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.
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.
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