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View Full Version : United States Mission to U.N. - 1st Ave @ West 45th - by Gwathmey Siegel & Associates



Kris
March 3rd, 2004, 05:16 PM
http://www.gwathmey-siegel.com/news/images/usun_r04.jpg http://www.gwathmey-siegel.com/news/images/usun_r08.jpg

Status: Construction Document Phase
Expected Completion Date: 2006

Mission to U.N. will be rebuilt

By Betsy Pisik
THE WASHINGTON TIMES

NEW YORK — The 12-story office housing the U.S. Mission to the United Nations will be demolished this summer and replaced by a 22-story concrete bunker of a building designed to withstand car bombs, chemical or biological attacks, and other threats.

The office's nearly 300 full-time employees were recently notified that they will be moving to temporary space two blocks away. The mission, which works with the president and State Department on U.S. policy at the United Nations, could be emptied as soon as Memorial Day weekend, with the razing slated for July.

"We expect to be in construction by this time next year," said Charles Scarallo, who has managed the project for the General Services Administration since 1999. He declined to give any details, citing "the State Department's need for security."

The State Department has been planning to rebuild the 32-year-old U.S. Mission building at 45th Street and First Avenue since at least 1999, when architectural firms were first invited to bid on the job. But in the wake of September 11, attacks on U.S. diplomatic buildings in Africa and attempts elsewhere, the need for security has propelled the project.

"This is a perfectly secured building," said architect Charles Gwathmey, in an interview that was monitored by mission personnel. "We have adopted all the security [requirements] and made an aesthetic of it."

The State Department released a drawing of the proposed building but declined to make public other images. As is customary with all federal buildings since the September 11 attacks, no floor plans or schematics will be circulated, even within architectural circles.

Diplomats say the U.S. Mission has outgrown its existing building, a squat glass structure by Kelly-Gruzen Architects with a facade of honeycombed concrete. The new tower will have nearly twice the space and include a multifunction auditorium and reception room, as well as an office serving foreign press.

"This building is old, it's depressing, it's small and nothing works that well," said one U.S. Mission staffer. "They're overdue for a new building."

But security requirements are paramount, some officials say.

The Gwathmey Siegel-designed building will have very thick exterior walls of reinforced high-strength concrete to withstand an attack.

The windows — a building's most vulnerable feature — don't even start until the seventh floor, and then graduate in size as they rise above the street to the top-floor auditorium.

The lower floors house the heating, ventilation and other mechanical systems that are more often found toward the middle and top of a tower. The building will have a zinc-clad central core for elevators and ductwork that pokes through the sloped roof like an observatory.

The airy main entrance is made of tempered glass on a steel frame to minimize injuries in the event of a blast.

The area appears to be as welcoming as any of the university buildings, libraries or corporate towers designed by Mr. Gwathmey and his longtime professional partner, Robert Siegel, except that this entrance will have a barely perceptible curtain of air pressure to keep chemical and biological agents at bay.

Diplomatic security has been an issue for federal planners and architects ever since the U.S. Embassy in Beirut was bombed in 1983, leaving 63 persons dead.

Al Qaeda's 1998 attacks on embassies in Kenya and Tanzania increased the anxiety and led to the adoption of a new set of stringent security guidelines. U.S. embassies also were recently targeted in Singapore and Saudi Arabia.

But unlike new U.S. embassies in many foreign countries, which have been built outside the city centers on isolated land to fortresslike specifications, the U.N. Mission is located on only a third of an acre, and nestled up between the Ugandan Mission, a glass-walled hotel, and anonymous midtown offices. It is across from the United Nations, on busy First Avenue.

The building will be only marginally set back from a busy street corner, with closely spaced steel bollards replacing the wooden sawhorses and low cement blocks currently in place at the perimeter.

"This is the only U.S. embassy in America," said David Buss, an administrator at the U.S. Mission who has been working on the construction. "At home, there are protections we can count on. We don't have the same kinds of fears we may have [overseas]."

Invited guests, such as journalists, diplomats and representatives of nongovernmental organizations, will be restricted to roughly 20 percent of the building. The remaining 80 percent will be secured for U.S. Mission personnel, who will use separate entrances and elevators.

Federal buildings such as courthouses and offices can be built in most places independent of neighborhood zoning regulations. Mr. Gwathmey and Mr. Buss said that with its setbacks from the street, the 22-story mission largely conforms to existing restrictions.

"There is no question that we had security and blast constraints, and a new level of technology that defined the whole exterior wall," Mr. Gwathmey said.

"At the same time, how do you make a building in Manhattan, across from the United Nations, to be democratic, open and representative of what America stands for?"

NoyokA
March 3rd, 2004, 06:27 PM
http://www.queenswest.com/gantrypark/pictures/peninsula_park/gp_20020412_1.jpg?display=large

This will alter the skyline view and make the UN Plaza Hotel views non existant.

krulltime
March 6th, 2004, 06:35 PM
http://www.gwathmey-siegel.com/news/images/usun_r04.jpg http://www.gwathmey-siegel.com/news/images/usun_r08.jpg

:?: Is this the final rendering? Is there any more renderings of this building.

Kris
March 27th, 2004, 11:32 AM
The site:

http://normanmcgrath.com/images/zooms/037.jpg

Kris
April 7th, 2004, 12:56 PM
http://www.aiany.org/designawards/2003/projects/jpegs/214a.jpg
http://www.aiany.org/designawards/2003/projects/jpegs/214b.jpg
http://www.aiany.org/designawards/2003/projects/jpegs/214c.jpg

http://aiany.org/designawards/2003/projects/proj5.htm

krulltime
April 8th, 2004, 01:40 PM
Well not bad...is that a heliport on top of the crown? I would imagine they need that in case of an emergency...if an attack or an emergency situatuion.

Kris
September 2nd, 2004, 12:52 AM
'Ugly' U.S. Mission Building to Get Roomier Replacement

New Headquarters at U.N. Designed to Withstand Terrorism

By Colum Lynch
Washington Post Staff Writer

Monday, August 30, 2004; Page A21

Photo (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/admin/article/largerphoto?contentId=A45165-2004Aug29&thisnode=politics/fedpage&showSky=true&imgId=I45674-2004Aug30)

UNITED NATIONS -- For more than 40 years, it has been the workplace of America's most famous ambassadors, including George H.W. Bush and Madeleine K. Albright. It has also served as a key staging ground for some of the country's most important diplomatic initiatives, including U.S. efforts to sell the world on its invasion of Iraq and to defuse a potential nuclear war with the Soviets during the Cuban missile crisis.

But the headquarters of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations doesn't generate much respect among the world's diplomatic set, whose members have derided the gray 12-story structure as an architectural eyesore that is unfit to house the world's lone superpower.

"It's ugly," said Germany's U.N. ambassador, Gunter Pleuger. "And inside it's not very modern. I think the United States delegation deserves a better one."

The United States is set to get an upgrade. Construction workers will demolish the building on 45th Street and First Avenue over the next four months to make way for a heavily reinforced, 23-story high-rise that is designed to accommodate nearly twice the staff and survive a car bomb explosion.

The $4.4 million demolition has forced more than 160 American diplomats and support staff into a commercial building several blocks from U.N. headquarters, on 45th Street near Lexington Avenue, until the new building is completed in 2008.

The passing of the storied building, whose concrete, honeycombed facade once stirred fans of Modernist architecture, has generated little protest from the city's preservationists. Even former occupants are glad to see it go.

"It's lived its life," former U.S. ambassador John D. Negroponte said in a formal ceremony convened to shutter the old building. "It's kind of worn out."

"I've been in it once," said his successor, John C. Danforth. "When I see it in passing, my heart does not skip a beat."

Another senior U.S. diplomat, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, put it more bluntly: "They should have blown up the architect."

The building, which opened its doors in the spring of 1961, was not always so despised. For a country that had been ambivalent about the United Nations, the decision to erect a permanent mission across the street from U.N. headquarters was seen as a symbol of America's commitment to working with others to pursue peace. A New York Times editorial in March 1956 hailed U.S. plans to build "our own U.N. monument" as a powerful rebuke to "a few antediluvian isolationists in Congress who would like to have us pull out of this often annoying company and go it alone."

The effort faced bureaucratic, financial and political hurdles from the beginning, when American officials began looking for a site in 1947. The late U.S. ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. overcame the forces of Washington bureaucracy and American isolationism to make it happen, invoking fears that the Soviets were considering purchasing the site for their own mission. That, he warned, would constitute a "diplomatic Sputnik for them," a reference to the first man-made craft sent into space.

During Lodge's tenure, Congress appropriated about $3.7 million in March 1958 to begin construction. But President Dwight D. Eisenhower, whose golden bust is displayed in the main conference room at the mission's transitional headquarters, vetoed the bill because of an unrelated dispute over civil servants' retirement funds. The bill was ultimately signed into law months later.

Inspired by Swiss architect Le Corbusier, who helped design the U.N. headquarters, the firms Kahn & Jacobs and Kelly & Gruzen conceived the building in the Brutalist style, a form of architecture popular in the 1960s and 1970s that relied on sculpted, rough concrete surfaces.

"It was an expression by the U.S. government that we were to be associated with the same kind of modern values that shaped the creation of the United Nations," said Matt Postal, who once led walking tours of Modernist architectural buildings in Manhattan. Postal said that the building has since fallen on hard times. Its concrete facade is cracked and in need of a scrub. Inside, the mission is cramped and cluttered. The wiring is too old to accommodate modern electrical, security and computer networks, U.S. officials said.

Like its predecessor, the new building has taken more than a decade to finance and has faced intense resistance from the United Nations' toughest critics. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) pledged in 1998 to fight it, saying, "I intend to do all I can to make sure that hardworking Americans don't pay for a State Department palace in New York."

The building's shell, which will be constructed by the General Services Administration, will cost $50 million to $60 million. The State Department will pay more than $12 million for renting the two spaces. To save money, the government scrapped plans for a permanent residence for the ambassador.

U.S. officials declined to discuss the cost or the practical impact the move will have on U.S. intelligence agencies that have long used the United Nations as a prime post for listening in on foreign diplomats.

The mission's transition to temporary quarters, meanwhile, has irritated some diplomats, who complained they have been squeezed into smaller cubicles while the mission's top three ambassadors have been given equal space. Still, many diplomats are grateful to flee a building that provided an inviting target for car bombers. Indeed, the design for the new mission has been influenced as much by terrorists as by the aesthetics of architecture or the principles of international cooperation.

The new building will be set back from the street, and the first six floors will be windowless, in an effort to prevent injury from exploding glass from a car bomb. Former New York Times architectural critic Herbert Muschamp described the new mission as a "high-rise bomb shelter."

"The form and material gesture diplomatically toward friendship and transparency," he wrote. "Otherwise this is black helicopter stuff: a crisp but hulking tower of power."

© 2004 The Washington Post Company

TLOZ Link5
October 19th, 2004, 01:44 PM
Scaffolding is currently up over the building. Demolition should begin soon.

RedFerrari360f1
October 19th, 2004, 04:01 PM
Im not so fond of the whole tile look of the facade. Looks like the Rock Hall which has aged horribly.

Derek2k3
September 24th, 2006, 03:12 AM
http://static.flickr.com/82/249661016_47f1c50bbc.jpg
laughpole's photostream (http://www.flickr.com/photos/laughpole/)

antinimby
September 24th, 2006, 11:42 AM
So they are finally about to start construction on this somewhat atrocious-looking building.
Does resemble a highrise prison, with a watchtower at the top and a flagpole in the front to boot!

ablarc
September 24th, 2006, 11:46 AM
The higher-ups get bigger windows.

Citytect
September 24th, 2006, 03:56 PM
Somewhat atrocious-looking in a good way. Ugly but interesting.

macreator
September 24th, 2006, 10:26 PM
Somewhat atrocious-looking in a good way. Ugly but interesting.

Not a bad way to describe it. Looks almost like a castle version of the Sony Building. For some reason I don't dislike the building even though it looks like a towering bunker.

pianoman11686
September 24th, 2006, 10:33 PM
It really does look like Sony (AT&T), doesn't it? It must be those double-height windows at the top.

Signs of an application of Post-Modernism, or just dumb coincidence?

macreator
September 25th, 2006, 02:55 PM
It really does look like Sony (AT&T), doesn't it? It must be those double-height windows at the top.

Signs of an application of Post-Modernism, or just dumb coincidence?

It really does. The more I look at it the more it looks like a square Sony Building with a turret.

I like the postmodern look. Overall, it's pretty good design in my book.

krulltime
April 13th, 2007, 05:03 PM
I couldn't find a thread for this project. If there is one can someone please move it. Well like it or not, this one is under construction already. Anyone has any progress photos? Anyway feel free to criticize.


The Tower:

http://www.pbase.com/image/77108601.jpg http://www.pbase.com/image/77108599.jpg

http://www.pbase.com/image/77108596.jpg http://www.pbase.com/image/77108597.jpg

United States Mission to the United Nations:

The challenge was to design an iconic tower that would transcend strict programmatic and technical constraints, and become a compelling and representative landmark for architecture and democracy. The tower refers abstractly to skyscraper precedents of base, middle, top, while presenting a composite, layered and interlocking composition of forms and materials, vertically and horizontally.

The site is located opposite the United Nations General Assembly Building on First Avenue and 45th Street in New York City. It presents a pedestrian scale, a place scale and a city scale that attempts to be both memorable and inspiring.

The building provides office, meeting and reception spaces for the U.S. Mission, the United States Information Agency, and the Office of Foreign Missions within a 22-story structure which is designed in response to stringent blast and security criteria. Special facilities for press conferences and reception functions are provided in the base and at the top of the building.


http://www.gwathmey-siegel.com/

krulltime
April 13th, 2007, 05:03 PM
The Base:

http://www.pbase.com/image/77108612.jpg

http://www.pbase.com/image/77108608.jpg

antinimby
April 13th, 2007, 05:11 PM
There's already a thread for this project here (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4617). ;)

NoyokA
April 13th, 2007, 05:13 PM
Krulltime it's not that hard to use the search function. My advice is if your looking for a project use a term that describes it and another term that is limited to it.

For instance I used: gwathmey+mission

Gwathmey because its not going to appear in too many threads.

Mission because its the subject term.

The thread I was looking for appeared in no time.

krulltime
April 13th, 2007, 05:13 PM
There's already a thread for this project here (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4617). ;)

You are good in searching. I guess I haven't seen this thread for the longest time and I forgot. :)

krulltime
April 13th, 2007, 05:15 PM
For instance I used: gwathmey+mission

Oh the plus sign. Never use it before.

MidtownGuy
April 13th, 2007, 05:21 PM
:eek: Can they achieve security without it looking like a cross between Fort Knox and a grain silo?
I think it's very very ugly. Should we be grateful for the suspended glass in front of the ramparts?

londonlawyer
April 13th, 2007, 05:23 PM
Considering that the US needs a fortress to house its mission to the UN, it really should re-think its belligerent foreign policy. I'm embarrassed to be American. One would have thought we learned our lesson in Vietnam.

MidtownGuy
April 13th, 2007, 05:25 PM
Amen.

pianoman11686
April 13th, 2007, 05:38 PM
It really is ugly, and stupid-looking too. That description from Gwathmey's website is probably the most full of BS description I've ever read about a building. Representative landmark for democracy? Yeah, maybe if you're in Nairobi.

antinimby
April 13th, 2007, 05:55 PM
I think it's very very ugly.Welcome to New York!

Where with each passing day and each new proposal, the architecture sinks to new lows!

Folks, it's only getting worst from here on in...

http://img105.imageshack.us/img105/6028/59w35er0.jpg http://img249.imageshack.us/img249/1856/108w24yb5.jpg

http://img249.imageshack.us/img249/267/116w28ta7.jpg http://img105.imageshack.us/img105/2170/121w28go6.jpg

http://img249.imageshack.us/img249/716/126waterstyg2.jpg http://img249.imageshack.us/img249/8112/w39rowog4.jpg

There's more where those came from.

Thank you Gene Kaufman, you nutcase.

krulltime
April 13th, 2007, 05:59 PM
Ugh! I hate those color patterns! please make it stop!

Alonzo-ny
April 13th, 2007, 06:23 PM
Krulltime it's not that hard to use the search function.

I beg to differ on this point. I know its nothing to do with the topic but i have a major issue with the search function.

For example from a recent search i carried out recent for jean nouvel.
Pressing search the first 5 threads are:

Freedom tower
Atelier-627 west
london projects
world trade center
beijing olympic

The actual jean nouvel threads are 8th and 15th on the list even though both have jean+nouvel in the title.

Why is this?

antinimby
April 13th, 2007, 06:28 PM
Ugh! I hate those color patterns! please make it stop!So you like those, huh? :D

Here's a few more:

http://img338.imageshack.us/img338/4636/brooklynduffieldstqb9.jpg http://img338.imageshack.us/img338/6418/326w40go0.jpg

http://img185.imageshack.us/img185/980/37w24hi1.jpg http://img410.imageshack.us/img410/9731/20maidenlane1ww4.jpg

Thanks again Gene Kaufman, you evil little man.

pianoman11686
April 13th, 2007, 06:40 PM
It's tough to tell which one is the worst. Did Kaufman even go to architectural school?

BrooklynRider
April 13th, 2007, 07:30 PM
Seriously, this guy is going to be really embarrased when he gets the sight back in his good eye.

eatabagel
April 14th, 2007, 03:39 PM
Ugh. This is horrible. The sad part is that it'll cover up the view of 2 UN Plaza, which has always been IMO one of the most underrated buildings in this neck of the woods. Maybe the US Mission's bland concrete firewall-ness will strike a good contrast to the shiny glass nextdoor, within that context.

Hmmm...

Maybe not.

JD
April 14th, 2007, 04:03 PM
The most interesting aspect of this high-rise bunker was the sawed-off roof, and of course that has been axed in the most recent rendering. If you're going to build a concrete silo, is it impossible to give it some sort of decoration?

[sigh] Representative of America indeed.

Derek2k3
April 14th, 2007, 05:08 PM
I know, this was gonna be my mini Libeskind tower. Oh well, such is New York.

Derek2k3
April 14th, 2007, 09:21 PM
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/171/444044180_90c5ac904e_o.jpg
Taken 2 weeks ago by recluse26 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/recluse26/)

sfenn1117
July 1st, 2007, 12:31 PM
Derek and I couldn't figure out if this was just the core of actual building.

http://i9.tinypic.com/4mvvxch.jpg

ablarc
July 1st, 2007, 03:09 PM
http://img249.imageshack.us/img249/267/116w28ta7.jpg [IMG]Thank you Gene Kaufman, you nutcase.
This one's actually fairly stylish.

MidtownGuy
July 1st, 2007, 06:07 PM
Derek and I couldn't figure out if this was just the core of actual building

Unfortunately, that's how the bottom of the building will look, like a bunker.
Even more unfortunate than the ugliness of this building is the way it will block the best angles of 2 UN Plaza.

antinimby
July 1st, 2007, 08:52 PM
This one's actually fairly stylish.Yeah, for Secaucus NJ but not in Midtown. The setback from the streetwall is the worst offense.

Derek2k3
July 4th, 2007, 03:03 AM
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1047/713565710_cc9fb5798e_o.jpg

pianoman11686
July 5th, 2007, 11:43 AM
Gosh, those buildings are beautiful. An example of Modernism that never loses its look of newness, and never fades into architectural anachronism. Looks as fresh today as it did 40 years ago.

Derek2k3
October 27th, 2007, 11:35 AM
I thought they were trying to deter people from bombing the building.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2185/1609699819_dd94c73096_o.jpg
mjwessty (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mjwessty/)

lofter1
October 27th, 2007, 12:23 PM
We have gone insane ^^^

212
October 27th, 2007, 12:43 PM
When this thing is obsolete (soon enough), let's turn it into the Museum of Fear and Arrogance.

ablarc
October 27th, 2007, 04:53 PM
When this thing is obsolete (soon enough), let's turn it into the Museum of Fear and Arrogance.
The Paranoia Museum ?

Tectonic
October 28th, 2007, 06:54 PM
This is a shame, like the base of the Freedom Tower.

macreator
October 28th, 2007, 07:08 PM
They might as well have built a moat as well.

investordude
October 28th, 2007, 09:05 PM
To be honest, I don't see what the security features of this building are that make you think it is somehow a manifestation of fear. The buildings looks pretty accessible to me.

But, if there is a security concern, that takes precedence over architecture. I think you can disagree about things like the Iraq War and also believe in protecting the safety of America's public servants.

lofter1
October 28th, 2007, 10:51 PM
Accessible?

And just where might that welcoming front door be?

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2185/1609699819_dd94c73096_o.jpg

LeCom
October 28th, 2007, 10:52 PM
What a great structural expression of the country's current internal and external policies. Form follows function.

Alonzo-ny
October 28th, 2007, 10:58 PM
Why the entrance is on the roof of course, arrival by helicopter.

LeCom
October 28th, 2007, 11:04 PM
^right next to the turret that guns down any planes passing nearby, since they can be hijacked by terrorists.

econ_tim
October 29th, 2007, 10:07 AM
lofter, here is the front door:


The Base:

http://www.pbase.com/image/77108612.jpg

http://www.pbase.com/image/77108608.jpg

lofter1
October 29th, 2007, 10:28 AM
That is almost comical ^^^

A big concrete shaft rammed through the center of a bollard-encircled & screened-off set of passageways.

And of course the welcoming gun turret thing on the corner.

I'm all for safety, but ...

There is some credence to the philosophy that what one envisions for the future is what will take place.

Here: We will be bombed so we must build to protect. Ergo: We will be bombed.

Tectonic
October 29th, 2007, 11:36 AM
Interesting, is all I can say. Looks kinda like an airport.

MidtownGuy
October 29th, 2007, 01:26 PM
2 UN being eclipsed by this is so unfortunate.
What a hateful design.

ablarc
October 31st, 2007, 07:06 AM
Grim.

BrooklynRider
October 31st, 2007, 07:32 AM
I Imagine that there are rendition cells in the tower and that diplomatics entering take an elevator down to one level below "hell" to speak with U.S. representatives.

londonlawyer
November 4th, 2007, 11:21 AM
2 UN being eclipsed by this is so unfortunate.
What a hateful design.

I agree.

Also, a country that's so hated that it requires a fortress for a consulate should really re-think its foreign policy.

Jake
November 9th, 2007, 07:41 PM
I agree.

Also, a country that's so hated that it requires a fortress for a consulate should really re-think its foreign policy.

On its own soil at that. :p Maybe they fear at attack by New Yorkers? Or Spider-Man? Who knows?

2 UN is great and this whole thing is just architectural murder.

ablarc
November 12th, 2007, 10:38 AM
Maybe they fear at attack by New Yorkers? Or Spider-Man?
Neither of the above.

(Not like it hasn't already happened, Jake.)

Alonzo-ny
November 12th, 2007, 10:49 AM
A lecture on this kind of building project is forthcoming.

http://www.archleague.org/index-dynamic.php?show=668

Or if you just want to throw eggs at David Childs.

MidtownGuy
November 13th, 2007, 05:25 PM
investordude:

To be honest, I don't see what the security features of this building are that make you think it is somehow a manifestation of fear.

http://www.cohensfashionoptical.com/

They're running a special this month.

investordude
November 13th, 2007, 05:28 PM
I have to confess this building looks like it will turn out to be pretty ugly.

Derek2k3
March 2nd, 2008, 04:11 PM
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2214/2261125571_0d9ee8956b_b.jpg
wallyg (http://flickr.com/photos/wallyg/)

BrooklynLove
March 2nd, 2008, 06:59 PM
this place is screaming for a neon verizon sign

Ebola
March 2nd, 2008, 08:40 PM
Keep all the cranes on and never take them off or stick one on the top. That way no one will know its a completed building and pass it off as a skyscraper core.

ramvid01
March 3rd, 2008, 07:45 AM
They could have put fake windows with a concrete wall behind it. At least that way it would be more human.

Alonzo-ny
March 3rd, 2008, 10:41 AM
They should have built a, underground bunker instead of the skyscraper equivalent of NORAD.

Jasonik
March 3rd, 2008, 12:18 PM
The scary thing is that it will seem extraordinarily prescient if freedom and democracy hating terrorists ever bomb the place. It's like they're planning for an inevitable Reichstag fire (http://www.seftondelmer.co.uk/reichstag-fire.htm). With this kind of preparation, don't be surprised by the stormtroopers.

http://www.soullife.co.uk/catalog/images/Banksy-Flying-Copper-signed.jpg

Come to think of it, maybe this lookout tower (http://www.davewooldridge.com/travel/SA/prison_tower.jpg) needs some Banksy (http://www.banksy.co.uk/menu.html)sprucing up.

Optimus Prime
March 3rd, 2008, 01:26 PM
Good thing the government didn't have this mentality in the 18th, 19th, and for most of the 20th centuries. Imagine, if you will, the U.S. Capitol if it were built today.

Jasonik
March 3rd, 2008, 03:37 PM
When you have a republic with the power vested in the people, open communal public architecture is the norm. When you have secretive cloistered power, rulers, masters, and oppressors of the people you have fortresses.

Interesting to note that during the past centuries, guns, gunpowder, cannons, dynamite, swords, daggers and the like were far more prevalent and easily acquired than they are today -- and yet the architecture was deferential to the rights of the individual citizen.

The civic attitude has been replaced by a corporate attitude. Government Corp. owns all the property and administers it with it's employees, directors, shareholders etc. It can even be seen creeping into the language. Peace officers and public servants have become law enforcement and the authorities - and if we're not on the payroll of Gov. Corp. then we're merely civilians.

I can only hope that this monstrous and offensive building is in some way a snide commentary, a bit of architectural satire that exaggerates out of all proportion to illustrate its absurdity. I fear though, this is the frankenstein creation of an out of control security bureaucracy driven by fear, suspicion and distrust of a free and open society.

God help us.

antinimby
March 4th, 2008, 02:20 AM
Watch, thirty years from now, when the Feds announce their intention to sell this building (and the site) off to a developer to build a condo tower, the Eastsiders will try to petition to get this landmarked because of its "historical significance" in epitomizing and the architectural response to the fears of the post 9/11 era.

I can totally see that happening.

So it's conceivable that what you are looking at is the making of a future landmark.

Jake
March 8th, 2008, 02:54 PM
I think this building is a joke.

I think it's a noble effort to build the mission a new building because the US should really acknowledge the fact that those people do more for America's soft power than all the weapons deals and aid going to questionable destinations.

However, the idea of putting something as openly militaristic across the street from the entrance to the UN (and in fact yards away from where many diplomats stay) does NOTHING for us other than make us appear like the imperialistic hegemon that all the maniacs make us out to be.

I don't know who has ultimate authority over these decisions but as I am at the UN quite a bit I'll tell you that the US will never reach the reputation of Canada or the Scandinavian countries because those missions give a little bit of money to improve the UN building and it really goes a long way.

This building simply stands against everything that diplomacy is and will forever be a poignant reminder of everything that the US should not want to appear to be.

Diplomats and staff at the UN are neither impressed, nor scared of this kind of bullshit which is why I find this design at least redundant and at most highly counterproductive.

It doesn't even have anything to make the work of US staff easier as it obviously lacks both views and spacious floors.

I agree with antinimby that this will surely be a landmark. The only use I can think of is to turn the roof turret into some kind of astronomical observatory.

Love4NY
March 9th, 2008, 04:06 PM
I agree that the building is ugly, very ugly; but Jake get your facts right when you say things about contributions. The US (22%) is the biggest contributor to the UN followed by Japan(19%) and then Germany(9%). Those aren't Scandinavian countries. At least do some fact checking prior to making funny comments like that. Its funny how we finance these clowns to rip on us meanwhile they are way more corrupt then we are. Go US & A!

antinimby
March 10th, 2008, 02:28 AM
Does anyone remember from a few years ago, the Senator (or was it a Representative) from the South that was against giving this project too much money because he didn't think the city deserve to get a nice grand tower?

He wanted to reduce the budget for this project and considering how it looks, I guess he succeeded. The jerk. :mad:

I remember getting quite upset when I read that at the time.

Jake
March 10th, 2008, 01:03 PM
I agree that the building is ugly, very ugly; but Jake get your facts right when you say things about contributions. The US (22%) is the biggest contributor to the UN followed by Japan(19%) and then Germany(9%). Those aren't Scandinavian countries. At least do some fact checking prior to making funny comments like that. Its funny how we finance these clowns to rip on us meanwhile they are way more corrupt then we are. Go US & A!

I didn't say anything about CONTRIBUTIONS, I said REPUTATION. You can't buy respect at the UN, it's all very much about attitudes.

Like I said, small things go a long way. Even the Security Council room was financed by Norway - not the US. The adjacent one - ECOSOC - by Sweden. The next one - Trusteeship Council - Denmark. Granted, the US gave land and obviously financed other things at the UN complex but there was no shortage of countries ready to do that.

These days however Canada goes out of its way to lend people and facilities to the UN while the US really does not. All the other UN missions are fairly modest, often green, buildings with the noted exception of Russia and China which are rather different. The question really is which group do we want to be a part of? Are we a country that embraces diplomacy and will thus conforms to international attitudes or will we be the hegemonic outsider like the PRC or Russia?

The architects of this building fail to understand that there are two international communities - one of nations on Earth, and one of their delegates at the UN. Ultimately the perceptions of the latter are relayed to their home countries. Something as stupid as putting this building up could very well profoundly affect attitudes towards us.

First we nominate John Bolton - likely the worst representative in the recent history of the UN, and now we're building a bunker across the street from the Secretariat. Why don't we just put some SAM batteries and some M1A1s out there?

MidtownGuy
March 10th, 2008, 08:30 PM
I totally agree. This is architecture that offends.

Love4NY
March 11th, 2008, 04:36 PM
We all agree this is a bad way to present yourself to the world. The US is a leader and should act like so. :cool:

LeCom
March 12th, 2008, 06:26 PM
They could have put fake windows with a concrete wall behind it. At least that way it would be more human.
Hey, at least here they're not being hypocrites about their philosophy of fear (a rare case, since usually they try to cover it up as much as they can).

Jim856796
March 12th, 2008, 09:10 PM
The first floors are windowless, the windows are a bit too small, and does the building even contain any elevators?

Stroika
March 13th, 2008, 01:08 AM
This is straight-up nuts. I can not believe this building is for real. It's like Lenin's Tomb... for the US's UN mission.

Has anyone ever been to Berlin and seen the embassies that surround the Tiergarten and Brandenberg Gate? They're arranged like dozens of shrines to cutting-edge architecture and design. The US is building its own new embassy on prime RE right next to the Brandenberg Gate -- it was under construction when I was last in Berlin this summer and I don't know if it'll follow suit with the city's great architecture or if it'll take a page out of this ^^ playbook.

Anyway, it'd be great if New York encouraged the same sort of progressive thinking in the city's UN missions. Instead, our own country gives us the Fortress of Solitude. Way to heal the country and world, jackarses.

Optimus Prime
April 4th, 2008, 05:20 PM
I walked by this thing today. The pictures and renderings are true to life. It is set back way off the street, practically cowering under 2 UNP. And the concrete...blech. Looks like the type that's going to turn a dingy yellow/brown in about two years.

Can they at least drape a giant American flag over all that blank concrete? :rolleyes:

antinimby
April 4th, 2008, 08:58 PM
Well here's what it looks like from a couple of weeks ago...

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2040/2350331323_09bc7e0e75.jpg?v=0 http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2211/2351164082_702e56cab2.jpg?v=0

AllWaysNY (http://www.flickr.com/photos/allwaysny/2351164082/in/photostream/)

BrooklynLove
April 4th, 2008, 09:13 PM
this building is like a perpetual april fools day joke ...

Peter Quennell
April 15th, 2008, 12:24 PM
I worked for 15 years in 1 UN Plaza (the one right on First Avenue), in offices facing all 4 directions on floors 20 to 24 (UNDP) and appreciate what you guys have said about UNP 1 and 2. They are very nice to work in and look out from - even across East River now, which once wuz the worst.

The architect was hoping to sustain the theme across the entire city block but the UN's own space needs were taken care of. There is a hotel at the top of 1 UNP and apartments at the top of 2 UNP. also a high-level swimming pool at the top of 1 UNP; when I was there some bitumin waterproofing was being laid and it caught fire. We all had to walk down; real tough on the women in high heels.

The buildings are actually owned by a NY State body: the UN Development Corporation. It's located in 2 UNP. A nice, helpful group. City and state support always seemed to me excellent. The Koch and Giuliani aggressions were, uh, distant outliers...

Peter Quennell
April 15th, 2008, 12:29 PM
Jake was quite correct. Love4NY is way off-target.


The US (22%) is the biggest contributor to the UN followed by Japan(19%) and then Germany(9%). Those aren't Scandinavian countries. At least do some fact checking prior to making funny comments like that. Its funny how we finance these clowns to rip on us meanwhile they are way more corrupt then we are.The 22% is to the diplomatic arm. Other contributions to the various development arms vary. Proportionally, they ain't much. Per capita, the Scandinavians, Germans and Canadians each contribute several times as much; and as a ratio to GDP they contribute even more.

And if you cost out the total economic relationship of the US and the UN (the IMF and World Bank in DC included) in US contributions to the UN versus US-oriented UN spending?

The US comes out way, way ahead. Huge net inflows. Up in the billions. Traditionally from Europe, and increasingly from Asia. Very, very nice for the US current account.

And the level of corruption within the UN and its field operations? Very very small among career staff. Just about all of it (like the Iraq oil program) is propagated by political appointees.

They enter at a high level, and are considered pretty well untouchable.

brianac
April 16th, 2008, 03:20 PM
this building is like a perpetual april fools day joke ...

Watching TV News here in the UK just caught a glimpse of this building.

I can only agree, it looks awful.

DougGold
April 16th, 2008, 05:06 PM
I can't believe that's a photo of an actual building. It must be some kind of photoshop joke, right? It looks like something out of a cheap sci-fi film about a future militaristic society.

I challenge anyone to find me a photo of a more hideous, monstrous building.

antinimby
April 16th, 2008, 06:40 PM
Umm...have you seen any McSam/Kaufman hotels lately?

DougGold
April 17th, 2008, 12:52 AM
Yes. They are incomprehensibly awful, but at least they have windows all the way down, and do not look like they are made of armor. Plus, no matter how ugly the design, a hotel cannot represent the people of the United States. This building, by its very nature, tells the world that we consider ourselves to be unsafe to the point where we're scared in our very own city.

Optimus Prime
April 17th, 2008, 01:04 PM
Can they at least drape a giant American flag over all that blank concrete? :rolleyes:

Actually, I changed my mind, a white flag would be more appropriate.

scumonkey
April 17th, 2008, 02:11 PM
When it's done let Christo "wrap" it and then,
it would look like it has the shroud something so dead deserves.
http://christojeanneclaude.net/sharedMedia/wfwt/full/fountainW.jpg

antinimby
April 17th, 2008, 06:05 PM
DougGold, I agree that it's very unfortunate that they've chosen to go with such a design but I don't think it is any more worse than the Kaufman-McSams.

Yes, the Kaufman-McSams do have windows at the base but the windows are small and are usually overwhelmed by some kind of horrible contrasting colors of the façade anyway, which make their existence or not pretty much irrelevent.

Plus McSams have equally as much blank walls on their projects and most often they are just as visible to someone on the street.

The other thing is that there is a good reason for this building to be the way it is: security. The Kaufman-McSams meanwhile, don't have any other than cheapness/bad taste/no talent.

Lastly, everyone that sees this US Mission building will know that it is a government building and UN-related and they would understand the reason for the design.

Furthermore, there's only one of this but there are literally dozens and dozens of the McSams spread all around town. That makes them equally reprehensible, if not more.

lofter1
April 17th, 2008, 07:52 PM
A Kaufman / McSam building sends a very different message than does the USMUN.

McsSam: "Cheap"

USMUN: "Scared"

Derek2k3
June 8th, 2008, 02:36 AM
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3092/2560592262_98d9c382b2_o.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2031/2560592244_ba3b8007c9.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3279/2560592232_d614277c65_o.jpg

antinimby
June 8th, 2008, 04:10 AM
What an ugly little runt that only Gene Kaufman would love.

kz1000ps
June 8th, 2008, 06:31 PM
That is one fine looking elevator core.

BrooklynLove
June 8th, 2008, 06:36 PM
they should've gone down instead of up

econ_tim
July 5th, 2008, 02:41 PM
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3274/2639273598_abd6991d60_b.jpg

NYC4Life
July 5th, 2008, 04:02 PM
Looks like another bland telephone switching center being built, like Verizon :rolleyes:

BrooklynLove
July 5th, 2008, 09:48 PM
i'm still waiting for the steel shell to rise around this concrete core

Stroika
July 7th, 2008, 02:12 AM
It does look like another Verizon switching center.

So while the rest of the city is very publicly celebrating the decision to gut the Verizon building near City Hall, the Bush administration is giving us a (likely) more-permanent lookalike right next to the UN.

Funny that any decent plans for the old Con Ed site were nixed in large part because the geriatric neighbors complained tall buildings would be "out of place" and mar the UN. Then Dickberg Cheney goes ahead and births us this bambino. Thanks again, Worst President in American History.

NoyokA
July 7th, 2008, 03:26 AM
I wrote a well received essay years ago about how architecture followed political climates. For instance Nazi Germany used an intimidating form of classical architecture. This building is a perfect representation of the current US Government. A modernist building with light and transparency as part of its vernacular would be entirely unfitting.

Jim856796
July 8th, 2008, 02:01 AM
The entire structure just looks like one big elevator core. You don't know where the elevators in this tower are. And the holes in this core are supposed to be windows, right? They better not make the new headquarters smaller than the old one.

Derek2k3
August 24th, 2008, 11:43 PM
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3274/2795352928_581d6327cf_o.jpg


http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2300/2795353470_eb36b8ff75_o.jpg


http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3050/2795353218_232e1fc663_o.jpg


http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3112/2795353740_53b70fcf7c_o.jpg


http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3031/2795352680_7f5e61c839_o.jpg

Tectonic
September 3rd, 2008, 12:47 AM
^Nice angles. The windows get larger as it rises:

https://community.emporis.com/images/6/2008/09/644947.jpg

Ed007Toronto
September 3rd, 2008, 01:40 PM
Better watch out. Those shots from above might constitute a national security breach :)

NYC4Life
September 3rd, 2008, 02:38 PM
This building looks as narrow as the Trump World Tower.

Tectonic
September 3rd, 2008, 06:35 PM
Better watch out. Those shots from above might constitute a national security breach :)

SHHHH! Don't give them ideas now...

brianac
December 15th, 2008, 06:54 AM
Updated On 12/12/08 at 02:30PM

Feds to build secret site in diplomatic building


http://s3.amazonaws.com/trd_three/images/59592/Secret_Buildout_articlebox.jpg (http://beta.therealdeal.com/assets/59592)
799 First Avenue


By Adam Pincus

Across the street from the United Nations, in a new Gwathmey Siegel-designed, federally owned office tower (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F07E2DB153DF930A1575BC0A96E9582 60) under construction on First Avenue and 45th Street, the U.S. State Department plans to build a secure location to send and receive classified information, security experts speculate.

The federal government is seeking small business contractors that have Defense Department security clearance to build out a 4,000-square-foot space inside the Ronald H. Brown United States Mission to the United Nations Building, at 799 First Avenue (http://www.house.gov/list/press/ny15_rangel/ronbrown0730.html). The space would have a higher level of security than the rest of the building, said Renee Miscione, spokesperson for the U.S. General Services Administration, the building's owner, but she would not confirm the use of the space.

The building will house the American diplomatic mission to the United Nations.

Companies hoping to construct the space need a "secret facility security clearance issued by the Defense Security Service and secret safeguarding capability," according to an advertisement on a federal business opportunities Web site. Bids for the project, estimated to cost between $1 million and $5 million, are due February 5, the request said.

GSA's Miscione would not say whether the general contractor for the rest of the building needed a Department of Defense security clearance, but security experts doubted it.

Joseph King, associate professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and former New York Department of Homeland Security chief, said such a space would be used to send and receive secure telecommunications. The walls could be lined with lead, and there would probably be no windows or a dropped ceiling.

"I call it the 'cone of silence' or 'lead room.' What they do is try and give one location that everything runs in to," he said.

During construction, he wondered how deep the security vetting would be. "What about the workers? What about the guys putting the sheetrock up? Who enforces that, and would the [General Services Administration] have security at the site?"

The 26-story, 147,000-square-foot building has been topped out, and construction is expected to be completed next year. Because the building is owned by the federal government, it has not drawn much attention, real estate experts said.

Another factor reducing visibility is that the GSA, as a federal agency, does not have to file building permits with the city, Department of Buildings spokesperson Kate Lindquist wrote in an e-mail.

http://beta.therealdeal.com/articles/feds-to-build-secret-site-in-diplomatic-building

© 2008 The Real Deal

ablarc
December 15th, 2008, 07:47 AM
...the GSA, as a federal agency, does not have to file building permits with the city...
Since the building is clearly VERY MUCH safer than average, what this will likely mean in reality is little or no ADA compliance.

avngingandbright
December 15th, 2008, 11:51 AM
Looks ominous. This has to be nicer than the original building, right?

BrooklynLove
December 15th, 2008, 12:26 PM
Looks more like the US Mission to Gene Kaufman.

NoyokA
December 15th, 2008, 12:33 PM
It looks like it was designed by president-goofus.

Stroika
December 15th, 2008, 05:25 PM
Reminds me of the security-first, architecture-second new US Embassy in Berlin. It had Germans in fits because its ugliness is situated right next to the Brandenburg Gate.

This is what our undisclosed locations -- I mean, government buildings -- look like in the Bush-Cheney Era. A proud moment in US history. So sad to see it go...

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,3325836,00.html
http://www.theage.com.au/news/world/new-us-embassy-seen-as-barbarian-at-berlins-gate/2008/05/27/1211654029769.html
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/07/07/europe/politicus.php

Jasonik
December 15th, 2008, 06:40 PM
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2049/2536351622_5c8b28caae.jpg?v=0 (http://flickr.com/photos/frankinho/2536351622/sizes/l/)

The other (http://www.flickr.com/photos/lawrence_chernin/2542526452/in/photostream/) side (http://picasaweb.google.com/Atzenilandia/GermanyBerlin#5219121745731952050) is no better.

Sherpa
December 15th, 2008, 07:43 PM
It looks like it was designed by president-goofus.

A McSam for Shoe-less W!

ablarc
December 16th, 2008, 03:48 PM
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2049/2536351622_5c8b28caae.jpg?v=0 (http://flickr.com/photos/frankinho/2536351622/sizes/l/).
An opportunity squandered to continue the Gate's noble architecture with some kind of thematic paraphrase.

Ruins an important place.

I can see why the Germans are mad about this.

Jim856796
December 20th, 2008, 06:09 AM
Banned for a week for racist remarks

Tectonic
December 20th, 2008, 07:39 AM
:confused:

scumonkey
December 20th, 2008, 12:49 PM
http://www.novahq.net/forum/images/smilies/wtfsign.gif
I don't think it's the words chosen by Sky that the Moderators should be turning an eye towards....:rolleyes:

ablarc
December 20th, 2008, 06:21 PM
What's going on?

NoyokA
December 20th, 2008, 06:25 PM
Jim856796 made a fool of himself by posting some racist comments and now has a week off.

krulltime
January 6th, 2009, 10:43 PM
Probably worst than any of those ugly hotels popping up in the city. This one can be seen and photograph more often. :(


By Herve Boinay (http://flickr.com/photos/hboinay/)


http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3007/3105724178_c9f452cf1b_b.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3053/3104895227_511822a5cc_b.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3132/3104879081_7faf9e1b36_b.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3028/3104859827_ac9d329abd_b.jpg

lofter1
January 6th, 2009, 11:10 PM
Terribly intrusive there, no? You'd think that they'd not want to differentiate it so much from the neighbors.

DarrylStrawberry
January 7th, 2009, 07:25 PM
^ the 2nd to last photo is as good as this thing is ever going to look. The general assembly building blocks the windowless bottom third, and the retarded angled roof with a grain silo poking out of the top hasn't been built yet.

Adios W.

kz1000ps
January 7th, 2009, 10:29 PM
Terribly intrusive there, no?

Yep. It totally ruins the lack of scale the UN Plaza duo had going on (two of my better-liked buildings in the city), and they now feel a whole heckuva lot shorter.

JSsocal
January 7th, 2009, 11:30 PM
Will the concrete be painted on this one? (I sure hope so)

NoyokA
January 7th, 2009, 11:34 PM
Yep. It totally ruins the lack of scale the UN Plaza duo had going on (two of my better-liked buildings in the city), and they now feel a whole heckuva lot shorter.

Two of the better buildings in NYC because of there lively interplay. This building does a good job of breaking that up.

antinimby
March 8th, 2009, 09:29 PM
There's just no other way to put it: this one looks really, really bad...

3/8/2009

http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/5884/img0670q.jpg

Ebola
March 8th, 2009, 11:45 PM
I finally understand; this is where the other half of the Freedom Tower core is being built.

kz1000ps
March 9th, 2009, 03:44 AM
Ha! Good one.

Travis
March 9th, 2009, 12:55 PM
I'm wondering how someone might build something with the security and safety this building has but look good. I'm sure it can be done....I'm just not sure how.

antinimby
March 9th, 2009, 01:04 PM
If someone is intent on doing you harm, they're going to find a way.

With that said, if this was the only route they could have taken, why not find another, less visible (and perhaps even less vulnerable) spot to build this eyesore?

As for design, I'd like to see them commission one of the top-of-the-line architects out there right now, like Stern, Nouvel, Foster or Calatrava and see what they can come up with. Gwathmey just isn't in their league.

I'm almost certain those guys will be able to come up with something better than this and also provide security at the same time.

lofter1
March 9th, 2009, 01:26 PM
When building a 200' tall concrete bunker like this why doesn't someone cover the outside with a different and less "unfriendly" material, so as to mask the brutal nature of the exterior -- say glass or something?

I'm surprised that no one has tried this ... :cool:

ASchwarz
March 9th, 2009, 04:29 PM
Yep, I was thinking the same thing. Why does security = literal fortress design?

And this is not a short building. It's 440 feet or something.

HoveringCheesecake
March 9th, 2009, 05:42 PM
Is this something like Long Lines where they want it to survive a nuclear bomb? Even if it didn't survive I'm sure it'd be one of the better off buildings should something terrible happen.

I'd also love to see the miles of wire that I'm sure go into the building. It's gotta be nuts.

All that said it's ugly as hell. Like lofter1 said, why not put a faux glass facade on the concrete so that it blends in with the hotel? They can do that in North Korea.

kz1000ps
March 9th, 2009, 05:43 PM
mask the brutal nature of the exterior -- say glass or something?

I'm surprised that no one has tried this ... :cool:

A federal courthouse in Buffalo is doing exactly that:

http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/8269/buffalocourt20090123.jpg

Even though 80% of it ^ is covered in concrete panels, those will eventually get covered with glass:

http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/2994/buffalocourthouser1kpf.png

Derek2k3
April 19th, 2009, 12:27 PM
Guess they scrapped the slanted roof. How lame.


http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3539/3456298762_0d1d7537bc_o.jpg


http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3378/3456298764_51a2931fda_o.jpg


http://www.aiany.org/designawards/2003/projects/jpegs/214b.jpg

Alonzo-ny
April 19th, 2009, 12:34 PM
Pathetic excuse for a building.

Jasonik
April 19th, 2009, 12:48 PM
Why did they abandon the sniper nest and pitched roof?

scumonkey
April 19th, 2009, 01:01 PM
It wasn't ugly enough ;)

Travis
April 19th, 2009, 02:48 PM
Budget cuts is more likely. A flat roof is cheaper.

NoyokA
April 19th, 2009, 03:05 PM
I have no problem with the slanted roof being scrapped, this building is gimmicky enough already. It'd be even better if it wasn't built at all.

stache
April 19th, 2009, 05:26 PM
Helicopter landing capability? :confused:

antinimby
April 19th, 2009, 05:36 PM
The "sniper nest" seems to have made the cut but the slippery roof did not.

JSsocal
April 20th, 2009, 01:29 AM
I had the unfortunate displeasure of having to walk by this building...
http://i483.photobucket.com/albums/rr196/jerethangelfan/459.jpg?t=1240205289

Red window panes look stupid...
http://i483.photobucket.com/albums/rr196/jerethangelfan/462.jpg?t=1240205363

stache
April 20th, 2009, 02:02 AM
Not even some bas relief - :(

ablarc
April 20th, 2009, 07:08 AM
When building a 200' tall concrete bunker like this why doesn't someone cover the outside with a different and less "unfriendly" material, so as to mask the brutal nature of the exterior -- say glass or something?


All that said it's ugly as hell. Like lofter1 said, why not put a faux glass facade on the concrete so that it blends in with the hotel? They can do that in North Korea.
I suspect Gwathmey the Modernist would tell you that wouldn't be honest and true to "form follows function."

Better ideological purity than shallow prettification, he'd doubtless say.

lofter1
April 20th, 2009, 10:01 AM
Hard for him to make that claim ^ given the silly base stuff that is going to be tacked onto this one.

The sloping roof at least would give it some relation to the neighbors above it.

Style of this one? Post-Neo-Bushism.

NoyokA
April 20th, 2009, 01:48 PM
Gwathemy Seigel are no modernists. Their work is the most outlandishly postmodern this side of Michael Graves. Aside from the Guggenheim addition which was based on Frank Lloyd Wright's sketches I can't stand any of their buildings.

Derek2k3
May 12th, 2009, 01:11 PM
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3593/3525290899_5d28f8c78e_o.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3362/3526110374_029b3ee74f_o.jpg

No doubt one of the worst high rises in the city. If this is what the gov't truly wanted then the architects should have walked away from the project.

kz1000ps
May 12th, 2009, 02:54 PM
Red window frames?

Oh boy, we're having fun now!

avngingandbright
May 12th, 2009, 03:39 PM
Wow, that's horrible. Is nobody who develops in that area aware of just how ugly East Midtown is, and therein makes an effort to better the area aesthetically? Nobody?

NoyokA
May 12th, 2009, 03:51 PM
Gwathmey Siegel should be relegated to designing only Children's Museums.

antinimby
May 12th, 2009, 05:02 PM
This is where they should move all the prisoner's from Guantanamo.

ablarc
May 12th, 2009, 08:30 PM
Gwathemy Seigel are no modernists. Their work is the most outlandishly postmodern this side of Michael Graves.
You'd have to argue this one out with him; he thinks he's a Modernist.

MidtownGuy
May 12th, 2009, 09:17 PM
how ugly East Midtown is

hey...there are lots of lovely blocks in East Midtown! It's not necessarily about the avenues, it's about the side streets.
Unfortunately 2nd avenue in the upper 40's-50's is being carved up like a turkey as we lose many of our restaurants etc. to ugly condo towers.

Derek2k3
July 10th, 2009, 06:49 PM
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3318/3589225742_d12abaa17a_b.jpg
mudpig (http://www.flickr.com/photos/yukonblizzard/3589225742/in/set-72157606024519719/)

jackie60
October 25th, 2009, 01:33 PM
The exterior elevator has been removed and I was rather impressed with the interaction between this and the UN Plaza.

ablarc
October 26th, 2009, 11:11 AM
^ Exactly.

BrooklynRider
October 28th, 2009, 04:15 PM
Maybe someone in that area can snap a few photos for the forum.

Jake
December 23rd, 2009, 09:03 PM
Two new ones from across the UN exit a couple of days ago.

A lot of metallic components are being installed, greatly improving the look of the building IMO. The photo doesn't reflect it well but it actually looks half decent/interesting from the street. I guess we should take a glass-half-full perspective and consider that the other missions (other than India's which is incredible) redefine boring.

Derek2k3
December 24th, 2009, 07:34 PM
Thanks.

Photo by Comelade from his View from the south "Roosevelt Island" thread.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4004/4169493667_4cb661818c_o.jpg

More shots here:
http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=22945

JSsocal
May 14th, 2010, 01:47 AM
Forgot I had these from a month ago. I'll have to say it came out better then I expected. At this point my only complaint is that the flagpole is pretty strange.
http://i483.photobucket.com/albums/rr196/jerethangelfan/New%20York%20Buildings/IMG_3365-1.jpg
http://i483.photobucket.com/albums/rr196/jerethangelfan/New%20York%20Buildings/IMG_3369.jpg
http://i483.photobucket.com/albums/rr196/jerethangelfan/New%20York%20Buildings/IMG_3368.jpg
http://i483.photobucket.com/albums/rr196/jerethangelfan/New%20York%20Buildings/IMG_3367.jpg

antinimby
May 14th, 2010, 12:32 PM
It looks like a McSam except without the funny colors.

Agree about the flagpole. Were they trying to bomb-proof the pole, too?

I guess we don't want the flag to go down if there should ever be a bombing. http://i.imdb.com/Photos/CMSIcons/emoticons/basic2/eyes.gif

NoyokA
May 14th, 2010, 01:21 PM
Amateur hour.

ablarc
May 14th, 2010, 02:25 PM
The ground floor sucks.

Then there are four stories of windowless: interrogation chambers? Torture cells? Electronic eavesdroppers?

Then it gets to be OK as you go up --like any of the campaniles of Ravenna: the windows get bigger as the load-bearing masonry can get less hefty.

Of course, it's all fanciful historicism: the building has a steel frame; the amount of masonry matters not at all; it's all just non-structural cladding.

Gwathmey has a passing acquaintance with architectural history. It's enough to get him interesting, but not enough to put him in the first rank.

Fits well into the crotch of the Roche building beyond.

Derek2k3
May 31st, 2010, 11:05 PM
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3333/4636047858_de300d4dfe_o.jpg
astikhin (http://www.flickr.com/photos/29769428@N07/4636047858/sizes/o/)

vanshnookenraggen
June 1st, 2010, 11:55 PM
I walk by this building almost everyday and I feel like I need to defend it. Sure it looks like a fortress but it is integrated into the city so much better than other buildings that are fortresses, like the Federal Reserve in Boston or the proposed US Embassy in London. The curved metal base gives the building a real human edge and the foot print is so small that it never really overwhelms you. I'm far more offended by the U.N. Plaza complex next door.

scumonkey
June 2nd, 2010, 12:02 AM
Looks like they lit up the gun turret at the top 9614

ablarc
June 2nd, 2010, 08:09 AM
^ Problem is, it's only good for shooting sideways or upwards. You may get the helicopters, but never the folks on the ground.

Merry
September 16th, 2010, 05:52 AM
There's no escaping that man. Horrendous :eek:. And so close to Millennium UN Plaza http://wirednewyork.com/forum/images/icons/icon13.gif.


George W. Bush's Gift to Turtle Bay

September 15, 2010, by Joey

http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/2010_9_unmission.jpg

TURTLE BAY—The U.S.'s new United Nations consulate building at 799 First Avenue hasn't been a big hit (http://ny.curbed.com/tags/799-first-avenue) with the Curbed crowd, even though the Gwathmey Siegel-designed tower's severe appearance can be blamed on the security measures in place to fortify the building. Construction is wrapping up, popular opinion...hasn't changed. A tipster rants: "The New US Consulate to the UN is finally up and its is so Ugly. It was initiated under George W Bush. And it looks like it. The first 5 stories are all concrete! Very appealing to the world as it directly across from the UN! It's definitely bomb proof and people unfriendly!" Yeah, but at least it's friggin' huge. U-S-A! U-S-A! [CurbedWire Inbox]

http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2010/09/15/george_w_bushs_gift_to_turtle_bay_the_whitneys_las er_show.php

lofter1
September 16th, 2010, 10:47 AM
It could use a screen of greenery growing up the lower part of the tower.

ablarc
September 16th, 2010, 11:23 AM
^ Camouflage for the adversary?

Stroika
September 17th, 2010, 12:04 AM
It could use a screen of greenery growing up the lower part of the tower.

Good call. I second.

Derek2k3
October 31st, 2011, 07:38 PM
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5039/5886688298_5e5686f6f7_b.jpg


http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5159/5886005223_9dbdacc58a_b.jpg
boscdanjou (http://www.flickr.com/photos/boscdanjou/5886005223/sizes/l/in/photostream/)

antinimby
October 31st, 2011, 08:09 PM
A building that would even make Gene Kaufman proud.

Gulcrapek
October 31st, 2011, 08:47 PM
Maybe it did, he recently joined/merged with the firm.

infoshare
October 31st, 2011, 09:00 PM
http://www.gwathmey-siegel.com/portfolio/proj_detail.php?job_id=199825

Great looking building !

antinimby
October 31st, 2011, 10:47 PM
Really? What's so great about it, if I may ask?

Gulcrapek
October 14th, 2013, 05:39 PM
10/12/13

http://i.imgur.com/2ida2iu.jpg

DUMBRo
October 16th, 2013, 03:44 PM
It dialogs well with the UN.

LeCom
October 18th, 2013, 10:26 AM
It could use a screen of greenery growing up the lower part of the tower.


^ Camouflage for the adversary?

Given today's propensity for desert camo, they'd be better off covering the facade in sandstone. Evildoers would think that this is a simple, innocuous desert patch! Nothing to see here, move along...