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Friday, January 22, 2010

Street View at The New Cooper Union Building

Cooper Union sidewalk, NYC
Photo by myself near Cooper Union in the East Village, around Bowery and East 6th Street.

At street level, all you see is the splayed legs of the new Arts and Sciences Building of Cooper Union, a college in New York. The painted sign for The Bowery Bar and Grill, a well-known hangout, is in the background.

Founded by Peter Cooper in 1859, Cooper Union offers degrees in the arts, architecture and engineering to its students free of charge. It is exceedingly difficult to get into the school, as you might imagine.

Cooper Union street view, NYC
The new Arts and Sciences building, designed by LA architect Thom Mayne.

How appropriate then is it to have this new sculptural building added to a progressive urban campus? We don't often have such modern architectural statements here. Most buildings conform in some way to the street, or resemble the older buildings.

This building seems to want to leap up and move around. You wouldn't think that concrete piers would splay out and seem to dance. Its metal mesh facade resembles a skirt ready to be flung off.

I can't say I fell in love with it at first sight, but the building takes risks and encourages you to try to figure it out. Its elaborate construction draws you in.

For the Times review of the building, click here.

Related posts: A Pedestrian City, Fixing Flats in the Streets and Taxi Drivers Wanted, Brooklyn.


Luis Gomez said...

I think it is a great building.

Olivier said...

encore une belle photo de rue. Il est magnifique cet immeuble

Washington said...

Wow! Fantastic contrast between the very modern building and the other one that seems to be old. Both are amazing!

Louis la Vache said...

hee hee
«Louis» noticed the woman on the left of the top photo taking some "Vitamin N".

Ken Mac had the building in the second image a couple of weeks ago on his Greenwich Village blog.

The building looks like it is collapsing on itself.

It's almost as bad as le centre Pompidou in Paris...

Anonymous said...

Interesting-looking building. Haven't been in this area in a very long time.


Susu Paris Chic said...

Degrees free of charge! Wow! The building looks very interesting. It seems to fit well into the city silhouette.