Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The purpose of architecture in cities?

Like many of his generation — Mr. Nouvel is 64 — he retains a stubborn, some might say naïve, belief that architecture should make us alert to the conflicts that shape the modern city rather than conceal them.

That attitude is apparent in the mixed signals the building sends. Seen from across the West Side Highway, the tower’s twinkling facade, with its hundreds of irregularly shaped windows tilted at odd angles to reflect fragments of sky or the surrounding city, offers a striking counterpoint to the soft, sail-like curves of Mr. Gehry’s creation. Rows of older brick buildings flank them to the north and south, and the contrast between glass and masonry, straight and curved lines, creates a nice rhythm along what was once a bleak strip of decrepit offices and warehouses.

-At the Corner of Grit and Glamour

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