Friday, October 17, 2008

Architecture Inspiration: W. R. Grace Building

Built in 1974 and designed by Gordon Bunshaft who was an architect at Skidmore Owings & Merrill, the W.R. Grace building has always been one of my favorite New York City structures. It should not be confused with the Solow Building which is also one of Bunshafts creations. I seem to have a penchant for buildings that could easily be transformed into evil doer headquarters and I feel that the Grace building falls into this category. I love the sense of mass and weight that the building brings, while the slight slope upwards lifts its strictly regimented facade higher into the sky. When standing at the base of the building and looking up, you get a strong feeling of vertigo -  as if you are about to begin falling up. 

The use of white travertine marble also pleases me. It gives the building a sleek 1970s chicness that is undeniable. The black high gloss windows, arranged in their rigid grid, seem like slits that will soon open to uncover a bevy of laser guns that will shoot down intruders. 

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