Alexandra Lange
Architecture & design critic

Spy Kids

Photo by Margaret Lin.

Walking north on Eighth Avenue toward Spyscape—or, as it styles its name, SPYSCAPE—which is billed as “New York’s Spy Museum,” my 10-year-old son spotted Foster + Partners’s Hearst Tower, its diagrid sparkling darkly in the sun.

“Is that it?” he asked, anxious to be there already.

And why not? Joseph Urban’s sand-colored Jazz Age base effectively camouflages the 2006 tower at street level; a clever spy might time-travel via a trip through the building’s revolving doors, shirking a double-breasted suit and fedora pulled low over the eyes for a stretchy sensor-laden catsuit, the better to remain inconspicuous.

Before we even entered Spyscape, we started to see ourselves as actors in a movie, no longer mother and son but players in a game of cat and mouse.