Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on September 30, 2008
Blue is my favorite color and I’ve often been criticized for the lack of diversity in my wardrobe, so when I saw this building I was immediately intrigued. The Blue Tower by Bernard Tschumi opened in New York City late last year, housing 32 apartments and a 3rd floor commercial space. If you’re an architectural traditionalist, don’t read any further.
It sticks out like a sore thumb in the neighborhood of old, brick buildings and it rises high above the current landscape. I’m not convinced that the shape is really what people want either; it looks like an unfinished headquarters for Planet Hollywood.
According to Tschumi, Blue (the building) was designed to overcome complicated zoning by cantilevering over the building’s footprint. It’s great to see creative solutions to difficult zoning issues. Tschumi also tried to capture the diversity of the neighborhood with the pixilated glass exterior, and of course the firm was trying to make an architectural statement.
Inside is where you find the green. Sustainable materials outfit each apartment, such as bamboo flooring and wall panels and river-pebble bathroom tiles. The exterior walls are all window — taking advantage of solar gain in the winter — and there is a community garden space on the roof of a neighboring building.
Curiously however, there is no talk of sustainable energy production on-site, nor is there a discussion of affordability, the forgotten economic side of sustainability. The penthouse apartment is just over 2400 sq ft and is going for a cool $3.5 million, while the standard 2 bedroom is going for a bit less at $2.4 million. Believe me when I saw, that is a lot of green.
On a scale from 1 to 10, I give it a 6.