What's big, red, glassy-eyed and sits all day on the Bowery? Those who answered "a drunken bum" haven't taken a gander at the new slice of modernity from starchitect Norman Foster at 257 Bowery. This levitating showroom, the central feature of the new Sperone Westwater gallery, is finally on view to the public?at least on the outside. The capacious red cube serves the functional purpose of housing a movable exhibition space that will slide up and down from floor to floor, but there's symbolism in its slickness.
Change is everyone along the Bowery, and when a new restaurant tags itself "SRO" it's pretty clear the newbies aren't aiming for folks in need of a flop. Foster's artful tower near the New Museum is just the latest creation that's transforming the former skid row from north to south. At the top of Lord Norm's eight stories (which are sided in black corrugated metal), panels of white glass surround a viewing slot set back above the street, offering views over the red bricks of Little Italy. When Sperone Westwater opens in September its big red box will be a beacon, bringing arbiters of artistes down to Bowery 2.0.
· 257 Bowery coverage [Curbed]
· Sperone Westwater [Official Site]