New York Times Building's Sunscreen Removed, Emissions Increased, Thanks To Climber "Fighting Carbon Emissions"

removing sunscreen tubes on New York Times building photo

David Dunlap, New York Times

When Alain Robert climbed the sunscreen on the New York Times building I wrote:
"the screen was an elegant and creative way for the New York Times to make a graphic expression of environmental concern by wrapping its building in an exterior sunshade like this. Alain Robert may claim to have climbed it for environmental causes, but in fact he has done the environment a huge disservice- it will be a long time before architects put exterior shades on buildings again. Thanks for nothing, Alain." Robert had written that his climb was "a peaceful way to create support for far greater and urgent action from world leaders on global warming. Emissions are still climbing. So am I."

Two copycats later, the New York Times is removing the ceramic tubes. Now the system which cut down the heating load by almost 50% is being removed from the lower portion of the building, directly contributing to the use of more fuel and contributing to global warming. Once again, Thanks for nothing, Alain Robert. David Dunlap writes in the Times:

The alteration of the facade designed by the Renzo Piano Building Workshop amounted to a very public and visible admission of defeat, at least temporarily. One of the aesthetic and functional elements that had garnered worldwide attention for The Times's building at 620 Eighth Avenue was being transformed in the name of security.

It was unclear how far the removal would extend: eight feet, nine feet, 10 feet from the canopy that had offered inadvertently easy access to the three climbers who have scaled the tower.

The screens of ceramic rods that float in front of the clear glass curtain wall are in many ways the building's signature. "The complexity comes from the skin, the surface of the building actually vibrating, working with the weather," Renzo Piano, the architect, said in 2001. Likening it to a "fabric of ceramic," he called the screens a "suncoat" — as opposed to a raincoat — that would cut the transmission of light and heat into the interior, thereby permitting the use of clear, rather than tinted, glass. ::New York Times
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