The New New York Skyline

Christopher Grimes in the Financial Times:

Four years on, there is an architectural renaissance in New York that would have been difficult to imagine in the weeks that followed 9/11. Since the 1960s, the shape of New York’s skyline has been under the control of savvy developers who made fortunes erecting uniform brick apartment towers and boxy office buildings. Architects wanting to do something new had little choice but to look to Europe or Asia. This is changing: New York is once again becoming a city where adventurous architecture can happen. Many of the world’s top architects are, like Foster, working in the city for the first time.

The outbreak of adventurous design is extremely broad-based. There are public works, most spectacularly Santiago Calatrava’s design for a new transportation centre near the World Trade Center site. There are the midtown office towers: Foster’s Hearst building, Renzo Piano’s design for The New York Times and Cesar Pelli’s new office for Bloomberg LP, all departures from the corporate glass boxes that dominate midtown Manhattan. There are great new cultural designs, including Yoshio Tanaguchi’s elegant expansion of the Museum of Modern Art. Restorations include David Childs’ plan to convert the 1912 beaux-arts Farley Post Office into a desperately needed new Pennsylvania Station. And then there is the High Line, one of those priceless ideas that is often conceived but too rarely executed: the plan is to convert a 1.45-mile-long stretch of disused elevated train track into a public park 30 feet above Chelsea and the Meatpacking District. But perhaps the most heartening of all is the return to interesting residential design, spurred on by Richard Meier’s work on Manhattan’s west side.

More here.