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会当凌绝顶:800英尺上空的纽约

更新时间:2016-6-6 19:30:03 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

800 Feet Above the City
会当凌绝顶:800英尺上空的纽约

A city on an island, teeming with cash and ego, has nowhere to go but up. And up. And up. Imagine the Manhattan skyline in a time-lapse filmstrip, starting around 1890 — when the New York World Building crested above the 284-foot spire of Trinity Church — and culminating in the present day: it is a series of continual skyward propulsions, each new proud round overshadowing the last.

一座岛屿上的城市,充满金钱与暴涨的自我,它别无他处可去,唯有向上节节攀升。愈来愈高,愈来愈高。1890年,纽约世界大楼(New York World Building)刚刚竣工,高过了三一教堂(Trinity Church)284英尺(约为87米)的尖顶,不妨想像用延时摄影来拍摄曼哈顿的天际线,从那时起一直到现在:一系列天际线不住向上推进,每一道新的天际线都骄傲地令之前的景观黯然失色。

Perhaps much of this history has been driven by crude competition — the fierce battle between the Chrysler Building and the Bank of Manhattan Trust Building (40 Wall Street), for instance, to be the World’s Tallest Building, a fight the Chrysler won by a stunning coup de grâce: the last-minute addition of its secretly constructed spire, which nudged New York’s altitude record up to 1,046 feet for 11 precious months until the Empire State Building topped out. But the city’s architectural history cannot be reduced to gamesmanship. Something else is going on. Manhattan builds up because it cannot build out and because it cannot sit still. Those of its inhabitants who can afford to do so will seek to climb to higher ground.

或许这段历史主要是由粗暴的竞争所驱动——譬如克莱斯勒大厦(Chrysler Building)与曼哈顿信托银行大楼(Bank of Manhattan Trust Building,华尔街40号)的世界最高建筑之争,最后克莱斯勒以令人惊叹的致命一击而险胜:最后一分钟,它又加上了一个秘密设计的尖顶,将纽约的海拔记录向上推至1046英尺(约为319米),这个纪录维持了宝贵的11个月,直到帝国大厦(Empire State Building)落成。但是这座城市的建筑史不应被简化为竞争策略。其他事情也在发生。曼哈顿不住向上扩展,主要是因为它不能向外扩张,也不能止步不前。有钱在这里居住的人们也在努力向上攀升。

不断“长高”的纽约,充满金钱与暴涨的自我,它别无他处可去,唯有向上节节攀升。每一道新的天际线都骄傲地令之前的景观黯然失色。

We are currently in the midst of another clambering epoch. The city has 21 buildings with roof heights above 800 feet; seven of them have been completed in the past 15 years (and three of those the past 36 months). In this special New York Issue, we explore the high-altitude archipelago that spreads among the top floors of these 21 giants. It totals about 34 million square feet in all, encompassing lavish living spaces, vertiginous work environments (during construction and after), elite gathering places. Visually, the experience of this new altitude feels different in kind from its predecessors, the peak uplifts of previous booms that topped out at 400, 500 or 600 feet. At 800 and above, you feel something unusual in a city defined by the smelly bustle of its sidewalks and the jammed waiting and inching and zooming of its avenues — a kind of Alpine loneliness. Every New Yorker knows the pleasant private solitude that can be found at street level, among anonymous crowds. This is something different: an austere sense of apartness inspired by achieving a perspective seemingly not meant for human eyes.

我们目前正处在又一个向上发展的时代。这座城市如今有21栋高度超过800英尺(约244米)的建筑;其中七座是在最近15年内落成的(其中三座是在最近36个月内竣工)。在这期“纽约特刊”(New York Issue)里,我们探索了分布在这21栋庞然大物的顶楼中的若干岛屿。这些顶楼总占地面积达到3400万平方英尺(约316公顷),四周围绕着奢华的生活空间、令人晕眩的工作环境(有的是在建筑期间形成的,有的是在竣工后形成的),乃至精英荟萃的各种地点。在这个新的海拔,视觉体验与之前最高点在400、500或600英尺的高层空间完全不同。在这座城市,步行道上总是熙熙攘攘,充满各种气息;公路上总有拥堵的车辆缓缓移动,然而置身800英尺以上的空间,你会产生非常特别的感受——一种身处高山般的孤寂。每一个纽约人都知道,置身街头的陌生人群之中,可以产生一种令人愉悦的独处般的感受。而在这些高楼上的感受则完全不同:那是一种因目睹了人类双眼似乎本不应目睹的景象而带来的刻骨的超然事外之感。

In 10 years, the views captured in the following pages might seem quaint, even inferior. But today they provide an uncommon glimpse into the city’s rarefied new neighborhood in the sky. JAKE SILVERSTEIN

本文收录了10年来拍摄的景象,看上去可能显得有些古老,甚至质量低劣。但今天它们提供了一个不平凡的视角,让我们得以窥见这座城市中少数居住在天空中的人们。 Jake Silverstein

Jake Silverstein is editor in chief of the magazine.

Jake Silverstein是《纽约时报杂志》主编。

THE VERTICAL FRONTIER

垂直边境

By Michael Kimmelman / Photograph by Matthew Pillsbury

文:Michael Kimmelman /图:Matthew Pillsbury

Alysia Mattson, who works near the top of 1 World Trade, likens the experience above 800 feet to “being in a giant snow globe. Everything is calm.” We were standing at the window, looking down at a ferry inching across the Hudson. “You focus on things like boat traffic,” she said. “You don’t feel you are really in the city.” At that height, the earth-binding sounds of city life evaporate, along with close-up details. Perspective flattens. Cars and people on the street appear to crawl.

艾丽西亚·马特森(Alysia Mattson)在世界贸易中心一号大楼(1 World Trade)顶层附近工作,她说,置身800英尺(约244米)以上的体验就像是“呆在一个巨大的雪球里。一切都是那么宁静。”我们站在窗边,向下望着一艘渡船缓缓穿过哈德孙河。“你会盯着渡船之类的东西看,”她说。“你会觉得自己并没有真正置身这座城市。”在这个高度,城市生活在地面发出的声音全部被蒸发了,还有各种特写式的细节。各种层次的景象变成了平面。街头的汽车与人群显得好像是在爬行。

“Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever?” Harry Lime asked on the Ferris wheel in “The Third Man.”

“如果下面这些小点当中有哪一个永远停止移动,你真的会感受到怜悯之情吗?”电影《第三人》(The Third Man)里的哈里·莱姆(Harry Lime)在摩天轮上问道。

Jimmy Park, whose office is also on the 85th floor and who is a mountain climber in his spare time, put it another way: “You’re looking down on something you’re not in, and you feel you’re a long way from where you need to be if you need to be safe. At the same time, there’s something therapeutic about seeing great distances. It happens on planes, on mountains, on beaches. I’ll have a meeting with a new client, and we’ll gaze out the window and have this comfortable silence.

吉米·帕克(Jimmy Park)的办公室也在85楼,业余时间喜欢爬山的他换了另一种说法:“你置身事外,向下看去,感觉距离自己应该感到安全的地方非常遥远。与此同时,观看非常遥远的东西又有一种治愈作用。在飞机上、高山上和海滩边都会发生这样的情况。和一个新客户开会时,我们就会看着窗户外面,享受这种令人感觉舒适的沉默。”

“It’s analogous,” he went on, “to the ‘overview effect’ that astronauts feel, which created the whole environmental movement. You realize how small you are and how big the world is.”

他继续说,“这有点像宇航员看到整个大环境运动的那种‘全景效应’。你发现自己如此渺小,而世界如此广大。”

The Old Testament declared every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill shall be made low, in keeping with classical beliefs about proportion and balance. By the 18th century, awe, terror and exultation, previously reserved for God, passed over to geological phenomena like mountains and experiences like conquering peaks. Kant called it “the terrifying sublime.” In the 19th, with new technology and the growth of cities, nature was rivaled by the man-made. The sublime became reachable by climbing to the top of a tall building.

《旧约》中说,为了比例与平衡的正道,一切山洼都要填满,大小山岗都要削平。到了18世纪,原本只为上帝保留的敬畏、恐怖与欢悦之感也可在山脉等自然景观之中,乃至登山等活动中体验。康德说这是“一种可怕的崇高”。19世纪,随着新技术与城市的发展,自然受到人造景观的挑战。登上高大建筑的顶端,便可体验到这种崇高。

In this spirit, Richard Morris Hunt designed New York’s Tribune Building, built in 1875, with its clock tower at 260 feet, competing with the spire of Trinity Church to be the tallest structure in the city. A quarter-century later, Daniel Burnham’s Flatiron Building, at 285 feet, established a new ideal of tall and skinny, soon dwarfed by the 700-foot-tall Metropolitan Life Insurance Tower, just across Madison Square Park, which was itself outdone, in 1913, by Cass Gilbert’s Woolworth Building, at 792 feet.

在这种时代精神之下,理查德·莫里斯·亨特(Richard Morris Hunt)设计了纽约论坛报大厦(New York’s Tribune Building),它于1875年建立,其钟楼高达260英尺(约79米),与三一教堂的尖塔竞争本市最高建筑。25年后,丹尼尔·伯恩罕姆(Daniel Burnham)高达285英尺(约87米)的熨斗大厦(Flatiron Building)为“高耸瘦削”奠定了新标准,不久后,坐落在麦迪逊广场花园另一端,700英尺(213米)的大都会人寿保险大楼(Metropolitan Life Insurance Tower)又令它相形见绌,1913年,卡斯·吉尔伯特(Cass Gilbert)792英尺(241米)的伍尔沃思大楼(Woolworth Building)又异军突起。

The New York skyline found its Platonic ideal less than two decades later with the Chrysler and Empire State buildings. The Empire State’s 204-foot mooring mast for passenger dirigibles, which never actually docked there, represented the mercantile equivalent of Trinity’s steeple. As E.B. White wrote, the city skyline was “to the nation what the white church spire is to the village — the visible symbol of aspiration and faith, the white plume saying that the way is up.”

克莱斯勒大厦与帝国大厦落成之后的20年里,纽约天际线找到了自己的黄金理想状态。帝国大厦204英尺(62米)的飞艇碇泊塔桅杆虽然从未有载客飞船停靠,在商业界却与圣三一教堂尖塔在宗教界的地位相当。正如E·B·怀特(E.B. White)所书,这座城市的天际线“对于这个国家来说,就像白色教堂的尖塔对一座小村庄那样重要——它是志向与信念的象征,是指引向上之路的白羽毛”。

With its dips and peaks, New York’s skyline became a civic signature, the postcard picture and classic movie image of the American century, its contours a reflection of what was happening below. White’s notion depended on a vital street life, on how the towers met the sidewalk and the curb. In recent decades, aspirant cities have built buildings taller than New York’s without ever quite supplanting Manhattan, in part because skylines are just stage sets of urbanism if they don’t arise from real, bustling neighborhoods.

虽有波峰与波谷,纽约的天际线成了这个城市的标识、明信片上的图画与经典电影中这个美国世纪的象征,它的轮廓反映出这个城市中发生的一切。怀特的理念有赖于生气勃勃的街头生活,有赖于高楼与人行道和马路牙子的融合。最近几十年,许多雄心勃勃的城市开始建造比纽约的大楼更高的大厦,却无法取代曼哈顿,部分原因是,城市的天际线如果不是从一个真实、繁忙的街区之上升起,那么无非只能充当都市生活的一种舞台背景。

It was exclusivity of neighborhood, more than sheer height, that connoted status in Manhattan half a century ago: a 20th-floor penthouse on Park Avenue still signified the pinnacle of the social pyramid. Back then, real nosebleed altitudes, like 800 feet, belonged primarily to commercial, not residential, buildings. Skyscrapers advertised companies. Apartments alone couldn’t cover the extraordinary cost of construction at such heights.

街区的独特性,而并非纯粹因为高度,在半个世纪之前便暗示了曼哈顿的等级与地位:公园大道上一栋20层的豪华公寓依然象征着社会金字塔的顶峰。在当时,像800英尺这样的高楼主要是商用建筑,不供居住之用。摩天楼相当于为企业打广告。如果只作为公寓出租,就无法抵消建造那样高的高楼所需要的昂贵建筑成本。

That changed only during the last decade or so, once apartments in luxury buildings like 15 Central Park West fetched $3,000 a square foot and more. Suddenly, a very tall, very slender project on 57th Street, with a floor plate just big enough for one apartment, or maybe two, and needing far fewer space-hogging elevators than a commercial tower, seemed profitable to aggressive developers. Big-name architects were enlisted. As Carol Willis, the founding director of the Skyscraper Museum in Lower Manhattan, likes to put it, form follows finance.

这种情况在过去10年左右发生了变化,像西中心公园15号这种豪华建筑达到了3000美元一平方英尺(0.09平方米),乃至更多。突然间,57街又有了一个又高又细的项目,一层的面积仅够一套或者两套公寓,需要的大空间电梯也比商业建筑少很多,这对那些积极的开发商们来说似乎有利可图。著名建筑师们也加入进来。正如下曼哈顿的摩天楼博物馆的创始馆长卡萝尔·威利斯(Carol Willis)指出,经济决定了形式。

Height suddenly substituted for neighborhood as a signifier of status, partly because zoning regulations steered sky-high construction toward less restricted, mixed-use parts of the city, like 57th Street, which also offered money shots of Central Park, and partly because a target clientele of South Asian copper-mining industrialists and Russian oligarchs had little intention of living in their apartments. In any case, they didn’t actually want neighbors. They wanted views. Developers promoted these buildings as de facto country estates, where the chances of encountering someone who isn’t a paid employee of the building are vanishingly slim, and in-house restaurants serve only tenants, so that even eating out won’t require actually going out.

突然之间,高度取代了社区,成为一种身份的象征,这部分是因为,在分区法规的引导下,高层建筑出现在城市中限制较少的多用途地区,像是57街,这里还可以看到中央公园最美的样子;另外,这也是因为,南亚铜矿工业巨头与俄罗斯寡头这类目标客户并不愿意住在自己买来的公寓里。不管怎么样,他们要的不是邻居。他们要的是景观。开发商其实是按照乡村别墅的方式来推销这些建筑,在这里,几乎不可能遇到除大厦工作人员之外的其他人,楼内的餐厅也只对住户服务,所以就算外出就餐,也用不着走出大楼。

Many New Yorkers, infuriated by tax breaks given to these skyscraping potentates, picture themselves toiling in the long, skinny shadows the new towers will cast. But shadows aside, that’s not entirely fair to the supertalls. Some people may not like their scale, but a handful of apartments in mostly nonresidential blocks of Midtown or near Wall Street are hardly the cause of gentrification and displacement. And there may be just a little xenophobia in the anti-supertall phenomenon. It’s a good bet that more than a few wealthy Chinese, Indians and Arabs, like Jews before them, facing an impossible vetting process from co-op boards on the Upper East Side, elected instead to look down on them.

很多纽约人为这些住在高处的权贵们所获得的税收优惠感到愤怒,想像自己将在这些新大楼即将投射的狭长阴影里辛苦劳作。但是除了阴影,这种看法对这些摩天大楼来说并不完全公平。有些人可能不喜欢它们的规模,但是在中城或华尔街附近的那些主要是非住宅楼的街区里,那么几座公寓楼不可能成为高尚化或被迫搬迁的原因。反摩天大楼现象中也许含有一点仇外情绪。不少富裕的中国人、印度人和阿拉伯人,就像之前的犹太人那样,很可能要经受上东区的那些业主合作委员会的严格审查——他们这么做不是为了精挑细选,而是因为看不起他们。

In any case, 57th Street is now dubbed Billionaire’s Row, and wealth has reached new altitudes. Advances in skyscraper technology have much to do with this. William F. Baker, who helped engineer the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, at 2,717 feet the world’s tallest tower, recently explained the engineering behind life above 800 feet. Engineers, he said, who long ago figured out how to make sure skyscrapers won’t topple over, are focused more and more these days on the trickier problem of making people inside feel secure. It’s a challenge because very tall, very slim buildings are designed, like airplane wings, to bend not break. An average person starts worrying about movement in a high-rise long before there’s anything approaching a threat to safety. Mild jostling that you take for granted in a car or train can provoke panic at 100 stories, even if you’re still safer in the building than in the car.

不管怎样,第57街现在被称为亿万富翁街(Billionaire’s Row),财富已达到新的高度。摩天大楼技术的进步与此有很大关系。威廉·F·贝克(William F. Baker)曾帮助设计迪拜的哈利法塔(Burj Khalifa),它是世界第一高楼,高2717英尺(约828米)。前不久,贝克解释了在800英尺以上高空生活的设计理念。他说,工程师们老早就已想出办法,确保摩天大楼不会倒塌,现在他们越来越关注另一个更棘手的问题——如何让楼里的人感觉安全。这是个难题,因为和飞机机翼一样,纤细高楼的设计理念是弯而不断。摩天大楼上的一点远不足以威胁安全的小动静,都会让一般人开始担心。汽车或火车上你习以为常的轻微颠簸如果发生在100层的高楼上,会引发恐慌,尽管在楼上比在汽车里更安全。

Incredible efforts now go into mitigating those effects. Today’s superslender towers are outfitted with sophisticated counterweights, or dampers, and other movement-tempering devices, as they are also outfitted with elevators that speed tenants to their aeries but not so swiftly that you will perceive any troubling G-forces. Something around 30 feet per second seems to be an ideal velocity, suggesting there may be an ultimate height for luxury towers — not because we can’t engineer a mile-high building but because rich tenants won’t abide elevators that take several minutes to reach apartments for which they paid the annual expenditures of the Republic of Palau.

现在,为了减轻晃动和恐慌,设计师们做出了极大的努力。如今的超纤细摩天大楼配备尖端平衡装置或减震器,以及其他减轻晃动的设备,就像它们配备的电梯能把住户快速送至自己的空中楼阁,却不会产生令人不安的失重感。每秒约30英尺(约9米)的速度似乎最理想,这表明,奢华摩天大楼也许有高度极限,不是因为我们不能设计出一英里(约1609米)高的大楼,而是因为富有的住户不能忍受要坐好几分钟电梯才能达到自己的公寓——他们为那些公寓花的钱相当于帕劳共和国的年度支出。

Exceptional engineering requirements are said to account for a hefty portion of the cost of apartments in the supertalls, like 432 Park Avenue, presently the tallest apartment tower in Midtown Manhattan, and one of the costliest. Its exterior is a grid of concrete and glass, like an extruded Sol LeWitt, or a distended Josef Hoffmann vase (or a middle finger stuck up at the city, depending on your perspective). Giant twin dampers near the roof, the size of locomotive engines — with their own spectacular double-height views over the city — act like shock absorbers, providing ballast and discouraging chandeliers from tinkling and Champagne glasses from toppling over.

据说,超高的技术要求在摩天大楼公寓成本中占很大比例,比如公园大道432号,它是曼哈顿中城目前最高的公寓大楼,也是最昂贵的公寓大楼之一。它的外部是混凝土和玻璃网格,就像突出的索尔·勒维特(Sol LeWitt)的作品或膨胀的约瑟夫·霍夫曼(Josef Hoffmann)的花瓶(或者是冲着这座城市竖起的中指——这取决于你的视角)。楼顶附近的一对火车头大小的巨大减震器——这里有俯瞰这座城市的壮阔视野——能起到压载物的作用,防止枝形吊灯叮当作响或香槟酒杯倒下。

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