Breaking the Glass Apple: Arguing for Architectural Complexity in New York

With recent developments in Astor Place, Hudson Yards, and Midtown East, Fred A. Bernstein sees a danger in New York City becoming just another a homogenous city of glass facades like Shanghai or Dubai.
May 11, 2013, 5am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"New York City is reaching a tipping point, architecturally," says Bernstein. "The city has the chance to go the way of London and Paris, where carefully chosen bits of contemporary architecture enliven an urban fabric that remains largely intact, or the way of Shanghai and Dubai, where relentless repetition of glass facades leads to a numbing sameness."

"Several recent developments suggest that New York, for all its attention to the built environment—and 12 years of a design-savvy administration—is choosing the latter approach, permitting continuous walls of glass to erase the city’s history and leave its citizens with little to reflect on but reflections," he warns.

"People come to cities for variety and stimulation; asking them to love a blank glass box is like asking a pet lover to adopt a shiny Jeff Koons dog."


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Published on Wednesday, May 1, 2013 in Architectural Record
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