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On the day the World Trade Center fell, the Empire state Building once again became the tallest building in New York City. In the months that followed, six of its commercial tenants ran off. They did not want to be in the tallest anything, anywhere, anymore. At a time when U.S. Vice president Dick Cheney was still being shuttled around to undisclosed locations, skyscrapers suddenly seemed like the most disclosed locations. For a while, it looked as though the tall building, at least in the U.S., might be one more casualty of war.

Three years later, despite fears of terrorist attacks, big is beautiful again. On July 4, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg presided at the World Trade Center site. New skyscraper projects are under way once more elsewhere in the city and around the U.S. Meanwhile, outside the states, where the taste for tall buildings never really faded, the skyscraper has also been poking its head up in very different ways, and not just for reasons having to do with security. Since the 1990s, tall buildings have been reshaped by a number of global architecture stars whose vision is finally beginning to penetrate the more conservation American market.

Some of the best examples of that rethinking now fill two large galleries of the Museum of Modern Art’s temporary outpost in Queens, New York. Using 25 spectacular architectural models (some of more than 4 m high), “Tall buildings”, a show that runs at MOMA through Sept.27, looks at the ways in which the skyscraper has eyolyed the early 1990s, at least in the hands of its most gifted practitioners, the kind who are proposing-and even producing, but usually in other nations-buildings that don’t resemble the dull boxes that crowd most American downtowns.

Engineering is, among others, a path to new kinds of beauty. Just look at Renzo piano’s London Bridge Tower, a slender glass pyramid that forms a glittering stalagmite against the old city’s skyline. You get a grasp of what ingenious engineering is all about from the London Headquarters of the insurance firm Swiss Re, designed by Norman Foster. Even before it opened in April, it was known as the small cucumber because it rises against the sky like a green pickle. But the building’s single feature is the inclusion of larger interior gardens throughout. But there’s a dematerializing spirit even in a building that didn’t requiring new fears of engineering-the Arcos Bosques Corporativo in Mexico City, an arched tower with a vertical slot down its center that lightens the building’s mass brings the sky itself into play.

“Not only did American invent skyscraper”, says the Spanish designer Santiago Calatrava, “it invented the skyline.” But American skylines have got a little dull. With some work, the world’s architects might bring them back to a very tall standard.

参考译文:

世贸大厦倒榻的那一天,帝国大厦又一次成为纽约最高的建筑。在接下来的几个月,六家帝国大厦 的商务住户搬走了,他们再也不想住在最高的楼里了,无论在什么地方。曾经有一度,当美国副总统迪克.切尼仍旧被不停地周转护送到隐蔽地点时,摩天大楼似乎 突然间成了最暴露的地点。一时间,高楼大厦似乎成了战争的又一种牺牲品,至少美国是这样。

三年之后,人们依旧害怕恐怖袭击,但是高楼大厦再次成了美的化身。7月4号,纽约州州长乔治.帕塔奇和纽约市市长米歇尔.布鲁伯格主持了自由大厦的 破土仪式,这座写字楼将建在世贸大厦原址上。在纽约的其他地方,甚至全美国,新摩天大楼的建设工程又开始火热地进行。同时,在摩天热从末褪去的其他国家, 摩天大楼以截然不同的形态拔地而起,而这不仅仅是因为安全问题。从九十年代初期开始,高楼大厦的形态就被一些世界设计大师重塑了,这些设计大师的远见最终 打入了较为保守的美国市场。

那些新设计中的一些杰作现在正占据着位于纽约皇后区的现代艺术博物馆的两个临时展区。9月27号,现代博物艺术馆会举行一次名为“摩天大楼”的建筑 模型(有些有四米多高),以此来向人们展示九十年代初以来摩天大楼是如何发展的。至少在那些最有天赋的设计者手里设计出来或者是建造出来的建筑物,这些通 常出现在别的国家,不再像一堆呆头呆脑的盒子簇拥在美国各城市的中心。