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- ▼ April (7)
Because much of the original art deco masonry was left in place, and the new glass curtain wall was simply slapped in front, the building has come in for criticism from the blogosphere, architecture critics and even a very powerful neighbor trying to take the building over and possibly tear it down.
Today, The Journal penned an apologia of sorts for the renovations, talking with the architect responsible for the project, Peter Wang. Among the challenges facing him:
For one, he was dealing with a building that dates to the mid-1920s, which means the structure had myriad built-in challenges, like low ceilings and forests of columns. Further, because there were financial and structural limitations, he couldn’t strip the facade down to its steel girders and replace the masonry with a glass one. Rather, Mr. Wang had to snap a glass facade onto the existing one-something that becomes readily apparent in the evening, when the glass becomes transparent, and the old masonry peeks out from underneath.
“It was determined that the brick facade of this building actually performed a very important structural function,” Mr. Wang says. “So it would have been very difficult to remove the old facade entirely, because new curtain wall glass systems are not designed structurally.”
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A young Spanish Architect specializing in Heritage Preservation using 3D laser scanning, studying and working around the world. After completing her education in Spain, she joined an archeological mission in Syria, then continued on various projects in the UK, Italy, and Armenia. Following an internship in the first half of 2012 with a NYC based Architect and Laser Scan Company she traveled to the Philippines, where she volunteered on a project to conserve San Sebastian Basilica.