A guide to art in NYC, with families in mind.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

goARCHkids: Another Brutalist Wonder

Unable to resist admiring another great Brutalist masterpiece, I made the children pause and take in the enormity of the Kips Bay Tower, designed by the renowned I.M. Pei. Pei is also responsible for the Javits Center, which is pretty yucky (and I can find a good word to say about most buildings), the soaring East Wing of the National Gallery in D.C. and the pyramid entrance of the Louvre. Pei has gotten around over the years and experimented with styles.

The Kips Bay Tower was done in 1965, a great time for the edginess of this new movement in architecture: Brutalism. The building at 330 East 30th is enormous. The scale of the thing and the fact that it is set well away from the sidewalk make it seem like a giant monster with a thousand square eyes. Down, underneath the bulk of it, the lobbies are wide, airy places with benches and human-scale elements.

But strolling by Kips Bay Tower is a great opportunity to pause,  look up and be awed.