Thursday, March 01, 2007

Ugliest Buildings in New York

A couple weeks ago Gridskipper asked me to contribute on a post about the ugliest buildings in New York City. The first building that popped into my head was Norman Foster's Hearst Tower, a building praised by many architects and critics. In the past I've liked Foster's buildings a lot, though for me he really missed the mark here, from the earliest renderings to the final product.

Yesterday Gridskipper posted their compilation of ugly, with contributions by yours truly and other bloggers, students, writers, etc.

ugliest.jpg

Here's my contribution in a different format.

How to obliterate history in five easy steps:
1. Hire Norman Foster.
2. Sit back and wait while Lord Foster channels R. Buckminster Fuller and designs a "diagrid" exterior wall.
3. Land the new 46-story tower on and in a 1928, six-story historical landmark, but be sure to keep the existing, two-dimensional exterior walls and clean 'em until they look like a molded plastic model.
4. Don't bother to give the building any sense of entry, and go ahead and make the grand lobby space inaccessible to the public while you're at it.
5. Market the sustainable aspects of the tower to gloss over its ugly and hulking presence on the skyline.