In Progress: Beekman Tower / Frank Gehry

Rocco S Cetera

As ’s Beekman Tower rises in Lower Manhattan, we can’t help but wonder if the apartments in this undulating, rippling building will be snatched up as soon as possible.  The tower is scheduled for leasing to begin early spring of next year and, although information regarding floor plans and pricing still hasn’t been released, we are interested to see if you’d take up residence in the Beekman Tower.

More about the tower and more construction shots after the break.

Moonman 82

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 has slowed dramatically.”

Rocco S Cetera

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.

via Curbed

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.

Moonman 82
Rocco S Cetera

Source: Curbed

Images: Rocco S. Cetera on Flickr and Moonman 82 on Flickr

Cite: Cilento, Karen. "In Progress: Beekman Tower / Frank Gehry" 21 Jun 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 19 Sep 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Didn’t expect it to be that big. Totally out of NY scale, see the woolworth next to it.

    • Thumb up Thumb down +2

      you are so right. totally out of scale. there are not big buildings in NY……ahhhhh!!!!

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    So It’s facade uselessly undulates (except where it needs to be made cheaply), and it’s abhorrently large in it’s residential context.

    Have I missed something here, or is this project not very special?

  3. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    I disagree with everyone’s complaint of scale. Big buildings do not, and arguable should not be surrounded only by tall buildings. I am no fan of Gehry and reluctant to jump to his defense, but in this case I believe a tall tower amongst smaller buildings creates variation, rhythm, and can work as a point of orientation to pedestrians.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    perfect example of ghery’s ragged out “style.” pointlessly expensive and blindly selfish. the recipe for architecture stardom

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    This building will be more interesting in about 40 years, but not because of the by-then outdated undulating style. Rather, the flat side will be a testament to the crash of ’08 and the economic havoc wrought on the built environment. The Washington Monument in DC tells a similar tale of war and national resources.

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    in spite of what everyone else thinks, I think it’s quite nice. A nice departure from his usual. Reminds me of the aqua tower in some instances. However, it is out of scale with the context. Then again, maybe it was meant to be more iconic rather than blend in. But anyway, I don’t hate it. People hate on gehry because somehow that became the “cool” thing to do.

  7. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    you nay sayers are ridiculous,
    this building is fabulous. its gehry doing what he does best in a new format, high rise.
    nobody else can do this.
    additionally a few points in its favor: the facade has scale on multiple levels. it works as monument and as a building that has intimate scale. it plays with light in interesting ways. its well built. it pushes the technological envelope.
    show me other new york buildings that come within a mile of these accomplishments.

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    What’s up with you guys? I’m not a Gehry fan either, but it’s so easy for you to belittle his work in terms of cost, style, etc. And this irrational fear of scale? Please, this is what happens when cities grow.

    In the end, Gehry is adding value in the form of real estate value. If somebody is willing to pay for it, then there’s a demand for extraordinary architecture. Besides, Gehry’s office has proven itself as one that can deliver complex architecture within budget, like Bilbao’s Guggenheim.

    Personally, I think this building is very beautiful and I’d rather him be doing it than any other Joe Schmuck Architect. It’s very prudent of him to keep it restrained while giving it a hallmark of differentiation from many other, frankly, mediocre New York Bleahchitecture.

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I am very sorry for anyone who think this is architecture. this is fake. the reason why this is on archdaily, is just the label “gehry”. If editors of AD consider this an architecture, OK, then post any dubai/shenzen/abu dhabi glamour fake architecture. Otherwise, this is just a spam. I go here to look for some nice buildings and I am not willing to scroll over dozens of pseudo-architectures.

    this building is just a money maker. for gehry and for the developer. tehy wanted gehry and he did not want to spend more than 1 hour on in. so someone in his office designed a various generic high rise, he took the model, did something during the lunch break and the “architecture” was born

    I am no fan of gehry, because I am no fan of this superstarish meaningless formalism. But I agree he was really important and influential. But this building is not important and definetly not architecture. unless someone thinks architecture is a random building made by an (famous) architect.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      Sorry JNK… but this is architecture, maybe not your cup of tea, it is certainly not mine. But this IS part of popular architectural vocabulary right now. What is fake is everyone bashing Gehry as they work on paper projects. This is being built, people are going to dwell within it, and it will affect the lives of many people in NYC… for better or worse. You have not even seen a floor plan and you know this is fake and generic? Besides, look at the floorplates, at least they match the façade…. That’s better, and more “real”, than some of his old projects. Have fun reading the second half of “Thinking Architecture” and defending your masters.

  10. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    intelligent argument of “JNK”.

    well, this building very needs the Frank Gehry’s STYLE. it’s sad a bit, that in this project has so little “frank gehry”. Why? maybe the “JNK” comment explained many..

    Frank Gehry is really grow old..
    Earlier you could feel, see the Genius of Frank Gehry in this Architecture. But now, you can only see the imitation, copy of his (past) genius.

    It’s really sad, but I still Respect this Architect for his architecture and influence.

  11. Thumb up Thumb down -1

    The man is a giant and will be remembered for millenniums…. you folks will be remembered by your kids, if your lucky.

  12. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    flat side makes me think of a dog poop hitting the ground and taking its shape. probably more indicative of me than it, but still, the slapping up of that straight facade really seems to underscore the silliness of the other 3 sides….

    as for millenia… please.

  13. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    This building seems quite boring actually. Ozmoto you’re right, Gehry will be remembered but probably not for this one.

  14. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I really like the fact how the building reflects the light, especially on the second photo. It give the building a dynamic aspect compared to all the dull skyscrapers around it. On the other photos, the sky is cloudy and the building loses this effect, which is a pity.

    Concerning the comments that said it’s oversized, that was the given program, and he had to stick with it. Especially that the building around it will eventually be replaced, and probably by higher skyscrapers. Don’t forget architecture is in 4 dimensions.

    What I dislike is the non existing transition between the 3 different building stages, however how it’s done now makes sence with the curves. From far it looks great, from close it’s like a mimic of developable surfaces.

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