Playing With Politics

A Blog on Law, Politics, Planning, Development, and Other Vices

Cut and Paste

Posted by Roobs on August 25, 2010

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.  And the words are asking us to answer this question:

Has the architecture firm Pelli Clarke Pelli copied their design of the San Francisco Transbay Tower and placed it smack dab in Midtown, New York City?  You be the judge:

Pelli's proposal for NYC Midtown Tower

Pelli's design for SF Transbay Tower (Approved. Construction to begin soon)

Same?  Similar?  I think so.

Not to bring up old wounds or anything, but I was actually not a fan of the design of Pelli’s tower for this reason.  That being it is a rather uninteresting (architecturally speaking) design and looks like, well… a phallus.  Even if it wasn’t cut and pasted, the design begs to be replicated around the world because it’s so basic.  And maybe that was what PCP was going for.  Either way, now everyone is going to have this same design.

I personally think that SF should have approved a design that was much more unique and would stand out as a focal point of design in the City by the Bay.  Case and point, I think the SF Bay Joint Powers Authority (those who are responsible for the reconstruction of the entire terminal and tower) should have split the project award between terminal and tower.  Awarding the really well done terminal design to Pelli Clarke Pelli but awarding the tower design to Skidmore Owings & Merril.  Their tower design was kind of amazing with a less than stellar terminal.

That being said, if New York wanted to take an SF design, they should take the SOM tower instead.  If SF can’t have it, we might as well let NYC have it.


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