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Old December 11th, 2012, 10:55 AM   #141
RegentHouse
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Originally Posted by aquablue View Post
Setbacks are useful and increase quality of life in such a densely packed city, especially with all the tall canyons everywhere. People don't want 1000 foot sheer walls towering right over them as they walk the narrow streets of NY. I agree though that the setbacks should depend on the surrounding area and height of the towers.

They usually pick the most cost efficient designs, that is just the way it works. It seems quite obvious that it would be far costlier to build some of the other more ostentatious designs. However, I disagree with you on UN Plaza, that isn't an exciting tower at all. Park avenue is also conservative, and this tower fits in with that theme even though I also would have prefered the Hadid tower.
I'm aware of what setbacks were intended to do. However, the whole canyon scare was a Progressive Era myth, which is why the law is no longer in place.

It didn't increase the quality of life for anybody, and instead created a whole generation of mutilated-looking buildings, many of which replaced beautiful pre-1916 high-rises.

Look at Hong Kong. You literally have streets flanked by one tower after another, and the street can still be an attractive place. It's not dark either, and the lack of street-lighting was the main reason the ordinance was adopted.
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Old December 11th, 2012, 09:41 PM   #142
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If the law is no longer in place, why are set backs required on so many towers?

Also, if you didn't have setbacks, there would be far more dull boxes with no definition at all in their facades. No thanks. At least set-backs give some boring boxy towers in NY some shape. Without them, developers would just maximize FAR and we would just get straight boxes everywhere which doesn't appeal to me.

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Old December 11th, 2012, 10:57 PM   #143
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That law is no guarantee for set-back building. Many have built their towers further from the street with a plaza or very wide pavement, and so the towers remained boxy.
For example the Merchandise Mart Building at Madison Square Park.
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Old December 11th, 2012, 10:58 PM   #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquablue View Post
If the law is no longer in place, why are set backs required on so many towers?

Also, if you didn't have setbacks, there would be far more dull boxes with no definition at all in their facades. No thanks. At least set-backs give some boring boxy towers in NY some shape. Without them, developers would just maximize FAR and we would just get straight boxes everywhere which doesn't appeal to me.
If setbacks are still required, why is every project apart from this straight up? Also, if you think smaller boxes on top of larger boxes is "shape," architecture must mean nothing to you. Besides, developers frequently used loopholes in the past, like building tiny plazas, which are essentially wider sidewalks, to construct the most space as they could.
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Old December 12th, 2012, 10:15 PM   #145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RegentHouse View Post
If setbacks are still required, why is every project apart from this straight up? Also, if you think smaller boxes on top of larger boxes is "shape," architecture must mean nothing to you. Besides, developers frequently used loopholes in the past, like building tiny plazas, which are essentially wider sidewalks, to construct the most space as they could.
So, I didn't know something in the zoning code, so what? Stop making erroneous personal attacks regarding my interest in architecture... If I like buildings with setbacks over straight boxes and If I think that said elements give a building a more interesting shape, it does not mean 'architecture must mean nothing' to me. That is just ridiculous. Stop making such wild assumptions about people and don't put people's subjective feelings on design down so easily if they don't agree with your own.. BTW, you are so wrong on that point.

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Old December 13th, 2012, 12:01 AM   #146
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LOL I don't see your point.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 01:16 AM   #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RegentHouse View Post
If setbacks are still required, why is every project apart from this straight up? Also, if you think smaller boxes on top of larger boxes is "shape," architecture must mean nothing to you. Besides, developers frequently used loopholes in the past, like building tiny plazas, which are essentially wider sidewalks, to construct the most space as they could.
Setbacks are not necessarily still required, however the sky exposure plane is still in effect, limiting how high a building can rise directly from the sidewalk before it must be setback. The 1961 zoning change altered the 1916 zoning, to allow buildings to rise straight up if they are setback from the sidewalk (basically think of the Seagram Building). That is why so many of the post-1961 office towers have a public plaza in front of their building. It is also why the tower portion of 432 Park Avenue is located directly in the center of its site. Furthermore, it was one of the primary reasons that the Torre Verre was subject review: because it impeded into the sky exposure plane. That said, there have been numerous alterations to the zoning code since 1961, and there are now contextual zoning districts that require consistent street wall, usually in exchange for reduced height limits.

With regard to the "wedding cake" style generated from the 1916 zoning code, it actually played a major part in creating the majority of NYC's most iconic skyscrapers. The Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, Rockefeller Center, 40 Wall Street all are direct products of the setback requirements in the 1916 zoning code. Not to mention there are countless other buildings built during the 1920s and 1930s that utilize the classic "wedding cake" style across the City. You can hate it (I don't), but its a classic New York City architectural style not seen elsewhere. It seems Foster is giving homage to this heritage, which I think is a tasteful move.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 05:01 AM   #148
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The subsequent 1961 amendment is what I was referring to, as it was a result of the loophole the Seagram Building (et al.) took advantage of.

The "wedding cake" shape was actually picked up in cities internationally without such a zoning resolution, albeit they don't look as bad. As you said, it was more along the lines of the few good examples like the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings. I think main reason they look so good despite setbacks, is because of how tall they are. Regardless, to consider runty buildings like 120 Wall Street or 275 Madison Avenue unique and positive characteristics of NYC is absurd. It's like if Detroit were to embrace and promote its current blighted conditions.

Requiring setbacks because of an age-old myth that the street would get dark, and everybody would get sick and die, does nothing but impede upon the architect's vision of a building. While such a building is going away for this one, why not build something innovative? Foster is good at it, but this building begs to differ. Not chiefly because of the setbacks, but the fact it's another box or a few.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 05:45 AM   #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RegentHouse View Post
The subsequent 1961 amendment is what I was referring to, as it was a result of the loophole the Seagram Building (et al.) took advantage of.
I wouldn't call this a loophole per se, I think it was one of the primary purposes of the 1961 zoning change. Regardless, the sky exposure plane still plays a major role in the design of New York City buildings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RegentHouse View Post
The "wedding cake" shape was actually picked up in cities internationally without such a zoning resolution, albeit they don't look as bad.
Examples?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RegentHouse View Post
As you said, it was more along the lines of the few good examples like the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings. I think main reason they look so good despite setbacks, is because of how tall they are. Regardless, to consider runty buildings like 120 Wall Street or 275 Madison Avenue unique and positive characteristics of NYC is absurd. It's like if Detroit were to embrace and promote its current blighted conditions.
This statement doesn't even make sense. You're comparing architecture to an urban condition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RegentHouse View Post
Requiring setbacks because of an age-old myth that the street would get dark, and everybody would get sick and die, does nothing but impede upon the architect's vision of a building. While such a building is going away for this one, why not build something innovative? Foster is good at it, but this building begs to differ. Not chiefly because of the setbacks, but the fact it's another box or a few.
We'll have to agree to disagree. I think Foster's was the best of the bunch.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 07:21 AM   #150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbarn View Post
Examples?



http://www.chicagosavvytours.com/Jew...er_Chicago.jpg

Quote:
This statement doesn't even make sense. You're comparing architecture to an urban condition.
Really? I'm simply saying that it's not something for the city to be proud of.

Quote:
We'll have to agree to disagree. I think Foster's was the best of the bunch.
OMA's was far superior to Foster's or Hadid's.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 07:39 AM   #151
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Regarding those images, I was more interested in your international examples. Chicago and New York share many similar building styles from this era.



Quote:
Originally Posted by RegentHouse View Post
Really? I'm simply saying that it's not something for the city to be proud of.

OMA's was far superior to Foster's or Hadid's.
We'll just have to agree that we have a difference in opinion on these two subjects.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 08:18 AM   #152
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Quote:
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Regarding those images, I was more interested in your international examples. Chicago and New York share many similar building styles from this era.
Funny, I often hear people say each always had their own distinctive separate styles...

Anyway, internationally:




Quote:
We'll just have to agree that we have a difference in opinion on these two subjects.
Sure.
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Old February 19th, 2013, 05:11 PM   #153
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Lehman to sell its majority stake in 425 Park Avenue


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Lehman Brothers is looking to sell its 90 percent stake in 425 Park Avenue, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The 31-story, 567,340-square-foot building, located in Midtown East, is slated to be demolished and replaced with a 650,000-square-foot Norman Foster-designed office tower being developed by L&L Holdings, which owns the remaining 10 percent stake in the current building.

Lehman and L&L bought the property in 2006, and Lehman valued its 90 percent stake at about $84 million in 2007, according to bankruptcy documents viewed by the Journal.

It is looking to get far more than that amount for its stake, a source told the Journal, and has tapped Eastdil Secured to market the property. Earlier this month, Lehman sold a 21-story, 1.2 million-square-foot building at 237 Park Avenue to RXR Realty for $800 million.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 12:26 AM   #154
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Not much new floor area in the new tower while it has 10 more floors, anyway good to hear they will demolish it soon. I guess the same way as the Deutsche Bank Building.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 12:38 AM   #155
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Smaller floor plans.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 12:47 AM   #156
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I guess so, although it doesn't look much smaller in the render.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 01:04 AM   #157
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i think New York has a good chance of getting the title back of the city with most 200m buildings. After all Hong Kong, Dubai and Shanghai are declining in their output by mass and Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Tianjin etc are still too far away to keep up within the next few years.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 01:34 AM   #158
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i think New York has a good chance of getting the title back of the city with most 200m buildings. After all Hong Kong, Dubai and Shanghai are declining in their output by mass and Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Tianjin etc are still too far away to keep up within the next few years.
Statistics like these are nice, but what is most important is better design for NYC.

What is the current ranking now?
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Old February 20th, 2013, 02:29 AM   #159
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^

#3, behind Dubai which is #1 with at least 63, that's the last number I saw but it's probably more. HK is #2 with 62, and NY has 58 including the topped out 1 WTC, 4 WTC, One57, and 1715 Broadway.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 02:43 AM   #160
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I guess so, although it doesn't look much smaller in the render.
The new tower is significantly taller than the old one (w/o factoring in the crown).
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