ 06:35:48 PM

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