Gehry’s Design Flaws…Is Piano’s NY Times Building Next?

nytimesbldg.jpgToday, the NY Times reported about MIT suing the celebrity LA-based architect, Frank Gehry, for “design and construction failures.” But I’m wondering when the Renzo Piano-designed New York Times headquarters (at the corner of 40th Street and Eighth Avenue) will be the next building tainted by a similar lawsuit.

Sure, the structure is chocked full of beautiful details (like the Michael Bierut signage) but the ceramic tube screen that envelopes the surface like a cage (or net) can’t be the best solution for a snow-prone city…one blogger calls them “chopsticks,” which is kinda funny.

When I visited the building a few months back, I also noticed that some of the ceramic bars were cracked and missing pieces (most evident when I ate my lunch in the cafeteria area perplexed at what I was looking at…“Could Piano really have messed so badly?” I wondered).

Touted as the work of an architect who can blend “lyrical structural expression and formal geometry,” Piano, in a 2000 interview with the NY Times, said the building is about “defying gravity”…now whether that will hold true for the ice that clings to the tubes and is poised to fall on the heads of passersby is yet to be seen.

4 responses to “Gehry’s Design Flaws…Is Piano’s NY Times Building Next?”

  1. Why are you attempting to bring Renzo Piano into this story? He should not be dragged into this mud. He is in a different catagory. Stick to the story at hand and don’t try to manipulate the public by throwing attention on to an architect who has nothing to do with “the NY Times reported about MIT suing the celebrity LA-based architect, Frank Gehry, for “design and construction failures.”

  2. I greatly respect Piano’s architecture, but I don’t see how ice and snow on such a tubular screen could not pose a problem. Anyone who walks around New York in the winter knows that falling ice is always a problem (even on boxy buildings) but in the case of the NY Times building, it could be deadly…particularly on such a high structure.
    Trust me, I hope I’m wrong.

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