miércoles, 30 de abril de 2014

Talking point: Buildings

In today's talking point we are dealing with buildings. Before getting together with the members of your conversation group, go over the questions below and think about the answers. That way, ideas will flow more smoothly when you get together with your friends and you'll be able to work out vocabulary problems beforehand.

What famous buildings do you know?
Have you ever visited a famous building? Which one? What was it like?
Are there any special buildings where you live? What are they?
Are you interested in architecture? Why/Why not?
Do you think it is more important for a building to look nice or be functional? Why?
What kind of building do you live in? Describe it.
Would you like to live in a skyscraper? Why/Why not?
What do you know about the following famous buildings:
The Alhambra - The Taj Mahal - The Sydney Opera House - The Eiffel Tower

To illustrate the topic, you can watch the New York Times video Living at the top.

Bronx right, so you’re seeing deep into the Bronx…

This is Alexei Barrionuevo, I cover the world of high and real estate for The New York Times.

It took six minutes in the construction elevator to reach the 85th floor of New York’s tallest residential building. Standing in the living room of this four-floor apartment, 850 feet from the ground Central Park lays out like a giant green carpet. For now it’s just bare walls and concrete on the inside, but by early 2014 the owners of apartment 85 will stand in their master bathroom with his/her showers and stare out giant windows at the Statue of Liberty, the World Trade Center and the Empire State Building.

Already several of the world’s billionaires have signed up to live here, including some from the United States as well as China, Russia and the United Kingdom.

Rising to just over 1,000 feet at the top, 157 was built with them in mind. The French architect Christian de Portzamparc designed the shimmering outside. The Danish designer Thomas Johanson is doing the apartment finishes.

Even as the global economy struggles to recover, there seems to be no shortage of millionaires and billionaires willing to pay upwards of 95 million dollars for a chance to live here.

157 once seemed a risky prospect in the dark days after Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008 but now it is set off a tall-building’s arms race.

157 will hold on to the title of tallest residential building in the city for about three years, when another building at 432 Park Avenue it is expected to soar almost 400 feet higher, but will it have views like this?