Fugly Architecture Thursday

Introduction of new weekly (ok, probably bi-weekly) segment entitled : Fugly Architecture Thursday.

On Wednesday myself and the girls in the research center I work at were horrified and then just astonished by this horrendous 20 story luxury apartment development proposed for Gramercy Park, NYC. Yup those two little colorful blocks in the midst of that glazed mess are historical apartments that are being built around with NO consideration whatsoever.


But then you say: well at least those considerate developers are taking account of whats already there and building around the existing historical context. Oh contrare! I say in return. Check this more recent rendering out of the SAME proposed development looking up the other side of the road:


Yup, you guessed it: they've created different schemes based upon the amount of existing tenants (in those lovely little apartments) that will give up their homes and businesses so a faceless, region-less, once again - glazed mess of a building would go in their place. Note: the original scheme was to cantilever the new building over the existing collection of unique buildings... an actually very attractive, human in scale and historically sympathetic scheme (seen below)

but NOPE.. once bullying one resident out of the area was successful the cantilevering was nixed and the buildings were planned to come down and have glazing put in its place. Now note that i am NOT against development... communities thrive on it, and I hope to enter the preservation associated part of the field after graduation. But honestly, there are SOME responsibilities that need to be assumed when anyone purchases a property or properties: if a historic building is on the property, assume the responsibility of taking care of it and being respectful of something that existed long before you ever held a deed. If you don't want the responsibility, then awesome... sell the property and move on. The most successful spaces are those that are pre-existing that daring developers take on and create a unique live/work space for people to live their lives. Humans do not want cookie cutter sterile environments. Why do you think that studio apartments which have been converted from historic warehouses are in such high demand?

Okay, rant over, but you best believe more will be coming down the road.

oh, and just if you're wondering, this is what that block looks like right now. I want one of those quaint little balconies.

1 comment:

med said...

yay for smart development, boo for icky tackiness like you have pointed out!

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