Though the news comes as no surprise given the recent silence surrounding the project, Tower Verre?the 75-story hotel and condo building (and MoMA gallery!) designed by Pritzker Prize-winning French starchitect Jean Nouvel on West 53rd Street?is "delayed indefinitely." That report comes from NYT architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff, who revealed Nouvel's stunning skyscraper one year ago. Since then, Nouvel has personally campaigned for the building, and the Tower Verre cleared at least one major city hurdle. But times have changed and so has Ouroussoff's attitude. While the influential critic has rarely met a bit of starchitecture he didn't love, he now points to the departed building boom as an era of "vulgarity," claiming that Manhattan's recent high-profile commissions?many of which he has raved about?"threatened to transform the city's skyline into a tapestry of individual greed." That's threatened, past tense, because though Tower Verre's website is still up and running, 2009 is shaping up to be the year it all comes crumbling down.
· It Was Fun Till the Money Ran Out [NYT]
· Tower Verre coverage [Curbed]
Renderings: Ateliers Jean Nouvel