back to e-flux.com

A Building on Fifth Avenue


#1

This aesthetic regime does not reside in the present. It is something from the past. Not even the recent past but a particular value system more than thirty years old.

The entrance to a tall building on Fifth Avenue in New York is set back from the street approximately 9ft (274cm) from the inner edge of the sidewalk and forms a square arch that reaches up 24ft (731cm) high and is 18ft (548cm) wide. The entrance forms a shallow refuge from the movement of people walking past.

For the purposes of this precise description of a building we will not get beyond the front door—we will just consider the entrance. All measurements are approximate based on photos by the author and related to the estimated height of the doorman.

There are no steps up or down from the street and instead there is a continuation of the concrete sidewalk grade onto smooth dark flagstones each 18in (45cm) square. From this point a number of materials can be identified along with the dark stone on the ground. Glass, polished brass, polished black granite, and brushed stainless steel are the primary materials joined by various bronzed plaques and gilded lettering.

Read the full article here.