Spotlight: ‘New York by Gehry’

Eight Spruce Street, NYC.

Frank Gehry has designed a significant new building at Eight Spruce Street, New York City.  The sinuous, 76-story tower, featuring curtained walls, bay windows, and a structural frame of reinforced concrete, is now nearing completion.  Situated just between the Brooklyn Bridge and the Beaux-Arts canyons of Wall Street, the development is slated to be mostly rental flats, with a mixed-use element near street level.

Today, I had a chance to see the project up close.  It is quite stunning.  Its scale illustrates the spatial possibilities that are feasible on just a small canvas of urban land.  In an interview last October with the WSJ, Gehry explained how he wanted the building’s design to complement the architecture of the surrounding cityscape.  He has largely succeeded.  One disappointment: in contrast to the silvery, free-flowing form of the tower that comprises most of the structure, the street level floors that reach to the traditional build-to lines are composed of horribly mundane walls made of beige brick.

Here are some snapshots that I took today with a BlackBerry.  The building is essentially done, but work is ongoing.  Next time, I’ll try to get inside.