Frank Gehry’s 76-storey tower in lower Manhattan, just south of the Brooklyn Bridge, is one the finest buildings in the New York skyline and one of my favourites in the city, along with the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building. Opened in 2011 as the Beekman Tower, it is now known simply as New York by Gehry. Unusually for a skyscraper, it consists almost entirely of living accommodation, making it one of the tallest residential buildings in the world. It is an important statement of the cultural transition from the modern to the digital age. The crumpled steel façade is mesmerising from all angles and constantly changes depending on the time of day and one’s approach to the building. The refined textures and forms give the façade a handmade quality — ­something handcrafted from the past combined with something technological from the present. In the urban context, it breaks the conformist corporate moulds and expresses the variety of urban life present in Manhattan and the surrounding areas. My only criticism is that it should have been finished at the top rather than simply cut off. The building is humble and doesn’t try to take over the skyline; it celebrates artistic liberty and brings together the voices that make up a city. If we look at every building individually, we can find many ugly buildings in New York, but as a whole the skyline of Manhattan is a work of art — and this building is a wonderful addition to it.

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