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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Building Big

WIlliamsburg, Brooklyn
Photo by myself in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

The Williamsburg Art and Historical Society was originally a bank constructed in the mid-1860's. Its rusticated ground floor and overall detailing make it look like an Italian palazzo, or urban palace.

The balusters enclose a 'moat', which allows light and air into the basement story.


Today, the New York Times printed a photo of Frank Gehry's first building in New York City. Gehry is perhaps the most sought-after American architect right now, whose huge sculptural buildings seem to defy gravity.

Gehry's skyscraper located downtown near City Hall. A residential tower, it will be clad in stainless steel.

The photo rendering shows the building to be sleek and shiny, which is deceptive. Stainless won't rust, since it has a low chromium content. Most likely the building will have a metallic lustre, much like Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA.

A friend of mine worked at Tiffany while Gehry was developing his signature jewelry line. Apparently he is a humorous, easy going guy who loves to curse. You can see the jewelry here. Some pieces are whimsical, others geometric.

I'm looking forward to seeing the building. New York has had a lot of 'celebrity' architect-designed residential towers lately. There's 15 Central Park West by Robert A. M. Stern, the residential towers by Richard Meier on Perry Street, and Astor Place by Gwathmey Siegel, to name a few.

The above architects might not be household names, but they are among the more well-known living signature architects. All are considered New York architects except for Gehry, who practices in Los Angeles.

Related posts: Things to Come


Abraham Lincoln said...

Nice. I like this photograph.

Kitty said...

Thanks Mr Lincoln!

Tammy said...

What a gorgeous old building!

Kelly said...

This is a beautiful photo! The B&W really highlights the architecture!

Susu said...

Hi Kitty!

I loved reading this post. It's a special treat to get news on what's going on there in NY design-wise from someone right on the spot.

I agree with you on it being a bit deceptive that the building be so polished and shiny. For me NY is about a slightly different ambiance. Maybe time will, no matter what, give its beautiful patina.

I also see the connection with the Disney building. You totally recognize the architect's style. Some of the rings are real gemstones. Stylish yet playful, just like you so well put it.

Kitty said...

Thanks Tammy. I'd love to visit to see the interior. I bet it's interesting inside.

Thanks Kelly. The b/w makes the building look like it could be in Rome.

Glad you enjoyed it, Susu.
The Gehry building was a surprise to me, but then, it makes sense. It was cool to see his interpretation of a skyscraper. The LA concert hall on the other hand, suits the sprawl of that city.