Unfurling a banner reading “global warming kills more people than a 9/11 every week,” daredevil climber Alain Robert ascended the 52-story New York Times Tower on 8th Avenue yesterday and was arrested upon reaching the top. A spokesperson for the Times pointed out the irony of Robert’s banner, noting that architect Renzo Piano’s ceramic tubes, which Robert, and a few hours later second climber Rey Clarke, used to pull themselves up the tower and serve as an ostensible second curtain wall, help the building reduce its energy load.
Robert, though, later claimed that he chose the tower for his climb because of its green features; the stunt was performed on the United Nations’ World Environment Day. Clarke, on the other hand, wore a t-shirt proclaiming “Malaria No More” during his climb. The Times itself chose not to use the LEED program for some very specific reasons, though I always think it’s interesting that the LEED Gold Hearst Tower, which is just a few blocks north on 8th Avenue, seems to receive much more media coverage. Its diagrid, steel-saving design, though, likely renders it impossible to scale for even the most ambitious of climbers- its LEED rating notwithstanding.
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