NYC: New York Times Building

The New York Times Building, a 52-story tower opened on on November 19, 2007 on the east side of Eighth Avenue between 40th and 41st Street, was completed to the design of Renzo Piano Building Workshop and FXFOWLE Architects. In conjunction with the expanded Heart Tower, the site selection signaled the westward expansion of midtown, and kept its chief tenant--the New York Times Company--in Times Square, an area which for which it lent its name following a move to 42nd Street in 1904.

 

The site for the building was obtained by the Empire State Development Corporation through eminent domain in 2001. With a mandate to acquire and redevelop blighted properties in Times Square, ten existing buildings were condemned by the EDC and purchased, behind court order, from owners who in some cases did not want to sell. Once the 80,000 square-foot site was assembled, it was leased to the New York Times Company and Forest City Ratner for below market value at $85.6 million over 99 years.

 

The tower rises 748 feet (228 m) from the street to its roof, with the exterior curtain wall extending 92 feet higher to 840 feet (256 m), and a mast rising to 1,046 feet (319 m). The steel-framed building, cruciform in plan, utilizes a screen of 1-5/8" (41.3mm) ceramic rods mounted on the exterior of the glass curtain wall on the east, west and south facades, creating a curtain wall that reflects light and changes color throughout the day. The rod spacing increases from the base to the top, providing greater transparency as the building rises. The steel framing and bracing is exposed at the four corner "notches" of the building. The ground floor features a garden, open to the sky.

 

The building is promoted as a "Green" structure, though it is not LEED certified. The design incorporates many features for increased energy efficiency. The curtain wall, fully glazed with low-e glass, maximizes natural light within the building while the ceramic-rod screen helps block direct sunlight and reduce cooling loads. Mechanized shades controlled by sensors reduce glare, while more than 18,000 individually-dimmable fluorescent fixtures supplement natural light, providing a real energy savings of 30 percent. A natural gas co-generation plant provides 40 percent of the electrical power to the New York Times space within the building, with the waste heat used for heating and cooling. Floors occupied by the New York Times utilize a raised floor system which allows for underfloor air distribution, which requires less cooling than a conventional ducted system. The building also incorporated free-air cooling, bringing in outside air when it is cooler than the interior space.

 

In 2007, the New York Times Building was ranked #68 on the AIA 150 America's Favorite Architecture list.

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Taken on February 10, 2008
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