NEW YORK TIMES
I remember when Italian architect Renzo Piano was awarded the commission for the new New York Times building at the beginning of the century. I was still living in Connecticut and imagined I’d be close by to watch the construction of a building that I once dreamed I’d work inside. However, more than eight years (and a few moves) have passed and the building has just opened to its reporters and photographers. The punch list is still being punched, but the quintessential public spaces are open.
The NY Times architecture critic led readers on a comprehensive online tour of the building this past fall and as I watched it I longed to be in the space in person. I had no idea then that I’d be in NY City the next month, be able to walk around the building, and visit its lobby and atrium. Piano’s use of texture and color is brilliant, the grays (both smooth and finely lined) evoke the paper’s newsprint. The bold warm colors evoke the life and energy that the words of NY Times reporters use to bring us stories of hope and heartbreak everyday.
Within two blocks of each other in midtown Manhattan are two historic buildings that have recently received modern updates. British architect Norman Foster’s addition to the Beaux Arts Hearst building has been lauded as a success (and it is), while Portland architect Brad Cloepfil’s renovation of Edward Durrell Stone’s building at Columbus Circle has received the wrath of the preservation community. Though it’s still under construction, Cloepfil’s work blends modern style and contemporary needs with the historic fabric of Stone’s building in as respectful a way as Foster’s intervention blends environmental values with the historic Hearst building.
NEW YORK TIMES