Reviewing The New New York Times Building: The Guardian And, Err… David Byrne Chime In

So now the fancypants New York Times building is all finished courtesy of Renzo Piano. We’ve been inside on numerous occasions over the past months. It’s amazing. It’s what the folks at the Times (and, yeah, their tenants) deserve. It is, as they say, a fine-ass skyscraper.

We trawled the web for our favorite takes on the New York Times building and came up with our two favorites: Ex-Talking Head David Byrne‘s blog entry on the skyscraper (thanks Unbeige!) and Jonathan Glancey‘s in the Guardian.

After the jump, the highlights:


On the way up to Times Square I passed the new NY Times building, whose lobby was all lit up. Beyond the atrium I could see masses of black-suited people at the far end. They must have been there for a grand opening — this new building, designed by Renzo Piano, has been under construction in my neighborhood for years. The Grey Lady gets a punk haircut is how I would categorize it. I’m sure there are some lovely spaces inside, and it will be a great relief for the employees to have more light, but the building seems unremarkable outside, and pretty big, imposing and tall too. Rather than being sequestered in a mere 14-story block of rabbit warrens, now the news media can gaze down on their former haunt and on the rest of us, as befits the US national newspaper (not counting USA Today and The Onion.) There is a new auditorium space adjacent to the tower, so it will be interesting to see if the Times begins to present music, speakers, symposiums and other events in that new space. That would be a welcome addition.

I can’t help but look at this new skyscraper and think, “They sure are optimistic ’bout print journalism.”


The decline of the New York skyscraper – caused by a leaking away of creative steam from the 1960s and a planning system that increasingly stifled fresh architectural ideas – seemed signed and sealed on 9/11. Yet, just a year before the terrorist attack, the Times Company commissioned Renzo Piano to design what may be the beginning of a return to skyscraper form. Officially opened last week, the New York Times Building is the first truly impressive office tower raised in Manhattan in more than 40 years. Curiously, though, this brand-new edifice is hard to spot on the city’s famously crowded central skyline. Tucked away on Eighth Avenue, a little south of Times Square and opposite the clunking, chuntering Port Authority Bus Terminal, the NYT could well be the world’s first stealth skyscraper.