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Thread: New York Times Tower - 620 Eighth Avenue @ W. 41st Street - by Renzo Piano

  1. #1

    Default New York Times Tower - 620 Eighth Avenue @ W. 41st Street - by Renzo Piano

    New York Post

    December 12, 2001 -- On Real Estate

    The Gray Lady expected to unveil its - until now - unseen final designs for the Renzo Piano and Fox & Fowle 52-story New York Times tower tomorrow at a politically -studded event at The New 42nd Street Studios. The project, at 1.5 million square feet, is being developed and co-owned by Forest City Ratner.

    The dramatic, ethereal looking structure has been slenderized from the original scheme that called for four, expensive exterior glass staircases. Now, the curtain walls and what they expect will be a slender telecommunications antenna will rise above the lighted roof terrace. The ground level features a covered atrium garden and public spaces.

    The site of the future New York Times Tower: South (left on the photo) of 41st Street at 8th Avenue, with the clock at the right at the entrance to Hilton Times Square Hotel

    New York Times Tower will replace adult entertainment center on this block of 8th Avenue

  2. #2

    Default New York Times Tower

    This is a machine translation by Google of Italian article

    Renzo Piano:
    Host Rascacielo of the New York Times

    "Light, It is transparent and immaterial", thus it defines Renzo Piano to his recent creation, rascacielo for New York. One is the new seat of made famous the periodic The New York Times. The building will begin to be constructed in the 2002.

    Of rectangular plant, of 250 meters of stop, one will be prolonged by a great antenna. In the top a garden will be constructed that will serve as observatory of the city. The volume glass finish will be perceived as it is transparent, will use in addition ceramic white that takes the color from the atmosphere and that changes second to second, reflecting a new color as the conditions of light become. She is ceramic contributes to that the volume is power sustainable from the ecological point of view, when reducing the heat transmission, a chronic problem in the skyscrapers.
    In order to make this Renzo work Piano it had to win to other 3 great names of the international architecture, To stop Pelli, Norman Foster and Frank Gehry. This building promises to become new ícono of New York and to occupy a preponderant place in the contemporanea architecture. It is the work prolongation most important of the Italian architect, designer of the famous center George Pompidou in Francia and of the Aeropuesto the International of Osaka in Japan.
    Piano says, "it will be a building that sings, that vibrates and that is mirror of the time".

  3. #3

    Default New York Times Tower

    New York Times

    December 14, 2001

    Times Goes Forward on Plan for Tower on Eighth Avenue


    At a moment when skyscrapers have never seemed more vulnerable, The New York Times Company and Forest City Ratner Companies declared their intention yesterday to build a 52-story tower described by its designers in terms of lightness and transparency.

    "We do not believe that is inconsistent with security at all," said Michael Golden, vice chairman and senior vice president of the Times Company.

    The final design of the tower was made public at a news conference at the New 42nd Street Studios less than an hour after the Times Company and Forest City Ratner posted letters of credit worth $106 million to guarantee they would meet the cost of acquiring the site, across Eighth Avenue from the Port Authority Bus Terminal. New York State will condemn 10 properties to create the site, which it will lease for 99 years. Mr. Golden would not put a price on the construction project.

    The Times will move its headquarters to the Eighth Avenue tower in 2005 from 229 West 43rd Street, which it will sell. It will own and occupy 800,000 square feet of space in the new building, from the 2nd through 28th floors. Forest City Ratner will own 600,000 square feet and lease floors 29 through 50 to office tenants, asking rents of $75 to $85 a square foot annually.

    There are to be restaurants on the 40th and 41st Street sides, stores at the Eighth Avenue corners and a 350- seat auditorium with views of a courtyard filled with birch trees across its stage.

    At the summit will be a small grove of maples outside a rooftop conference room, above which a lightweight mast will rise, with no broadcasting or technical function, and will sway in the wind. "It shows where the fresh air comes from," said Renzo Piano, the Italian architect who designed the building with Fox & Fowle. "That is a good enough reason to exist, for me."

    Two skins will clad the building: one of transparent glass and another of some 250,000 white ceramic rods, one and five-eighths inches in diameter, arrayed in screens suspended one and a half feet from the exterior wall, spaced at varying intervals to allow people inside to see out — and the other way around.

    "From the outside to the inside, the inside to the outside, there is a permeable feeling," said Mr. Piano, whose works include the exoskeletal Pompidou Center in Paris. "The building talks about movement to the street and the street sees it."

    Mr. Piano said Times executives had decided in the wake of the attack on New York to stick with the concept of transparency and visibility "not really as defiance to terrorism but because it was correct."

    To the top of the mast, the tower will reach 1,142 feet, almost 100 feet taller than the Chrysler Building. The ceramic screens will reach a height of 840 feet and the building itself will be 748 feet, slightly shorter than Carnegie Hall Tower at 152 West 57th Street.

    "It breaks new ground," Gov. George E. Pataki said at the news conference. "This moves the Times Square redevelopment process further to the west" — exactly the outcome feared by many in the Clinton neighborhood, one of the last low-rise and moderate-income pockets in mid-Manhattan.

    Some 55 businesses — sex shops, trade schools, a student dormitory, architectural and engineering firms and third-generation hatters and fabric dealers — will be displaced to make way for the tower.

    The project will benefit from $26.1 million of government incentives: sales-tax exemptions on the equipment and materials used in the new building, a waiver of the mortgage- recording tax and a discount on electricity rates.

    Though the developers will pay acquisition costs up front for the 200- by-400-foot site, they will ultimately be liable for only $85.56 million. The excess will be refunded over time as a credit against the rent they pay for the site, made as a payment in lieu of taxes, meaning that the city is likely to forgo millions in future revenue.

    Citing that deal, Gary Barnett of the Intell Management and Investment Company, who owns a parking lot on the development site, filed suit last week against the project. He charged that the "sweetheart arrangement" between the government and the developers amounted to "fraud, bad faith and collusion against the taxpayers of the city" and a waste of taxpayers' money.

    A spokeswoman for the Times Company, Catherine J. Mathis, said the lawsuit was without merit.

    Lawyers were busy Wednesday as partnership agreements were signed between Forest City Ratner and ING Real Estate, a subsidiary of the ING Group, a financial concern in the Netherlands. They then signed a partnership agreement with the Times Company. Then the developers signed agreements with the city and state.

    Bruce C. Ratner, president and chief executive of Forest City Ratner, said yesterday, "The hardest part has really been done."

  4. #4

    Default New York Times Tower UPDATE: Optimism Reigns at Unveiling of Times Tower Design
    By Glen Thompson
    Last updated: Dec 14, 2001 *07:47AM

    NEW YORK CITY-Yesterday's press conference introducing the final design for a new New York Times headquarters building turned into a celebration of the city itself, with an ebullient Governor George Pataki persuading a packed house at 42nd Street's Duke Theater that happy days, if not quite yet here again, are certainly within reach.
    Introduced by Times Co. vice chairman Michael Golden, Pataki hailed the deal as a triumph for the city. "This is an important day because a decade or two from now people are going to look back and say this is another symbol that New York is coming back stronger than ever."

    The dramatic, Renzo Piano-designed office tower is being developed through a network of joint ventures between the New York Times Co., Forest City Ratner Co. and financial partner ING Real Estate. Arranged by Insignia/ESG vice chairman Mary Ann Tighe and executive managing director Gregory Tosko, the three-pronged deal includes an alliance between the Times and FCRC; a separate deal between FCRC and ING; and the 99-year, $85.6-million ground lease and land acquisition agreement between the Times, FCRC and the City and State of New York. The lease gives the joint venture the option to purchase the site after 29 years. FCRC will be the developer of the project, which will open in two phases during 2005 and 2006.

    The building will be located on the east side of Eighth Avenue between 40th and 41st streets, opposite the Port Authority Bus Terminal. The 79,000-sf parcel, which will be acquired via condemnation by the state of 10 land parcels, occupies the entire block along Eighth Avenue and extends roughly half a block east toward Seventh Avenue. The condemnation and relocation of business on the site is expected to take up to one year.

    Construction on the 840-foot tower is expected to begin in early 2003 and delivery is scheduled for 2006. The Times Co. will own and occupy roughly 800,000 sf of space on floors two through 28. The Times newsroom will occupy floors two through seven. FCRC will own approximately 600,000 sf of office space on floors 29 through 50 and 20,000 sf of ground-floor retail, all of which will be leased out. The project is expected to generate 2,300 construction jobs and 3,500 permanent jobs. Of the latter, 2,500 will be Times employees and 1,000 will work in the stores and offices leased by FCRC.

    Piano, winner of the 1988 Pritzker Prize in Architecture, is collaborating with Fox & Fowle Architects on the project, which features a glass curtain wall designed to give the building a transparent appearance. Thin horizontal ceramic tubes placed on a steel framework in front of the glass will take on the changing color of the sky during the course of the day as light focuses on them from different angles.

    "At street level," Piano says, "the building will be open, transparent and permeable." Glass-enclosed retail spaces along the ground floor will allow passersby to view the lobby and ground-floor gardens. The ground level will also house a 350-seat auditorium that will be operated by the Times Co. and used for cultural and civic events. The design also incorporates a rooftop conference center.

    While yesterday's event was ostensibly a kick-off party for the just-closed Times deal and a chance to see what the tower will add to the Midtown skyline, Pataki seized the opportunity to tout the project's greater impact on the area, both fiscally and philosophically. The building, he said, is an expression of "belief in tomorrow, belief that this great city is the center of commerce and finance and the media for the 21st century. It's also important because it breaks new ground. This moves the Times Square redevelopment process further to the west, including Eighth Avenue."

    Positioning the Times project as an anchor for the westward push envisioned in the just released city/state plan for the redevelopment of Far West Midtown, Pataki expressed hope for "building a new tower over the Port Authority Bus Terminal, building a new Penn Station, extending the subway line so that we can open up the west side to the type of investment and commitment in the future that will make this great city even stronger."

    Sharing the dais with Pataki, Golden and Piano were New York City Economic Development Corp. president Michael G. Carey, developers Bruce and Albert Ratner, and Empire State Development Corp. chairman Charles A. Gargano.

  5. #5

    Default New York Times Tower

    Wow, 1,142 this model is really in scale

  6. #6

    Default New York Times Tower

    I must say I wish Gehry had won. His proposal:

  7. #7

    Default New York Times Tower

    Another photo of the New York Times Tower location - North-West corner at intersection of Eighth Avenue and 41st Street:

  8. #8

    Default New York Times Tower

    The NY Times Tower is gonna be a great addition for the city and the Times Square Redevelopment further west to eighth and ninth avenues, i wonder if the pole which will bring the tower over 1100 ft. will be lit up??????

  9. #9

    Default New York Times Tower

    The NY Times Tower is gonna be a great addition for the city and the Times Square Redevelopment further west to eighth and ninth avenues, i wonder if the pole which will bring the tower over 1100 ft. will be lit up??????

  10. #10

    Default New York Times Tower

    I have one question about this huge building going up in the near future,

    Will the pole that sends the building to over 1100ft. in height be lit up??????????
    please e-mail me at

  11. #11

    Default New York Times Tower

    Ugh, I hate the Ghery proposal. *It has no order or orginization of any sort; its just an abstract hunk of glass plopped down in the middle of manhattan. *Maybe if it was 1/10th the size, but 800 feet? *I don't think so. *The current version has really grown on mean, and i beleive they made the right choice.

  12. #12

    Default New York Times Tower

    Will someone please answer my question about if the pole at the top of this building will be lit up!!!!!!!

    thanks rich

  13. #13

    Default New York Times Tower

    Kris, thanks for these excellent pictures. The last picture shows well the screen of ceramic tubes at the top of the building.

    A quote from "One of the most striking features will be the curtain wall. Much of the double thermal-pane glass will be screened by thin, horizontal ceramic tubes placed on a steel framework positioned one to two feet in front of the glass; in other places, this screen will be made of metal and glass louvers."

    Does anybody know whether the screen of ceramic tubes was used as a design element before?

    As to the use of metal louvers in some parts of the screen, just a block away from New York Times Tower is The New 42nd Street Studios building designed by Charles Platt and Ray Dovell.

    A quote from New York Magazine: "The hallucinatory rainbow on most of its skin results from computerized uplights reflecting off perforated stainless-steel fins crossing the front. Programmed to mix and shift colors in continuous play, the lights project onto blades that are silhouetted against a blue backdrop created by yet more lights washing an interior scrim." See the picture

  14. #14

    Default New York Times Tower

    The New Yorker


    Issue of 2002-01-07
    Posted 2001-12-31

    Before last month, you could believe that the Times was never going to go through with it. Yes, the paper had sponsored a major architectural competition a year and a half ago for its new headquarters, on Eighth Avenue, but the design it selected—a shimmering tower of transparent glass by Renzo Piano—was the last thing you would expect to be built by a conservative corporation, let alone the one that publishes America's most serious newspaper. This was a skyscraper for Gianni Agnelli, maybe, but not for Arthur Sulzberger. But, then again, the Arthur Sulzberger who is in charge of the Times today is not the Arthur Sulzberger who was in charge of the paper a generation ago, when it redid its newsroom with fake-wood Formica furniture and orange carpeting. Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., who took over as chairman of the New York Times Company in 1997, has an eye for design, and he saw the disjunction between the way the Times has regarded its own surroundings and the way the paper's critics preach the virtues of great architecture for other people.

    Still, even if Sulzberger was behind Piano's unusual skyscraper, he and his colleagues had to figure out how to get the design approved by the city and state agencies that oversee the Forty-second Street development project, and convince the paper's partner, the real-estate developer Forest City Ratner, that the fifty-two-story tower would attract tenants for the upper floors. After September 11th, when almost every corporation became architecture-phobic, the Times would have had an easy excuse to fold up its glass tent, send Piano back home to Genoa, and build something ordinary, or nothing at all.

    What nobody expected was the splashiest announcement of a new skyscraper since Donald Trump gave us Trump World Tower. The Times building is the biggest project to be unveiled in New York since the destruction of the World Trade Center, and it would have drawn plenty of attention even if it had been just another corporate box. When the Times held a press conference to reveal the final plan for the building, which Piano designed in association with the New York firm Fox & Fowle, Governor George Pataki showed up to hail it as "creative and brilliant," and Bruce Ratner, the president of Forest City Ratner, repeatedly referred to the tower as "really pretty."

    The true sign that the Times had got religion about architecture was the way Renzo Piano, and not one of the Times executives or public officials who were present, turned out to be the star of the show. Piano, who has a gray beard and never seems entirely comfortable in a business suit, speaks with a mellifluous Italian accent. Even though he was trained as an engineer, he is probably better than any architect at convincing people that buildings are not just objects of shelter but exercises in poetry. For fifteen minutes, he held his audience rapt as he explained the rationale of the building, which is to be a slender tower of transparent glass, sheathed in a webbing of white ceramic rods that will form a protective sunscreen.

    "For no reason, I prefer things that are light," Piano said, sauntering back and forth beside a set of renderings and floor plans, on easels, and a six-foot-high model of the building. "An architect fights all his life against gravity—this is our destiny, a building that is light and transparent and vibrant. It is like it is breathing, and it keeps changing. . . . Architecture is, of course, about making buildings, but it is also about telling stories, and the story I hope this building tells is not about arrogance and power. I hope this building will tell a story about transparency and lightness."

    The outer mesh of ceramic will give the tower a soft texture and make it appear almost like mist against the sky. Piano said the rods would look like lace, and at one point he spoke of his desire to juxtapose "the 'precarity' of the lace and the strength of the steel." He thought for a moment, and then turned to Michael Golden, the Times company's vice-chairman, and said, "Don't worry, Mike. The lace won't really be precarious."

    Piano had to make some adjustments to his earlier design in order to both survive the city's ruthless approval process and convince the Times and the developer of its practicality. The original tower was to have been cantilevered over an open piazza, but it will now rise directly up from Eighth Avenue, and behind it there will be a low wing, wrapped around a garden, containing the Times' newsroom. And Piano has come up with a new top: another garden with full-size trees and a three-hundred-foot-high central mast, which will sway slightly in the wind.

    "Renzo absolutely demanded the garden and the mast," Bruce Fowle, one of the architects, said. "The mast has no function—it is kinetic sculpture. Renzo says it gives you something to love."

    — Paul Goldberger

  15. #15

    Default New York Times Tower

    The 42nd St Studios building is highly under rated.

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