Herzog & de Meuron, the Swiss architecture duo responsible for tabled 56 Leonard and Bond Street's greenest luxury condo, have just unveiled their design work on something a little more established: the Park Avenue Armory. Two rooms of the $200-million restoration (expected to be completed by 2015) are already finished; both seem like a departure from the Swiss architects' perfectly contemporary approach to architecture, more of a refresh than a complete re-imagining. But by restoring the interior work of classicists like Louis Comfort Tiffany and Stanford White, they are exploring the act of transformation and time. Herzog asks the Times in archispeak fashion: “What is history? What are the materials? We wanted time and the layers of the time to be visible. It’s not so perfect.” Which isn't to say the old/new look isn't meticulous: one room in particular was cleaned with 280,000 Q-tips.
· Fixer-Upper With Unique Challenge [New York Times]