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Innovation

Top 10 ugliest buildings in New York City

The headquarters of The New York Times is the ugliest building in New York City, according to a new report. Here's the full list.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor

The headquarters of The New York Times is the ugliest building in New York City, according to a new report.

That's according to New York City-based blog Gothamist, which based its picks off the latest edition of the American Institute of Architects' Guide to New York City.

The Times Building is the work of 1998 Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, whose mercurial designs include the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, France; the Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, Germany; and the Kansai International Airport in Osaka, Japan.

It was designed in partnership with New York-based firm FXFowle and, for the interior, architectural firm Gensler.

The Times' own architecture critic, Nicolai Ouroussoff, called it a "paradise" in his review:

A towering composition of glass and steel clad in a veil of ceramic rods, it delivers on Modernism's age-old promise to drag us — in this case, The Times — out of the Dark Ages.

I enjoy gazing up at the building’s sharp edges and clean lines when I emerge from the subway exit at 40th Street and Seventh Avenue in the morning. I love being greeted by the cluster of silvery birch trees in the lobby atrium, their crooked trunks sprouting from a soft blanket of moss. I even like my fourth-floor cubicle, an oasis of calm overlooking the third-floor newsroom.

Others weren't so elated. The New Yorker architectural critic Paul Goldberger noted that the fifty-two-story metal and glass tower's facade of small ceramic rods were intended to make the building disappear into the air:

While it doesn’t quite do that—in part because of its steely, battleship-gray color—it has a tensile elegance that sets it apart from every other skyscraper in Manhattan.

Among the top 10? Tony addresses such as the Trump Tower (where Donald himself resides) and the Four Seasons Hotel.

Here's the complete list, with addresses so you can look them up and see for yourself:

  1. The New York Times Building, 620 Eighth Avenue, Manhattan
  2. 520 West 27th Street, Manhattan
  3. 200 Eleventh Avenue, Manhattan
  4. Trump Tower, 721 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan
  5. Trump Place
  6. Training Facility, Ironworkers Local 40 & 361, 35-23 36th Street, Astoria, Queens
  7. Montefiore Apartments II, 3450 Wayne Avenue, Bronx
  8. The Four Seasons Hotel, 57 East 57th Street, Manhattan
  9. TGI Friday's, 604 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan
  10. Former Bear Stearns World Headquarters, 383 Madison Avenue, Manhattan

The AIA's real report does not list the city's worst architectural exercises, but instead focuses on green and sustainable building.

It highlights several examples of the best, including:

What do you think: is beauty in the eye of the beholder, or are these buildings true blemishes on America's most populous metropolis?

[via Design Taxi]

Update, July 7, 2010: Looks like we were fooled! The original version of this post attributed the Top 10 list of NYC's architectural eyesores to the AIA. The list is in fact is not from the institute, but instead from the rabble-rousers at Gothamist. We stand corrected.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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