The British Noninvasion

Other
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
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Richard Rogers, Norman Foster, and James Stirling in 1986. Better luck next time, chaps. (Courtesy BD Online)

Richard Rogers, Norman Foster, and James Stirling in 1986. Better luck next time, chaps. (Courtesy BD Online)

As Jonathan Glancey gamely points out in his piece today (a piece which ANN gamely pointed out to us), British architects–namely lords Foster and Rogers–have had a bit of a hard time building in New York. For proof he points to the speculative story from yesterday’s Daily News that has the PA nixing both architects’ towers.

Of course, those aren’t the only problems they’ve had. Foster’s 980 Madison has been dogged by detractors since its inception, drawing the notable ire of Tom Wolfe. And as plans for his Bowery art gallery move forward, those at the New York Public Library have been put on hold. Rogers, meanwhile, lost his commission to design an expanded Javits Center, though the likelihood of anything happening there seems in doubt, as well.

Glancey does rightly note that the French have fared slightly better, though here, still, he should look beyond the obvious–in this case, the Statue of Liberty–to the more contemporary and familiar, say these three projects. (Okay, so that last one’s Swiss.) Also, being Japanese doesn’t hurt, even at Ground Zero. Though, as one might expect in New York, it is best to be Italian or a Jew from Toronto.

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