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Architect Says Cheaper 15 Union Square West Still Looks Great

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World Architecture News's stories on new buildings usually veer into the realm of the puff piece, but WAN has a rare harsh word for M.I.A. new condo building 15 Union Square West. Quick refresher: The old Tiffany & Co. building was stripped down to its cast iron facade and wrapped in glass (seven new floors were added up top, too), creating one of the most hotly debated designs in recent Curbed memory. WAN's beef? While the early renderings were "generally well received" and "detailed with a watchmaker’s precision," the reality is that "the cast iron façade is hardly visible, at least not by day; and the jewel maker's precision that gave the façade its crispness such as the detailing of the mullions, is simply not there." Perhaps the building's architect would care to respond?

Why, yes he would! ODA's Eran Chen admits to WAN that the project was value-engineered, but he's still happy with the results. Chen says that the iron arches are visible from the street at certain points of the day, and he's right, especially when those visits don't occur during the day at all. Surely this whole controversy can be explained with a bit of archibabble. Chen's take: "It is the duality of the in and out that makes this project." That'll do. He added: "It will play much better when it is occupied." Yeesh, talk about stalling for time!
· Lost in Translation [WAN]
· 15 Union Square West coverage [Curbed]

Union Square

, Manhattan, NY 10003