We've wondered before about the seizure/migraine risk at LIC light show building The Murano, where an LED "clock" displays a different color every hour. But maybe we should have been more worried about the building's potential to make architecture critics very, very angry. It seems to have had that effect already on Sharon McHugh of World Architecture News, who deviates from the publication's usual new building puff piece to give the Murano a smackdown so epic WAN slapped it with an "Editorial" tag. We know any review that begins by asking "Is Long Island City's new Murano building an icon or just a plain old con?" is going to be worth our while. And it is! The interiors aren't bad, McHugh concedes, but only because they're "more restrained and elegant than the building design." And about that building design, first things first: McHugh doesn't like the moat.
The moat is intended as a threshold between the harsh environment of the city and the serene nature of the building. But here the island metaphor is taken too far as the Murano sits in a desolate landscape, albeit one with potential, bordered by the Long Island Rail Yards and vacant industrial buildings....A moat in a moribund landscape does not an oasis make but the developer of the Murano would perhaps like its buyers to think so.
And an attempt to convince buyers that a moat will make a formerly industrial Queens block serene is only the very beginning of the developer's deceptions, McHugh believes. She wraps things up by calling the Murano ugly and a bad
For the most part, The Murano is a building that portends to be something greater than it is. The building is a mid level quality developer building boldly posing as an architectural landmark and dishonestly at that, as its plays fast and footloose with the true conditions of the project and the neighborhood, using seductive renderings and analogies to paradisiacal places to draw buyers awhile eschewing the truth in favor of a more palatable reality. · Murano [WAN]
· Murano coverage [Curbed]