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November 20, 2007

The Times review of Times Tower and the review of the review

NYTimesFloor-NYT.jpg The NY Times, Pride and Nostalgia Mix in The Times’s New Home
Nicky O's filed a mixed review of his own employer's new headquarters.

I enjoy gazing up at the building’s sharp edges and clean lines when I emerge from the subway exit at 40th Street and Seventh Avenue in the morning. I love being greeted by the cluster of silvery birch trees in the lobby atrium, their crooked trunks sprouting from a soft blanket of moss. I even like my fourth-floor cubicle, an oasis of calm overlooking the third-floor newsroom.
...
The tower’s crown is also disappointing. To hide the rooftop’s mechanical equipment and create the impression that the tower is dissolving into the sky, Mr. Piano extended the screens a full six stories past the top of the building’s frame. Yet the effect is ragged and unfinished. Rather than gathering momentum as it rises, the tower seems to fizzle.
...
Architecturally, however, The New York Times Building owes its greatest debt to postwar landmarks like Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s Lever House or Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram Building — designs that came to embody the progressive values and industrial power of a triumphant America. Their streamlined glass-and-steel forms proclaimed a faith in machine-age efficiency and an open, honest, democratic society.

Atlantic Yards Report, Ouroussoff on the Times Tower and "a franker reading of contemporary life"

In his mostly approving review of the new Times Tower designed by Renzo Piano and built by the New York Times Company and Forest City Ratner, headlined Pride and Nostalgia Mix in the Times’s New Home, Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff suggests that the building's style reflects some tensions in the evolving practice of journalism.

Ouroussoff writes:

Newspaper journalism, too, is part of that history. Transparency, independence, the free flow of information, moral clarity, objective truth — these notions took hold and flourished in the last century at papers like The Times. To many this idealism reached its pinnacle in the period stretching from the civil rights movement to the Vietnam War to Watergate...

This longing for an idealistic time permeates the main newsroom...

Oder posits:

Might someone inspired by working in the building come to the conclusion that the contrast between railyard developments in Manhattan and Brooklyn deserves a bit more transparency?

Posted by lumi at November 20, 2007 6:53 AM