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Gehry in Chelsea: Ouroussoff Gets Serviced

Six months after Paul Goldberger had his (surprisingly positive?) say, and nine months after Philip Nobel issued his (unsurprisingly negative!) word, it's time for NYT architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff to lower the boom—equivocally!— on Frank Gehry's IAC Headquarters in far West Chelsea. Blah "bold departure" blah "blandly corporate." (Depends on the angle.)

So in what way does the building really rock? Let's head to the back of the building:

Compare this with the service stairwell at the back of the building. Made of rough exposed concrete, the 10-story staircase is pulled back from the glass facade, creating a narrow, vertigo-inducing slot that allows you to peer down into an outdoor courtyard. The staircase overlooks a romantic, perfectly framed view of the Empire State Building, but the clash of raw concrete, glass and aluminum has more in sympathy with the surrounding rooftops: a clear indication of where Mr. Gehry’s heart lies. It may be the most gorgeous service staircase anywhere in New York. (It has now been painted various shades of yellow, however, dulling the effect.)And somewhere, Barry Diller just choked the life out of one of his young yes-men.
· Gehry's New York Debut: Subdued Towers of Light [NYTimes]
· Goldberger on Gehry's IAC Building: He Likes It! [Curbed]
· Gehry: The Greatest Architect on Earth [Metropolis]