A 70-story, folded, creased and curved stainless-steel curtain wall on an 867-ft-tall apartment building has been called “Gehry only on the outside,” as if the building is a fake Frank. It’s true that, when it opens next year, New York City’s tallest residential tower won’t be an internationally acclaimed cultural icon, as is the architect’s now-12-year-old Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain. The 76-story high-rise is not as colorful, whimsical and structurally innovative as the nearly decade-old Experience Music Project rock ’n’ roll museum in Seattle. The new tower is not as description-defying inside and out as the six-year-old Walt Disney
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.