885 Third Avenue (at 53rd Street)
New York City
Philip Johnson and John Burgee
The Lipstick Building is
Johnson's second postmodern contribution to the Manhattan skyline,
following his nearby AT&T
Building two years earlier. This time the unusual shape, which has
given the building its nickname, was a requirement of the developer, to
make the building stand out and compensate for the less fashionable
location of Third Avenue. The elliptical shape also claims to make all the
exterior offices "corner" offices.
Johnson has reportedly claimed
that the oval shape and surrounding colonnade is reminiscent of Italian
baroque architecture - though this is unlikely to be the first observation
of a casual visitor.
The power of the distinctive
shape, and indeed the temptation of it, can be seen most clearly from
slightly further up Third Avenue, from where the Lipstick Building can be
contrasted with its earlier neighbor, the aggressively square, modern and
bleak Post Office building.
Simon Glynn 2004
How to visit
The Lipstick Building is on the
east side of Third Avenue at 53rd Street. The lobby is open to the public.
Books and other web
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