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Goldberger on Gehry's IAC Building: He Likes It!

Just a day after we checked in on its still-upside-down window, architect Frank Gehry's IAC Headquarters near Chelsea Piers gets the Paul Goldberger review treatment in the New Yorker. Will Goldberger, the man who famously slammed Charles Gwathmey's Astor Place Sculpture for Living, love or hate the Chelsea newcomer? The answer may surprise you!

No Gehry building is ordered in a traditional way, but this one comes closer than most. There is a broad, nearly symmetrical five-story base, with a façade that zigzags in and out, making five roughly equal sections... The façade, unusually for Gehry, is made of a single material: instead of a jumble of clashing forms, the glass is all you see, covering everything like a blanket. By Gehry’s standards, this is serene, but behind the placid exterior are some daring technical maneuvers, including a number of concrete structural columns set at angles. During construction, the Georgetown Company, [IAC head Barry] Diller’s partner in the development, got calls from people who wondered if it knew that the building was going up crooked.Translation: it's a rave. Who woulda thunkit? N.B. In the same article, as the folks at No Land Grab are gleefully noting, Goldberger hauls Gehry's Atlantic Yards project in for an ass-whooping: "Rather than giving a sense of foreground and background, the juxtaposition of plain and fancy just looks like a few Gehrys bought for full price next to several bought at discount." Ooo-eee.
· Gehry-Rigged [New Yorker, photo by Overshadowed/Flickr]