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Hearst Tower's Naughty Neighbors

Awwww yeah. Metropolis's Philip Nobel lays some smackdown on Norman Foster's Hearst Tower: "The tower itself, now that it is substantially complete in advance of its opening this summer, reveals itself to be quite far from the innovative, high-tech nirvana many expected when Foster was first tapped." That's interesting, but where the critique really grabs our interest is when it takes on the neighbors:

But New York City--particularly Midtown Manhattan, where the Hearst Tower now stands in all its incongruous glory--is an uncompromising place, one that doesn't easily accommodate the architectural tricks, tics, and fillips that distinguish the "world-class" from the merely useful. Passing over the best-known hurdles--oddball zoning rules, penny-pinching developers, mobbed-up construction sites, hidebound trades--there is also the simple fact that towers there are built cheek by jowl, one great erection butting against the next as close as any two lowly tenements downtown. The Hearst Tower gives itself some breathing room, set back as it is within the frame of its borrowed podium, but it can't quite detach enough from the truly abominable presence of the tall brown-brick mass of The Sheffield apartments, adjacent to the west. And then there's the little issue of the meritless green-glass apartment tower across 57th Street to the north, rising with Hearst for most of its modest 42 stories--in which, incidentally, residents have still not learned to lower their shades before undressing.· Norman Foster vs. New York [Metropolis]
· Hearst Tower Spycam Shots Snared [Curbed]
· Hearst Tower Facade Photo [Flickr/emilygeoff]