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Old Posted Nov 1, 2012, 6:22 PM
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Lacking Opportunities at Home, New York Architects Export Their Brands

When It Works in New York, Architects Take It on the Road

October 25, 2012


Read More: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/re...TGcAeccu60Pu6w

WANDER around any number of cities, and you can see on signs and awnings just how much people want to bask in the reflective glow of New York. Far from Manhattan, there are countless New York-style delis selling New York-style cheesecake, of course. And now a lot of cities appear to want to brag that they have New York-style architecture.

- Consider Richard Meier, the master of the color white, who of late has been designing the tallest residential tower in Tel Aviv, a hotel in South Korea and two dozen homes in the seaside town of Bodrum in Turkey. Or Robert A. M. Stern, who was commissioned to design a whole neighborhood on an island in China, with eight towers that will look strikingly similar to his limestone monument to Old New York, 15 Central Park West. “Why do they come to us? Because of 15 Central Park West,” Mr. Stern, 73, said earlier this month from his office on the West Side of Manhattan.

- Mr. Stern’s most ambitious overseas project to date, a two-million-square-foot residential development in Xiamen, a coastal city in southeastern China. Robert A. M. Stern Architects designed a mix of high- and midrise apartments, as well as town houses and single-family villas, on the 25-acre site. The pictures and renderings of the project, dubbed “Heart of Lake,” suggest a more appropriate name for the development might be “Sternville.” Rising above the lower-rise structures will be eight towers — the tallest will have 56 stories — that look like mini-15 Central Park Wests.

- For the 78-year-old Mr. Meier, the spike in foreign work has been more pronounced. About 80 percent of Richard Meier & Partners Architects’ projects today are overseas and 20 percent in the United States, up from about 50-50 before the recession. The firm is developing its first projects in 11 countries, including China, Israel, Turkey, Brazil, South Korea and Mexico. The projects run the gamut, from office buildings to residential towers, from hotels to single-family homes. Mr. Meier, who in his early days was one of the “New York 5” — a group of architects all thought to hew to a pure form of architectural modernism — is perhaps most famous for designing the Getty Center in Los Angeles.

- Some global fans of his modern architecture have sought to market his brand in places where Mr. Meier hasn’t had a presence before. The billionaire German-American investor Nicolas Berggruen has backed Mr. Meier’s involvement in designing a 39-story residential tower in Tel Aviv and 21 single-family homes in Bodrum. For the wealthy, “architecture is a different form of art,” said Ali Pamir, the Turkish developer of the Bodrum project. “And architecture is becoming collectible.” The homes, which will range from 5,000 to 6,000 square feet on lots of a little over an acre, are being built on a hillside overlooking the Aegean Sea. So far one has gone up and is on the market for $5 million.

- “Architects like Richard Meier have accomplished so much in their own countries that they are looking for a different challenge,” Mr. Pamir said. “There is a lot of satisfaction to transport your vision to other cultures and other countries. They are seeing what they can do on a global scale.” Mr. Meier, while grateful for the work abroad, still laments the lack of projects in the town where he has worked in the same office, at 10th Avenue and 36th Street, for over 40 years. “You used to look out that window and somewhere you would see a crane,” he said a few days ago. “You go around New York City today and you don’t see that many cranes. It is just not happening at this moment.”


Robert A. M. Stern is designing a neighborhood in Xiamen, China that bears a resemblance to 15 Central Park West in Manhattan

A rendering of a tower in Tel Aviv by Richard Meier & Partners.

Richard Meier is building houses in the seaside town of Bodrum, Turkey.

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Old Posted Nov 2, 2012, 6:32 AM
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Austinlee Austinlee is offline
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I think the New York correlation is a little on the egotistical side.
The largest and grandest developments in the developing world (China, Middle east) are coming from ALL of the best architects in the world. I have noticed a huge number of design firms from Chicago, San Francisco, London, Paris and others and of course NY too. Even firms in 2nd tier cities like Pittsburgh are designing 1,000 ft tall towers for Dubai. It's not much of a distinction anymore.
The new Pittsburgh development thread is up.
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Last edited by Austinlee; Nov 2, 2012 at 6:52 AM.
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Old Posted Nov 14, 2012, 7:14 AM
isaidso isaidso is offline
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Originally Posted by Austinlee View Post
I think the New York correlation is a little on the egotistical side.
Agree. The world's best architects have long worked where ever the work was.
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Old Posted Nov 14, 2012, 2:56 PM
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^^Exactly, end of story...
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Old Posted Nov 14, 2012, 2:58 PM
i_am_hydrogen i_am_hydrogen is offline
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The same thing is happening in Chicago. Smith+Gill and Goettsch spring to mind.
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