Over the last few weeks I’ve been snapping photos of Frank Gehry’s Woolworth-blocking Beekman Tower from various vantage points. As the final floors go up it’s clear just how dramatically the building will dominate the downtown skyline. From all sides it seems omni-present — it’s much more centrally situated than the Twin Towers were, if not nearly so tall. Downtown it seems to pop up everywhere, looming over every intersection. Here’s what it will look like when it’s done:

2369_Beekman 3 main.jpg

I’ll post my photos later. For now I wanted the excuse to link something our sometime commenter, The Modesto Kid, sent me a while back. It’s a piece from the Architectural League of New York‘s blog, Urban Omnibus, about a sort-of social networking site called STACKD,

a new site that helps people in Manhattan office buildings get in
touch – for business or beers. In so doing, his project connects such
themes as excess capacity,
the spatial and local implications of social media and the singular
opportunities presented by Manhattan’s built environment. What’s more,
STACKD just might provide a powerful tool for architects, planners,
developers and even management consultants to interpret how we use
space and how we can use it more flexibly and more efficiently.

STACKD’s developer explains some of its aims:

Clearly, resource sharing requires an open attitude and the desire to change established conventions. However, with coworking communities emerging
throughout New York City, sharing resources between multiple floors may
not be far behind. As we continue to work on STACKD and as it expands
to other buildings, perhaps it can play a role in making the city and
its use of space more legible. Architectural typologies could adapt to
contemporary needs and business cycles. The first step is seeing what
is happening. One of the biggest challenges with large amounts of
information is making sense of it all. As visual creatures, we’re
equipped with sophisticated interpretative capabilities that yield
insights at a glance far more readily than confronted with purely
quantitative information. With the right interface and mapping
capabilities we could gain a more fine-grained understanding of what
kinds of activities are performed in what parts of the city.

The ostensible agenda is to keep resource networking as local and efficient as possible. A worthy end, to be sure. One wonders, will social networking sites for residential towers like Gehry’s (which will house almost 1000 units in its soaring 76 stories) be far behind, a possible way to ameliorate the anonymity — even the suburbanization — of life so far removed from the streets?

Image from worldarchitecturenews.com