Now that phase one of West Side ziggurat Mercedes House is complete, it's time for a little archicritique: so what does the Wall Street Journal think of Enrique Norten's rental complex? Kudos for unconventional thinking that strays outside of the "vertical arms race" enveloping Manhattan, but points detracted for failing to contextualize it within the neighborhood: "Its personality overwhelms the block on which it sits," and its appeal, "like the cars sold in the Mercedes-Benz dealership on the ground floor," is all shiny, metallic, hard-edged, and aggressively contemporary. What may be the issue here is Norten's insistence that Mercedes House is less of a stylistic statement than an opportunity to engage with the existing urban fabric. As Robbie Whelan writes, it's likely "designed more for renters looking for architectural cool rather than a building meant to be respectful of its neighbors."
· Far Above the Showroom [WSJ]
· Mercedes House coverage [Curbed]