The building’s inherent nakedness is its greatest virtue. Schliemann [the Standard’s architect] suggests that what the [New York] Post labels “exhibitionist-friendly” is part of a broad set of cultural changes. He theorizes that a highly transparent building in an urban setting is the architectural equivalent of Facebook, a form of social networking.
And that’s true, up to a point. The border between public and private has become porous in recent years. But as someone who has resisted endless entreaties from friends and relatives to join Facebook because it seems relentlessly invasive, I see the exposure offered by the Standard as something more innocent and surely more anonymous. While some guests are, as the Post insists, behaving badly in public, most are just reveling in the uncanny, Edenic pleasure of being at once immersed in Manhattan and butt naked.