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Thread: 4 Times Square a.k.a. Conde Nast Building - 42nd Street & Broadway - by Fox & Fowle

  1. #1

    Default 4 Times Square a.k.a. Conde Nast Building - 42nd Street & Broadway - by Fox & Fowle

    I have read the article about the Conde Nast building on this site.

    However, I still don't have a clear understanding on what the top of the building is used for.

    Is it used for bill-board advertising? Does it serve as part of its energy conservation system?

  2. #2

    Default Conde Nast Building

    Yes, it is for advertising. At the moment there is only one sign on the western side of the Conde Nast Building facing Times Square.

    It is an ad for Teligent, a company that is now bankrupt; there was an article in New York Times about it (see the reference below), I do not have the full text of the article.

    BUSINESS/FINANCIAL DESK | May 28, 2001, Monday
    Despite Teligent's Woes, It's Glowing in Times Sq.

    By SIMON ROMERO (NYT) 410 words
    Late Edition - Final, Section C, Page 4, Column 5

  3. #3

    Default Conde Nast Building

    An article from Sign

    Getting signs off the ground
    Crossroads of the Sign World

    Already a standard format in Tokyo, but a new development in Times Square, are skyscraper rooftop sign grids. The most visible sits atop the 48-story (665-ft.) Conde Nast building (also known as Four Times Square, located at Broadway and 42nd St.). Jennifer McKee, vice president of leasing of The Durst Co., the project's developer, refers to the building's rooftop access as "skyline signage."

    The Durst building's rooftop design includes a four-faced, large-format sign grid, with each of its sign faces offering approximately a 70-ft.-sq. display area. The grid contains one permanent face -- the Teligent sign, with its other three faces still available for leasing (as of presstime).

    With such a high placement, the Teligent sign will be seen from as far away as the Jersey shoreline across the Hudson River and on its opposite side, and from the exit of the Lincoln Tunnel at the base of 42nd St. Certainly this sign, and whatever other forthcoming skyline signage that will soon join it, is a beachhead into the New York City skyline that will add a completely separate look to Times Square beyond what we already identify.

    In a similar fashion, the soon-to-be-completed W Hotel (formerly the Planet Hollywood Hotel) on Broadway and 47th St. has created an interesting signage extension that capitalizes on the building's location. There, a rooftop sign grid leans out and faces down towards curious pedestrians. Also, accompanying the W Hotel is the Times Square Spire, a separate, but parallel, adjoining sign tower supporting up to 75,000 sq. ft. of sign coverage.

    The spire, which starts at the fourth floor, begins its signage 60 ft. above street level and continues upwards an additional 280 ft. The sign tower, which is independent of the building but parallels the W Hotel, is an internally braced steel truss. The tower is further anchored to Manhattan bedrock 50 ft. below the street surface to prevent it from swaying excessively as winds catch the sail-like surfaces of the sign faces.

    Marketed by Spectacolor, the Times Square Spire is being slowly transformed into a complete display structure. The tower in its raw state is essentially a structured steel grid, which, delicately put, is not a pretty sight. To compensate for this, explains McGraw, Spectacolor will create a "virtual building" to completely cover the grid. This "cover" will be produced as a series of vinyl mesh panels (40 x 53 ft.) with a printed image of a brownstone apartment facade. Over that, ads will be placed as each sign face segment is leased out. Once an ad's lease ends, and that sign comes down, that segment of the virtual apartment building panel will show up against the grid, until the next sign covers it.

    In another change, Times Square's interest in overwhelming sign displays has spread to surrounding streets, as 42nd St. from 7th to 8th Ave. is evolving into the Tishman Realty and Construction Co.'s E ("Entertainment" ) Walk, with its own layer of signage slowly extending from 8th Ave. towards Times Square.

    Already in place is the Loew's Cineplex marquee, plus complementary signs of its neighbors, including Chevy's on one side and on the other, Broadway City and The Museum Company store. Running at the corner of 8th Ave. and 42nd St. is the New York Port Authority featuring a huge Delta electronic display with a giant, color message zipper.

    The E Walk corridor pulls the visual energy of Times Square away from the "bow tie" (where Broadway crosses over 7th Ave.) to its side streets, starting with its most famous one, 42nd St. The addition of the Reuters Building (opening early this year) will amplify the connection between the E Walk and Times Square, with the building's cylindrical curve acting as a gateway from 42nd St. and 7th Ave. towards the E Walk.

    The Reuters Building at Three Times Square will offer 30,000 sq. ft. of signage on the building. While final sign technologies have yet to be determined, whatever is selected (high-definition LED video display is the leading candidate) will be fully integrated into the building. Also, a huge blade sign will display Reuters' name, and the building will also employ skyline signage.

    Despite the seemingly disparate collage of signs around the square, there is a method to their creation and placement within the district. George Stonbely, president of Spectacolor, explains that his company creates a graphic balance between signs so they don't compete with each other. As an example, he cites the design of the company's JVC spectacular (Broadway and 43rd St.), which is installed directly between the ABC marquee and NASDAQ video wall.

    "Being challenged with two, over-the-top, world-class LED spectaculars," Stonbely explains, "Spectacolor's JVC spectacular was created as a non-electric display presented as a 3-D model of the Earth's hemisphere, coupled with its time zones, a message ribbon and a changeable back-face vinyl display. With a design that contrasts with its electronic companions, the JVC spectacular has become equally impressive in its own right."

  4. #4

    Default Conde Nast Building

    The sign of the Eastern side of Conde Nast Building

    With respect to the article above about Time Square signage, see also forum threads about neon of Reuters building and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter fabulous display.

  5. #5

    Default Conde Nast Building

    I believe the top is used for advertising and possibly energy conservation. They used to have the company Teligent advertise. What did Teligent do? According to Fox&Fowles, the spire is used as an communcation antennae.

  6. #6

    Default Conde Nast Building

    I believe Teligent was a communications company that went bankrupt, but they paid for the sign in advance

  7. #7

    Default Conde Nast Building

    Also, the top houses a perminent crane system that operates off that top truss structure. If the building ever needs repairs, renovations, or a tenant needs to lift heavy machinery, there is a crane that can swing out of that box truss element up on top.

  8. #8

    Default Conde Nast Building

    Interestingly enough, the signs at the top of 4 TSQ are not actually visible from Times Square. *You need to be further away (like New Jersey, or Bryant Park) to see them. *But looking from afar, boy are they visible.

  9. #9

    Default Conde Nast Building

    i think its great the new wave of the future, advertising using xenon lights for ppl in suburbs to see, ingenius

  10. #10

    Default Conde Nast Building

    This building is one of the subjects of "Big and Green", an exhibit I just visited at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. ... One of the points the exhibit makes is that many of the skyscrapers we know and love are unfortunately energy guzzlers -- it is stated that 50% of the world's energy goes to power big buildings. *... *For example, they sealed up some 70's buildings to conserve heat (I guess due to the oil shortage) but now with all the computers etc. they have to be wastefully air-conditioned year-round, and the poor ventilation all leads to more sick workers from the poor air.

    Anyway, there is a model and diagrams of what makes the Conde Nast building "green" -- photo-voltaic cells integrated into the facade on the top 19 floors; natural-gas powered solid fuel cells on the roof (I think I have the terminology wrong but heat is made through the interaction of hydrogen and oxygen with water being the harmless by-product), 50% more ventilation then called for by code.

    This and other Fox and Fowle projects seemed frequently mentioned in the exhibit. *Here is the page on their website on the Conde Nast building:

    And here is the page from the National Building Museum:

    And if you need any other incentive to check out this exhibit, the National Building Museum has one of the greatest interiors in the country! *I can post some pix if desired...

  11. #11

    Default Conde Nast Building

    Some function of the current antenna...

  12. #12

  13. #13
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    Oct 2002
    Manhattan - South Village

    Default Conde Nast Building

    NYguy, Helicopter?

  14. #14

    Default Conde Nast Building

    Quote: from NYatKNIGHT on 4:06 pm on Mar. 30, 2003
    NYguy, Helicopter?
    They were photos taken from a helicopter tour company, but I don't remember which...

  15. #15

    Default Conde Nast Building - 4 Times Square

    (NY Post)

    Conde Nast lights up

    by Lois Weiss

    Douglas Durst is ready to use "psycho-physics" while putting more than a 360-foot multi-station TV antenna on the top of the company's Four Times Square tower.

    The building, also known as the headquarters of Conde Nast, is on the verge of getting its sky-high signage leased and lit.

    A deal to take the four, 70x70-foot tall signs is close to being inked with a U.S. company that will install special Australian-designed LED video technology and then lease the colorful computer generated boards to corporate advertisers.

    "We hope that we will be announcing a completed deal soon," confirmed Tom Bow, a senior vice president for the Durst Organization.

    The company, Totius Media, will install the LEDs for the northern facing sign first, Bow said, while the pending deal will give them options on the other three faces.

    Sources said Durst will pocket about $1 million a year from each sign. Bow declined to confirm the numbers but did note, "I'm sure the Totius expectation [for income] is a lot more than that. It is visible 24-hours a day and the sign grid is bigger than anything else on the skyline."

    The signs, already in use in Barcelona and Hong Kong, use "psycho-physics" to make use of fewer pixels and 90 percent less electricity by tricking the eye with moving images.

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