Building Outside the Box

Design matters. That's the message of two articles I read this past week: one on public works in New York City, the other on high-rise ...
by | August 16, 2005

Design matters. That's the message of two articles I read this past week: one on public works in New York City, the other on high-rise condominiums in cities nationwide. Local officials and private developers alike are turning to big-name architects to give mundane buildings some character.

In the Big Apple, new standards adopted by the Department of Design and Construction--focused more on the quality of designs than the competitiveness of bids--are prompting prominent firms to pursue commissions for police and fire stations, branch libraries, recreation centers and other formerly "low-end, unglamorous assignments."

Likewise, the urban residential landscape has largely been defined by "traditional, often boxlike, brick apartment and condo dwellings that are economical to build." But a growing number of luxury projects--aimed at luring single professionals and empty-nesters to move downtown--reflect the more experimental styles of celebrated architects, including Michael Graves, Daniel Libeskind and Richard Meier. 

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