Norman Foster has backed protests against alterations to Philip Johnson’s AT&T building in New York
The architect took to Instagram to say the 1980s building ‘should be respected’.
He was speaking ahead of demonstrations at the site, which took place last week against proposals by Oslo-based Snøhetta to transform the base of the tower.
Foster wrote: ‘[I’m] in Europe and unable to join the protest tomorrow in front of the historic AT&T building by Philip Johnson to object to the proposals to eradicate the original base.
‘I was never sympathetic to the short-lived Postmodern movement – and this building in particular. However it is an important part of our heritage and should be respected as such.’
The 37-storey, 197m-high building is on Manhattan’s Madison Avenue. Designed by Johnson with partner John Burgee, it was completed in 1984.
A petition against the project has gathered more than 1,000 signatures.
Snøhetta said on its website that the top of the tower would remain part of the skyline but the base would become ‘an inviting street front’.
It added: ‘Snøhetta’s design will update the building with state-of-art systems and breathe new life into the building’s public, retail and office spaces for the contemporary needs of one of the world’s most recognised avenues.’
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