October 21, 2015

October in New York: The Ultimate Corporate Streetscape

When Rockefeller Center was extended across Sixth Avenue in the late 1950s and ’60s, architect Wallace Harrison fashioned, it that’s the word, the look of corporate America: modernist boxes assembled in an ominous streetscape that still has extraordinary power today:


This may be stretching it, but I wonder if it’s still considered the ultimate expression of financial and corporate power today – and explains this:



This is Sheikh Zayed Boulevard in Dubai as it borders the International Financial Centre: ostentatious towers, yes, but separated by only a few metres each – in a city that by fiat could have required much more separation.  Unlike New York, they had the room.  And that would have increased privacy, and hence value, to the two sides of each neighbouring tower.

But maybe the Sheikh saw Sixth Avenue and thought, ‘Well, that’s how they do it.’

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  1. Or maybe they looked at Houston or Shanghai (Pudong) and thought the spacing was too far apart – esp. for their elevated Metro (station shown in your 2nd pic) (?)