Compared to its context, the monstrously tall tower will dominate the neighborhood which is predominantly filled with lower rise building. In the beginning of the construction phase, developer Forest City Ratner threatened to cut Gehry’s 76-story Beekman Tower in half due to cost, but in a press release on the matter, the developer concluded, “FCRC’s critical decision to build the full skyscraper was due to a combination of factors, including a reduction in the cost of construction materials and interior build-out and finishes. In addition, a successful collaboration with the Building and Construction Trades Council and the Building Employers Trade Association resulted in a beneficial Beekman Project Labor Agreement. Completing the Beekman tower will keep hundreds of workers employed at a time when construction in New York has slowed dramatically.”
One of the biggest results of the “reduction in the cost of construction materials” is that the 4th side of the tower will not include the wavy steel facade. When the flattened side was only a few stories tall, it seemed to be tolerable, but as construction continues and the flat side creeps up the full height of the tower, it takes away from the total effect of the building. The non-uniformity makes the skin appear artificial, and clearly denotes a “back” and “front” of the tower.
We are eagerly awaiting the project’s completion to experience the full effect of the tower’s skin and presence in lower Manhattan. We’ll keep you posted on the progress of the tower.