Senior Vice President of Operations and Labor
New York Times Company, New York City
Renzo Piano Building Workshop, New York City
Over the past 10 years, the New York Times Tower has become a landmark worthy of the institution that commissioned it, particularly because of its resolution of the symbolic and functional pressures of a rapidly evolving media company in a neighborhood that bears its name.
A challenge of the skyscraper is reducing heat from the sun, and the two typical methods are smaller windows or heavily coated glass, methods by which views and light are compromised for both pedestrians looking into the building and occupants looking out. In contrast to the opaque design of many urban office buildings, The New York Times Tower achieves a high level of transparency with the innovation of a second skin of cleverly spaced ceramic rods to reduce the heat load to a point where the building is energy efficient and yet has the great luxury of floor-to-ceiling, water-white glass.
The result from the outside is a unique level of transparency to the street—revealing the activity within—which embodies the Times Company’s mission of transmitting an unclouded, lucid report of the news to its public. The result from the inside is a strong connection with the City and a remarkable degree of natural light. To address glare, a first-of-a-kind system was developed: shades automatically adjust to block direct sunlight, and the lights dynamically adjust to dim or turn off if the natural light is sufficiently bright.
The Times Company has widely shared the results of the research and development with the larger community, and the manufacturers have made the system part of their standard offerings, thus ensuring the key benefits of its legacy would be perpetuated in other projects.