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Behold, The Big Bend building from the super-ultra-trendy Oiio Studios design firm, a stupendous stunt proposed for 57th Street in New York City. The clever idea here is to substitute the longest building in the world for the tallest, to get around the two problems of New York’s zoning laws and the laws of physics. Personally, I doubt they have quite demonstrated how any of this will work — for instance, how to configure usable rooms up in the curved part at the top — but at this point, it’s just an attractive rendering. A few things to consider, though: the global economy is cratering, meaning (among other things) that there will be far fewer potential foreign buyers looking to park their wealth in NYC real estate. Likewise, we’re facing shortages of modular building materials and, most importantly, capital. So good luck taking this beyond the Tik Tok vanity stage of development. Also note: Civilizations embark on their most grandiose building schemes on the eve of collapse. Yeah, weird, I know, but it’s a thing.

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About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency and the four-book series of World Made By Hand novels, set in a post economic crash American future. His most recent book is Living in the Long Emergency; Global Crisis, the Failure of the Futurists, and the Early Adapters Who Are Showing Us the Way Forward. Jim lives on a homestead in Washington County, New. York, where he tends his garden and communes with his chickens.

15 Responses to “June 2022”

  1. wfrantz June 4, 2022 at 10:38 am #

    WOW! Angel Hair to the sky.

  2. stevehall52 June 4, 2022 at 11:11 am #

    Ahh, to be a fly-on-the-wall at the client presentation.

    or elevators.

  3. Cyn56 June 4, 2022 at 11:18 am #

    Represents the U Turn of civilization right into hell!

  4. gusgus2022 June 4, 2022 at 11:52 am #

    I found out alot of these buildings require pumps to even just sit there ,if theres alot of water etc ,or they can fall.over ,and least one does in San Fransisco ,
    I always wonder why no planners ever just said one style of building? Then citys might actually look really nice instead of the hodge podge of the whims of some rich guy .
    Why do people with power always want to build stupid looking buildings?

  5. happiface June 4, 2022 at 12:52 pm #

    its like all those insane churches all over the world that go way back–i doubt if you would ever find god in any one of them but for sure man’s ego is on display in very one of them,insanity….

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  6. DanandMary June 4, 2022 at 12:54 pm #

    Looks like a Ford Edsel. Was this designed by Women?… ‘a sexist would say’.

  7. Chris at Fernglade Farm June 4, 2022 at 7:58 pm #

    Hi Jim,

    Is it my imagination or is there some symbolism of an enormous phallus over looking the park in that design? If I were to draw such a thing on a wall, it would kind of look like that. And if the builders get the footings wrong, it might even end up being the correct angle for such a rendering. 😉

    But on a serious note, I do wonder how lifts would work near to the top of the building? Surely people aren’t expected to climb stairs into the arc of the building, and how would they get furniture up there? And the windows on the underside of that arc I would find to be psychologically distressing. I would not sleep well up there.



  8. tom clark June 5, 2022 at 3:07 pm #

    It’ll never happen, but the fact it’s even been proposed is scary. People actually get paid to propose this shit??

  9. ATM June 5, 2022 at 3:32 pm #

    It’s a Metaverse building. That is all.

  10. tucsonspur June 7, 2022 at 4:00 am #

    Central Park Tower was bad enough. What an idiotic, fatuous undertaking. “Big Bend” really offends on billionaire’s row and beyond. Enough of great views of the park, and more of from the park.

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  11. Dr. Coyote June 8, 2022 at 5:39 pm #

    This resembles not so much a building that might have some function, as just a giant paperclip – which leads naturally to the next thoughts of “What? Why? Huh, never mind.”

    What a lot of nonsense.

  12. bymitch June 9, 2022 at 9:01 pm #

    Maybe more of an earsore than an eyesore, if the name is anything to go by.
    There is clearly some sly reference to Big Ben, that rings out loud over the city of London.
    I suspect the designer expects this thing is likely to pump out its own unique frequencies, as it vibrates, like two prongs of a tuning fork, in the wind.
    If this transfers to the base, the sound effect could be impressive, as impressive as the physical contortions through the connection over the top.
    This could be more active, and edgy, than a Len Lye kinetic sculpture.

  13. Ishabaka June 13, 2022 at 10:05 am #

    Looks to me like The World’s Most Expensive Paperclip

  14. RobRhodes June 13, 2022 at 2:25 pm #

    Looks like a giant fence staple to me. Or, they could build a whole series of them around the park and play Giant Croquet.

  15. your uncool niece June 14, 2022 at 9:52 am #

    This distinctively-shaped architectural marvel overlooking the most iconic public park in the world will never become a high-value target.

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