The creepiest, most mysterious building in the City is a concrete monolith

A marvel of Brutalism by some, a monstrosity by others. An awesome building, in a brutal sort of way, by me. Vertical. Massive. Minimal. Windowless. It looks the same from every angle. It looks like a CGI fortress.

Not surprisingly, it was featured in Mr. Robot Season 2 plot. Even less surprisingly, it became the subject of an investigation by The Intercept, where the idea that parts of the building may used as an NSA surveillance hub was explored. Sounds plausible but we will probably never know for sure. 

What we do know is that it was built for the AT&T Long Lines to house switching equipment. Although AT&T has now moved some of it to another building nearby, the monolith is still in use for telephone switching, but also as a highly secured data centre facility.

What I would like to know, is how does it feel to spend one’s working days in a windowless, fortified environment among cables and servers, with zero access to natural light? It takes a certain type of person, doesn’t it?

Adding to the layers of mystery, the AT&T building has also been the subject of a short film by Field of Vision, “Project X“. Interestingly, it was narrated by Rami Malek (of Mr. Robot) and Michelle Williams.

January 29th, 2017

Overlooking Columbus

The Time Warner Center overlooking Columbus overlooking the traffic circling around Central Park. Headquarters of Time Warner and the studios of CNN. A world of its own with luxury condos, a five-star hotel, a concert hall, a shopping mall, a fitness center, I don’t know how many restaurants and a Whole Foods supermarket.

Some residents don’t ever have to leave the premises, I would imagine.

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Columbus Circle in Blue

October 4th, 2016

The Ugly Giant

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Arrived in December 2015 to rival the Gehry skyscraper – in height but not in beauty. 432 Park Avenue is seen by many as an eyesore; its super tall, super thin square shape appears like rising out of nowhere and bears no relation to neighouring buildings. When the weather is low the top floors are lost in the clouds giving literal meaning to the tallest residential building in the world.

Here in b&w because even eyesores look good in it.

November 18th, 2016

 

 

Vertical Reality

Let’s get to the bottom of this

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New York by Gehry skyscraper on Spruce Street, Lower Manhattan. Playfully edited but you can see the real thing by clicking on the link. At the time of its completion in February 2011 it was the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere. That was before it was vanquished by its rival on Park Avenue (photo coming up next).

September 5th, 2016