Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Big Boys' Corner

The corner of 18th Street and 11th Avenue has become the big boys' corner in New York. Frank Gehry's IAC building looks across at Jean Nouvel's 100 11th Residences. When the IAC Building first went up I must admit I didn't like it. It was probably part of an anti-Gehry mood brought on by among other things the documentary I saw about him. (Or was it being told that a piece of crumpled metal on sale at Tiffany's cost $30,000, because it had been crumpled by Gehry?) I used to disparagingly think of it as Casper the Ghost. But it has grown on me over time, and I think it's one my favorite buildings of his. The fact that the sculptural shape is part of the structure and not just an afterthought metallic add-on is appealing. And the whole shape captures the sense of rippling sails, appropriately enough for a building right on the river.

{image from here: http://www.thealarmclock.com/mt/archives/2007/04/iac_gives_forme.html}

In any case, Novel's building has gone up directly opposite. And I cannot but think of two dogs squaring off at a dog run in Riverside Park. First they glare at each other. Then they sniff each other. Then tails start wagging. And soon enough they are playing. Nouvel's building reflected in Gehry's:

Nouvel's building on the right, playfully reflecting light on Gehry's:

What makes the corner even more interesting is the new building by Shigeru Ban going up right next to Gehry's. You can't see it too well here, but it's really very interesting as well:

And you know what? I think the two big boys have found a new little friend to play with...




If Jane said...

couldn't say it better myself!

oh and btw...love the blog renovations...noticed them before but was always so captivated by your words-- i forgot...

Bombay Beauty said...

Oh thanks! I felt my site (if not me... yet!) needed a face lift! bb

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