Gehry and Meier on the West Side Highway

Img_0145On 18th Street, right on the West Side Highway in New York City, the future headquarters of Interactive Corporation is rising up from the ground.

It’s an interesting glass tower structure, designed by Frank Gehry, and showcases his warped sense of design. I enjoy looking at Gehry’s buildings from the outside. They capture my imagination and they are fun. I’ve been watching this building go up from my regular bike rides up the west side bike path and I can’t wait until its completed.

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About 15 blocks south of Gehry’s building, between W 11th and and Charles Street, also on the West Side Highway, are three glass towers designed by Richard Meier.

These towers have been very controversial as many west villagers don’t like the Miami Beach/Rio beachfront tower look.

I actually like looking at them. They are striking buildings that give the west side a different look.

But there is one thing about these Meier towers that I have always wondered about.  The use of glass from floor to ceiling turns the full floor apartments into fish bowls and unless you use curtains for privacy, your apartment is there for the world to see.  But if you use curtains, you lose the dramatic floor to ceiling views. It seems like a tough choice for those that live in these towers.

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As this photo shows, most of the people who live in these towers choose the fishbowl and keep the views.

Which leads me back to the Gehry building.  As you can see from the top photo, Gehry has decided to use frosted glass on his building, at least for most of the way between the floor and ceiling.

It’s an interesting choice. I suspect its going to work well for the people working in the building.  But I am not sure I like the look on the outside of the building. I didn’t like it at all when I first saw it and although it’s growing on me, I think it takes something away from the otherwise really cool look of the building.