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Thread: 50 East 57th Street @ 432 Park Avenue (former Drake Hotel site)

  1. #751

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek2k3 View Post
    This tower is a monument to the 1961 zoning resolution and an extreme example of the modernist aesthetic it endorsed.
    If only it were also the capstone of the 1961 zoning resolution and the heinous "we are all robots now" International Style it ensured would be the only thing built in the city thereafter.

    Someone is going to bring up PoMo or Gehry or say that Lever House doesn't really resemble 1 WTC, but we've essentially not had any change in architectural styles since the Bauhaus some, what, 80 years ago? I don't know if there was a time since before the 14th century when there was such stagnation in the predominant architectural style. Of course, the real-estate interests would spend enough to ensure it can never happen, but a change in zoning that would support something more like wedding-cake Art Deco towers *could* be a huge boon for architecture in New York.

  2. #752

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stroika View Post

    .............but we've essentially not had any change in architectural styles since the Bauhaus some, what, 80 years ago? I don't know if there was a time since before the 14th century when there was such stagnation in the predominant architectural style.
    The reasons for the 'lackluster' state of architecture are manifold: my own opinion is that the standard 'design-bid-build' project delivery method is a primary factor.


    The following article offers a brief, and pithy, write-up on the matter. Enjoy!


    http://www.architectmagazine.com/des...BU:081611:FULL
    EXCERPT - The design-bid-build process just isn’t the way to go, according to Pasquarelli. An architect makes a series of images of what a building should look like as the owner brings in a construction manager—putting the design out of the hands of the architect at an early stage. While the architect stands on the sidelines, the design may be compromised, becoming something less than what the architect intended. “It’s better to engage the process of construction,” Pasquarelli says. “Don’t reject it.”

  3. #753

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stroika View Post
    If only it were also the capstone of the 1961 zoning resolution and the heinous "we are all robots now" International Style it ensured would be the only thing built in the city thereafter.

    Someone is going to bring up PoMo or Gehry or say that Lever House doesn't really resemble 1 WTC, but we've essentially not had any change in architectural styles since the Bauhaus some, what, 80 years ago? I don't know if there was a time since before the 14th century when there was such stagnation in the predominant architectural style. Of course, the real-estate interests would spend enough to ensure it can never happen, but a change in zoning that would support something more like wedding-cake Art Deco towers *could* be a huge boon for architecture in New York.
    I disagree. Plenty has changed. We still do get a few international style looking buildings here and there, just as we get random post-modern, neo-classical and art-deco inspired designs too. But new buildings look pretty different from the stuff that went up in the 50's-80's. This is pretty much an era of anything goes.

    However, don't get this confused with the many formulaic projects in the city that are built as cheaply as possible and try and pass off as modern. In reality these buildings have no style.



    Nice essay from Hof:

    ...By the mid-'70s, some architects had tired of the rectangle and began to mine history again, lightly interpreting the past once more, resulting in buildings like Philip Johnson's AT&T (now SONY) Tower. He used stonework, heavy mullions and Chicago windows, adding a unique "Chippendale" top to disguise what is essentually a 45-floor rectangle. Architects introduced whimsical touches, like the skirted bases of WR Grace and the Solow Tower and the flying saucer atop Astor Plaza; Burgee/ Johnson rounded off the squared, set-backed wedding cake and came up with the Lipstick Bldg on 3rd Ave--and in the case of the 1989 Worldwide Tower, SOM--famous for copying themselves ad infinitum-- cleverly reached Downtown and backwards several eras to introduce the classic style of the skinny 1920's Wall Street Deco-spire into Midtown, setbacks, copper pyramids and all.

    It was around this time that computers emerged as design tools, so the designers began to play with form, manipulating the slab into more interesting shapes. Look at Roche Dinkeloo's UN Plaza Towers, festooned with glassed triangles, odd, jutting corners and parallelograms within squares ( 1976-'83), and notice how 5th Avenue's Trump Tower rises from a square base to its blocky, glass steppes that shape the rising tower with severe indentations. If you seek the genesis of the current evolutionary trend in architecture, those three were the pioneers of the style we are starting to see go up everywhere.

    Several bumps later, we are in the midst of an evolving style yet to be named, a design synergy that requires the manipulation of form itself. Architects are chamfering corners, adding interesting reflective details, they are manipulating the structure into itself and they're introducing elements like cascading facades and puzzling twists and turns into the skin of their buildings. Glass is again king, being used in very imaginative forms, and the tops of these skyscrapers are wearing some very imaginative hats.

    The new buildings among the emerging WTC skyscraper cluster employ this design scheme well, and the renamed Beekman Towers (Gehrey Tower) is another Downtown embodiment of that "Early 21st Century Style", this one on acid. Bloomberg's new building, while a seeming throwback to the banal box, offers surprises in form and structure when examined a little closer. The aforementioned BOFA Tower has confidently joined the landscape, the Bertlesman Bldg at Times Square plopped a heavily detailed rocket ship next to the Astor spaceship, and during the '80s, the World Financial Center, returning to the historic stone-and-glass style of the '30s, gave The WTC neighborhood a trio of similar buildings with smoothed Deco lines and curious, historical tops, created in part as counterpoint to the modernity of the severe, looming superblock towers-in-a-plaza across West Street.

    What can one say about the Hearst Tower ( my absolute favorite new Manhattan building) but that it is Modernism made triangular? By inserting some graphic, mathematical precision directly into a blatantly Art Deco base, Norman Foster created for Midtown a jewel in a box, a melding of old school craftsmanship and 21st century digitalism. It could have been cartoony but it's not--it's stunning. It's not tall, but it is a very modern skyscraper using glass sculpturing in a way never attempted before. One can't help but wonder--what would it look like if it were, say, 100 floors high?

    Check out the wishbook pages here on "WiredNY", the ones that revel in future designs for new towers. Few new skyscrapers are boxes ( they are deliberately NOT a box) and most have involved, intricate glass skins, designed by people who are reaching for the unique, for the signature 21st Century architectural code, just like the Woolworth Building aspired to 100 years ago.

    Evolution is upon us, as New York is starting to become populated with this new design language, a style our grandkids will acknowledge fifty years hence as the prevailing structural language of the New Century, and a lot of it looks really good. I just wish that NYC would evolve a bit more, grow a pair and spike some really tall, 21st Century spires into the clouds, 1776 feet of actual building, like the Arabs or the Chinese are doing-- something 130 floors or more. That would be the next, great leap in NY's architectural timeline, and I hope I'm around when it happens.
    We live in interesting times.
    Read it all here:
    http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=25071


    Looks like all these buildings are coming down. Eight in all.





    Disregard the guy stealing copper pipe from one of the buildings being demolished



    Last edited by Derek2k3; August 31st, 2011 at 09:49 PM.

  4. #754

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    Derek,

    Will this tower torque or turn at all or does it rise straight up from the base?

  5. #755

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    Archdaily article: with mentions of Wirednewyork as well as member STR. Otherwise, also a good read.
    http://www.archdaily.com/167397/drak...klowe-cim-rva/

  6. #756

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    not official renderings, just rough sketches based on descriptions from some people who have been privy to the design process
    The elevation rendering and rendering of the base are real renderings. Just not up to date. They were posted by someone who works at Vinoly.

  7. #757
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    ^ You mean this:





    ...and this?





    I hate Rafael Viñoly and his different variations of a box. Stupid, boring, tiresome.

    There are boxes everywhere in this city. Do we really need another one?

    Why couldn't that (as londonlawyer likes to put it) putz Macklowe hired the Pritzker Prize-winning Jean Nouvel if he really wanted a "landmark."

  8. #758

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    So they had to demolish everything at street level to build this ? Now we're gonna be left with a huge street-wall killing plaza and a gigantic blank wall on the black tower.

  9. #759

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek2k3 View Post
    The elevation rendering and rendering of the base are real renderings. Just not up to date. They were posted by someone who works at Vinoly.
    To be specific, they were posted by Andrea Ortega on Archinect.

  10. #760

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    I walked by this site last night and there was an earth moving machine behind the fences which I have not seen before.

  11. #761
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    The height is exciting. Other than that, I can't find even a hint of anything to like about the renderings we've seen so far.

    Just horrible... a soaring bore.

    And for this we lost the magnificent Drake and are now watching a whole stretch of charming streetscape be destroyed.

    This city is being remade by barbarians with no civic pride.

    Yes, there are a handful of exceptional buildings going up, of course...but they are so pitifully few compared to the onslaught of total crap.

    Back in the day, even tenements had more style. More effort. And they were built for the poor...not millionaires.

    All I can say is that working as an architect in this city during this era must really, really suck. 9 times out of 10, even if you have good intentions or ideas, they would die without getting past the drawing board.

    If presented with the choice, I'd rather design candy boxes or toilet paper packaging than this kind of charmless junk.

  12. #762

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    Depending on how the sun catches it this might have charm.

  13. #763
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    During a total solar eclipse, for example.

  14. #764

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    Harsh. I'll reserve judgment for when we know a bit more about what it will look like.

  15. #765

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    You know what, the developer would probably be very smart to build something like the tower in the rendering. Compared to something that might have some architectural flair, it has a lot of practical advantages.

    - It would be cheaper to build. No fancy materials (at least in bulk, he may use some nice stuff in the lobby), no complicated shapes to make construction slower and more difficult.

    - it would be easier for tenants to plan, build out. No complicated shapes to have work around or integrate. Just nice regular rectangular space.

    - It will likely never be considered a landmark, and get sucked into the black hole of the landmarks bureaucracy. While it wouldn't be for several decades down the line, I'm sure developers now are looking in horror at what the owners of the first generation of 50's modernist building have to deal with, and think they should avoid the possibility from the start. Build something clean and pleasant, but non-descript, and just won't be a problem in the future. A lot of these developers are generational family businesses, and do think that long term.

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