Friday, 27 April 2012

Manufacturer's Hanover Trust Building, NYC

Manufacturer's Hanover Trust Building, West 43rd and Fifth Avenue, originally the Chase Manhattan building, designed by Gordon Bunshaft and completed in 1954.

Now a Joe Fresh store, I have decided not to include a picture of the way the building is now, covered in posters and adverts, but to download a picture from the Internet of the building in its heyday.  It was revolutionary in its time. Earlier glass walled buildings were opaque reflecting the surrounding structures. In this building, exterior and interior were conceived as one thing, unified and inseparable, to be seen and experienced as a continuous experience.

This was a glass box featuring the dramatic display of the bank's vault behind the glass facade.

and a closer look

Inside the building Harry Bertoia created a site specific architectural screen which served as a divider between the public and private portions of the bank. It spans 16 feet in height, 70 feet in length, and 2 feet in depth and contains more than 800 separate forms placed in five different vertical planes, anchored both to the floor and the ceiling.

"To me inagination is an active thing. I like sculptures that can be touched, that move in the wind."

The sculpture is made of steel and then molten brass was poured over the steel. The lustre is incredible.

It is like a living thing, which changes as the light strikes it.

It is like a massive collection of jewellery.

It is awesome.

The Cloud piece, also by Bertoia, created specifically for this site.

Bertoia said that the inspiration for this piece came from looking at silver fish in the river.

Both pieces are related, one has a sky feeling, while the other is grounded in the earth.

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