New York Times Building, called the ugliest building in New York City by the American Institute of Architects, is nonetheless impressive in many ways. The exposed frame, ceramic-rod screen, monumental logo and sheer height make it stand out even in a neighborhood filled with buildings that scream for attention.
(Some critics say it was crazy for the Times to spend nearly half a billion dollars for a new headquarters (58% ownership of the $850 million cost) while the paper’s fortunes are shrinking – but that’s neither an architectural nor an aesthetic argument.)
The New York Times Building’s innovative ceramic rod screen – which dramatically cuts energy costs by blocking solar heat – became an embarrassment: Four climbers (so far) have used the screen as a ladder to scale the 52-story facade. The first climber said he did it to protest global warming: Ironic, as his action discourages use of this technology to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
The high-tech lobby, meanwhile, revives and updates an old newspaper tradition: the news is on display for passers-by.
New York Times Building Vital Statistics
- Location: 620 Eighth Avenue between W 40th and W 41st Streets
- Year completed: 2007
- Architect: Renzo Piano Building Workshop and FXFOWLE Architects
- Floors: 52
- Style: postmodern
New York Times Building Recommended Reading
- Wikipedia entry
- The New York Times Architecture Review – Pride and Nostalgia Mix in The Times’s New Home (November 20, 2007)
- Architectural Record: The New York Times Building
- The New York Times Building website
- Arch Daily: The New York Times Building Lobby Garden (January 10, 2011)
- The Architects Newspaper: Climbing the Times (June 6, 2008)
- The City Review Plots & Plans
- Modern Steel: Inside Out (January, 2009)
- Gawker: Is This the Ugliest Building in New York? (July 6, 2010)
- NY Daily News Top 10 ugliest buildings in New York City (July 5, 2010)
- Web Urbanist: Floors So Vain: The World’s Ten Tallest Vanity Heights (September 29, 2013)