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USA: Sky high-Frank Gehry realises lifelong ambition


Published on Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Like a verticle riverbed, undulating in veins fabricated from 10,500 individual steel panels, a myriad of moody colours affected by the changing sunlight, Frank Gehry’s 8 Spruce Street is truly a tower of revelation. The stuff of myth and legend, the architect makes his mark on the Manhattan skyline with his first skyscraper.

On the site of a former parking lot on the border of New York's financial district, a $875m (£543.3m), 870ft, 76-story residential high-rise, houses 903 rental apartments, with prices rising beyond $2,630 a month.

Due to New York’s harsh building budget restrictions, the tower appears to rise not from pavement level yet through the top of a brick block, housing a new elementary school and service floor of a hospital as part of a trade-off between the developer and the city planners.

After plenty of un-built projects, with the completion of 8 Spruce Street, Gehry is becoming ever more a part of America’s architectural legacy. Now 82 years old, he realises a life long ambition as he has transformed Manhattan's skyline. Seen across the East River from Brooklyn, the tower seems to invoke the Empire State Building, opened 80 years ago, with animated dazzle, ritz and charm that makes New York architecture so compelling.


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