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September 10, 2009 Architecture Off With Its Top! City Cuts Tower to Size By NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF Does Manhattan have a future as a great metropolis? If you hope the answer is yes, you will be disheartened by the City Planning Department’s decision on Wednesday to chop off 200 feet from the top of a proposed tower next door to the Museum of Modern Art on 53rd Street in Manhattan. Designed by Jean Nouvel, the building would have been as tall as the Empire State Building minus its antenna, a fact that probably made planners tremble. Amanda Burden, the city planning commissioner, said the tower’s top, which culminates in three uneven peaks, did not meet the aesthetic standards of a building that would compete in height with the city’s most famous towers. And who, after all, wants to be responsible for ruining the most famous skyline in the world? Still, the notion of treating the Midtown skyline as a museum piece is more disturbing. The desire of each new generation of architects and builders to leave its mark on the city, to contribute its own forms, is essential to making New York what it is. The soaring height and slender silhouette of Mr. Nouvel’s tower not only captured the spirit of Midtown — the energy and hubris that transformed this island into a monument to American cosmopolitanism — it also brought that spirit forcefully into the present. Mr. Nouvel’s design was conceived as a giant spire, like the Empire State’s but without the boxy building. Supported by a matrix of interwoven steel beams reminiscent of a spider’s web, it tapers jaggedly as it rises, evoking a shard of glass. The beams are flush with the building’s glass surface, giving it a taut muscular appearance; an underground restaurant and lounge, visible from the sidewalk, root the structure to the site. The design’s beauty stemmed from its elegant proportions, particularly the exaggerated relationship between its small footprint and enormous height. Seen from the street, its receding facades would have induced a delicious sense of vertigo. Ms. Burden’s objections were directed at the top of the building. “Members of the commission had to make a decision based on what was in front of them,” she said. “The development team had to show us that they were creating something as great or even greater than the Empire State Building and the design they showed us was unresolved.” It’s true that aspects of the design had yet to be developed fully. The three peaks were too symmetrical, which gave them a slightly static appearance. And they could have been sharpened to finer points. But Mr. Nouvel, one of the profession’s most creative forces, would have been more than capable of dealing with these issues. With the new height restriction in place, though, his original design concept will surely be diminished. And the loss of as much as 150,000 square feet of floor space could also lead to cuts in the design budget, which could mean cheaper materials and more cramped interiors. Or, just as bad, it could push Hines, the building’s developer, into finding a way to pack more space onto the lower floors, which could further distort the building’s proportions. But the greater sadness here has to do with New York and how the city sees itself. Both the Empire State and Chrysler buildings, built during the Great Depression, were celebrated in their time as emblems of the city’s fortitude. The Freedom Tower, our era’s most notable contribution to the skyline, is a symbol of posturing and political expediency. And now a real alternative to it, one of the most enchanting skyscraper designs of recent memory, may well be lost because some people worry that nothing in our current age can measure up to the past. It is a mentality that, once it takes hold, risks transforming a living city into an urban mausoleum. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/10/arts/design/10building.html?_r=1
Why is this forest floating 1000 feet above Taiwan's skyline, apparently sitting on a blue glow of anti-gravity beams? It's the Taiwan Tower, a giant steel superstructure that may become the most surreal piece of engineering I've ever seen. The renderings give you an idea of how weird and wonderful this thing will be. It really blows my mind to think that they are actually going to build this ethereal steel column labyrinth, which would be as tall as the Eiffel Tower. The banyan tree-like design, which was created by Tokyo-based architect Sou Fujimoto, just won the first prize in the Taiwan Tower International Competition. It would be made entirely of steel, with perimeter columns, inner columns, intermediate columns, spiral beams and roof beams all of them circular, 800 millimeters in diameter and hollow. It will be surrounded by parks. In fact, it will look as if someone cut a wedge of the terrain and pushed up in the air. [Sou Fujimoto viaArchdaily] Republished from http://gizmodo.com
Réaménagement de la sortie 15 Nord. Reconstruit à droite! Pour enfin corriger les erreurs du passé! <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/28rndC0RMYk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> Selon la gazette, des travaux majeur au cour du week-end: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Construction+affect+interchange+Highways+this+weekend/6350156/story.html Construction to affect interchange at Highways 40 and 15 this weekend THE GAZETTE MARCH 23, 2012