Category Archives: In The News

In The News by • 10/12

In this issue:
· World Monuments Fund Lists Three NY Buildings in Danger
· Historic Armory Undergoes Restoration
· Cornell Adds New Wing to Pei’s Art Museum
· Zen Buddhism, Sustainability Are at One in the Catskills
· Expanded Military History Museum Now Largest Museum in Germany


World Monuments Fund Lists Three NY Buildings in Danger

WMF.jpg

(L-R): 510 Fifth Avenue; New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture; Orange County Government Center.

Courtesy World Monument Fund

The World Monument Fund released its 2012 World Monuments Watch List of 67 sites representing 41 countries and territories worldwide. Two buildings are in Manhattan, and one is in Orange County, NY. At the former Manufacturers Trust Building at 510 Fifth Avenue, designed by SOM’s Gordon Bunshaft and completed in 1954, the list emphasizes that the future of the building could serve as a touchstone for the effectiveness of preservation legislation and policies in the U.S., and of the government agencies charged with their enforcement. Though designated a NYC landmark in 1997, with additional landmark protections for the interior designated in early 2011, original interior features have been removed as it undergoes adaptive reuse. The New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture in Greenwich Village, assembled by the American sculptor and art collector Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney is on the list because it played an important role in early 20th-century American artistic production.

Poor maintenance practices, exacerbated by Hurricane Irene flooding, have led to the deterioration of Paul Rudolph’s 1970 Orange County Government Center, in Goshen, NY, giving more fuel to the county’s call for its demolition and replacement. Launched in 1996 and issued every two years, the Watch List provides an opportunity for sites and their nominators to raise public awareness and advance effective solutions.


Historic Armory Undergoes Restoration

Armory.jpg

Park Avenue Armory.

James Ewing

The Park Avenue Armory recently unveiled designs by Herzog & de Meuron for its renovation, restoration, and transformation. Encompassing the entire five-story building, the multi-year project will create new resources and a diversity of spaces for artistic, educational, and public programming, as well as artist-in-residence studios and rehearsal rooms. Restoration includes: the 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall and former rifle range; 18 period rooms on the first and second floors in the adjacent head house; all public circulation spaces, including the grand hallways, staircase, and new elevators; office space on the third floor; a fifth-floor rehearsal space; and back-of-house facilities on the lower level. In addition, two restored period rooms on the second floor — Company D and E, both originally designed by Pottier & Stymus — were revealed. The firm’s approach includes the addition of new lighting elements, furniture, and surface treatments that complement the building’s original detailing in furtherance of the armory’s mission to create and present visual and performing art that cannot be realized within the limitations of traditional performance halls and white-wall museums.


Cornell Adds New Wing to Pei’s Art Museum

pcherbert.jpg

The David A. and Rochelle Hirsch Lecture Lobby in the new wing of the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University (left); the west façade of the new wing, with the north façade of the original building.

Robert Barker, University Photography (left); David O. Brown, Johnson Museum of Art (right)

On the heels of the recent opening of the OMA-designed Millstein Hall, Cornell University in Ithaca is now prepping for the opening of the newly renovated Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art. The new addition, designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects, adds 17,165 square feet to the 61,000-square-foot, I.M. Pei, FAIA-designed building that opened in 1973. The extension features a 150-seat lecture room, a workshop studio, new galleries, art storage, and office space. Several areas of the museum have undergone concurrent renovations. The fifth-floor galleries of Asian art, also known for 360-degree views of Ithaca, are now reconfigured with 50% more square. Additional spaces are being renovated to create a photography study and storage space. The museum is the only full-service art museum within a 60-mile radius. Of note: both the renovation and the addition are the work of associate partner John L. Sullivan III, who served as design architect on the original I. M. Pei building.


Zen Buddhism, Sustainability Are at One in the Catskills

Sangha_House.jpg

Sangha House.

Kliment Halsband Architects

Construction has begun on the Zen Mountain Monastery’s new Sangha House, an 8,500-square-foot, multi-use building designed by Kliment Halsband Architects. Located on 230 acres of forest preserve in Mount Tremper in the Catskill Mountains, the Sangha House is composed of three elements — a long, narrow, two-story component for visitor and communal facilities; a 100-seat Hall of the Arts; and a two-story central circulation and exhibition space that opens onto a sculpture garden. The building has been designed to minimize reliance on fossil fuels and its impact on the natural environment. It will be constructed of timber and bluestone gathered on site, and a solar panel array is planned for the roof of the Hall of the Arts that will provide at least 50% of the energy for the building. The new building joins the monastery’s four-story Main House, built in a Scandinavian arts-and-crafts style in the 1930s, a designated national and state historic landmark.


Expanded Military History Museum Now Largest Museum in Germany

Dresden.jpg

Military History Museum.

Studio Daniel Libeskind

Studio Daniel Libeskind’s extension to Dresden’s Military History Museum is set to open this week. Founded in 1897, it will be the largest museum in Germany now that the extension is complete. The design comprises a five-story, 200-ton wedge of glass, concrete, and steel that slices through the center of the original structure and interrupts the building’s symmetry. A 98-foot-high viewing platform provides views of both the city and the source of the fire-bombs that devastated it during World War II. The exhibition space, designed by Holzer Kobler Architekturen (Zurich) and HG Merz Architekten (Berlin and Stuttgart), reflects the architectural contrast between the museum’s two parts — the history of Germany’s military in the form of a timeline in the existing building, and the military’s lasting impact on society throughout the ages expressed in a themed tour. The exhibition space contains roughly 7,500 items ranging from the smallest pin badge to a space capsule.


THIS JUST IN…
R.I.P.: Despite best efforts from preservationists, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) announced its intention to demolish Terminal 6, I.M. Pei’s “Sundrome,” at JFK International Airport.

Friends of the East River Greenway, a coalition of non-profit organizations, announced that local and state officials have signed off on the plan to complete the East River Greenway from 38th Street to 60th Street using funds generated by the U.N. build-out.

“Civic Action: A Vision for Long Island City” presents scenarios created by four teams led by artists Natalie Jeremijenko, Mary Miss, Rikrit Tiravanija, GeorgeTrakas for the community where Long Island City and Astoria, Queens, converge. The results of this eight-month process will be on view through 04.22. 2012 at the Noguchi Museum. Further realized components of each team’s proposal will be exhibited in Socrates Sculpture Park in May 2012.

A retrospective of work by Richard Meier, AIA, featuring a selection of models, original sketches, renderings, and photographs will open 10.20.11 at the Contemporáneo de Monterrey, in Mexico. Projects featured in “Richard Meier Retrospective” include the Smith House, The Getty Center, The Neugebauer Residence, the Jubilee Church, Perry Street Towers, the High Museum of Art, the Ara Pacis Museum, and the recently completed Arp Museum in Germany.

In The News by • 09/28

In this issue:
· 48 Horses on Parade
· Hamilton Grange is Restored, Relocated, and Open to the Public
· Townhouse Updated with Artistic Flair
· Bard Makes More Music
· Milstein Hall Opens Doors to Students
· Printing Plant to be Transformed into New Film Archive Building


48 Horses on Parade

Jane’s Carousel.

Julienne Schaer

Children of all ages can enjoy riding on the newly opened Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park and designed by Ateliers Jean Nouvel. The 1922 carousel, with its 48 horses and two chariots, underwent a complete 25-year restoration. Ateliers Jean Nouvel was commissioned to design a pavilion that would allow the carousel to operate year-round. The all-weather, 5,000-square-foot, 27-foot-high, acrylic-and-steel structure features retractable doors to showcase the carousel and skyline views of Lower Manhattan, and the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. In addition to the pavilion, a thorough landscape renovation of the 4.5 Empire Fulton Ferry section of the park, designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA), is underway. Included is a new pedestrian connection between this section and the Main Street portion of the park to the north.


Hamilton Grange is Restored, Relocated, and Open to the Public

Hamilton Grange National Memorial.

Rogol Photography

The two-story Hamilton Grange, Alexander Hamilton’s country residence, has been restored by John G. Waite Associates and relocated to St. Nicholas Park in Harlem, on a portion of the original family estate. The house, designed by John McComb, Jr. in 1802, is now called Hamilton Grange National Memorial under the care of the National Park Service. One of the city’s few free-standing Federal-style houses, the house had been located on a site so tight that it lost portions of the foundation and both front and rear porches. The entrance had been moved to one side of the building and interior spaces had been altered. Using illustrations and photographs of the building on its original site, the design team was able to recreate the balustrades along the roofline and the porches and side “piazzas,” which can be entered from the parlor and dining rooms. The house now rests on a new ground-floor foundation that accommodates an exhibition space and a small theater.


Townhouse Updated with Artistic Flair

National Academy Museum and School.

Andy Ryan

Founded in 1825, the National Academy Museum and School on Museum Mile in the Huntington Mansion recently reopened after a series of renovations designed by Brooklyn-based Bade Stageberg Cox. Originally designed in 1913 by Ogden Codman, Jr., the building integrates a museum, art school, and honorary association of artists and architects, and has one of the largest collections of American art. A new lobby features the telling of academy’s history via video and custom-designed light box displays, and features a ceiling engraved with the names of members dating back to 1826. A street-level gallery links the contemporary lobby to the building’s historic rotunda. The walls of the second- and fourth-floor galleries have been resurfaced to create full-height walls suited for hanging large-scale artworks. New lighting allows for tailored solutions to exhibitions, and previously boarded up windows now let in natural daylight. The entry to the school leads from a glass-and-steel vestibule to an open lobby used for student exhibitions, informal workshops, and critiques. FXFOWLE Principal Bruce Fowle FAIA, vice president of the academy’s board of governors, oversaw the renovations.


Bard Makes More Music

Bard College Conservatory of Music László Z. Bitó ’60 Conservatory Building.

Deborah Berke & Partners Architects

Plans are underway for the groundbreaking for Bard College Conservatory of Music’s László Z. Bitó ’60 Conservatory Building, designed by Deborah Berke & Partners Architects. Located on Bard’s Annandale-on-Hudson campus, the more than 16,000-square-foot building uses geothermal wells and heat pumps in accordance with the college’s environmental best-practice standards. The project features a 145-seat hall composed of maple paneling and flooring, fabric-wrapped absorption panels, and sound-attenuating diffusers. The hall can be configured in a variety of ways for students to re-imagine traditional concert spaces. In addition, the building contains 15 teaching studios, a large classroom that can be used for audio and video recording, and a lounge. The project is expected to be completed in January 2013.


Milstein Hall Opens Doors to Students

Milstein Hall.

© Cornell University

In August, the Cornell University College of Architecture, Art and Planning (AAP) opened the studios of its first new building in more than 100 years. The 47,000-square-foot Milstein Hall, designed by OMA New York, physically unites the AAP’s long-separated facilities to form a platform for interdisciplinary collaboration. The new building features a large, horizontal plate that connects the levels of the AAP’s existing Sibley and Rand Halls to provide 25,000 square feet of studio space with panoramic views of the surrounding environment. Enclosed by floor-to-ceiling glass and a green roof with 41 skylights, it cantilevers almost 50 feet over the street to establish a relationship with the Foundry — a third existing AAP facility. Beneath the studio, the ground level accommodates major program elements, including a 253-seat auditorium and a dome that encloses a 5,000-square-foot circular critique space. The dome supports the raked auditorium seating; it becomes the stairs leading up to the studio space above; and it is the artificial ground for an array of exterior seating pods fostering public activities. The building will be completed this October.


Printing Plant to be Transformed into New Film Archive Building

Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

Courtesy Diller Scofidio + Renfro

The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA), recently unveiled Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s design for its new facility located in the city’s downtown arts district. Sited in an unoccupied, single-story, sky-lit Art Deco printing plant with a three-story administrative wing, plans call for preserving essential aspects of the building, including the sawtooth roof and distinctive façade. Extensive excavation will create 12,500 square feet of additional gallery space suitable for light-sensitive work, as well as public study areas, a seminar room, a 32-seat screening room, and spaces specially designed for K-12 visitors. The ground floor will contain a grand lobby, museum store, and 10,800 square feet of exhibition space. Planning began in 1997 when an engineering survey determined that the existing building did not meet seismic codes, nor could be upgraded and still suit the needs of a museum. The opening is targeted for late 2015.


THIS JUST IN…

Spector Group is the architect for the 292,000-square-foot upgrade of The Berkeley Building on West 44th Street, NYC…

Coming soon to a street near you… NYC Bike Share is scheduled to launch in summer 2012. The program will feature 600 stations and 10,000 bikes in Manhattan and Brooklyn, potentially stretching to Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx. Alta Bicycle Share will run, manage, and maintain the system, while NYC Department of Transportation will coordinate community outreach and regulate station siting…

The Sliced Porosity Block, designed by Steven Holl Architects, recently celebrated its topping out. Located in Chengdu, China, the 3-million-square-foot mixed-used complex consists of five towers with offices, apartments, retail, a hotel, cafés, and restaurants…

In The News by • 09/14

In this issue:
· Empty Sky, Empty Sky… I Woke Up This Morning to an Empty Sky*
· Candy Factory Has Sweet Second Life
· News to China Broadcast from the Crossroads of the World
· Green Bamboo Vault Technique Introduced in Taiwan
· First Look at firstsite


Empty Sky, Empty Sky… I Woke Up This Morning to an Empty Sky*

Empty Sky.

© David Sundberg/Esto

The day preceding the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Empty Sky, a memorial designed by Frederic Schwartz Architects (FSA), was dedicated in a ceremony at Liberty State Park in NJ. Located along the Hudson River, the memorial is designed with two 30-foot-tall, 210-foot-long, brushed stainless steel walls — equaling the width of one side of the WTC — that face each other. At the eastern end, views are directed across the river towards the site where the Twin Towers once stood. The names of the 746 people from NJ who perished are engraved in letters close to four inches in height, said to be the tallest of any memorial. Of special note, the memorial’s façade reflects the ever-changing light throughout the day, reminiscent of the towers. In 2004, the firm unanimously won the design competition for the memorial.

*© BruceSpringsteen (ASCAP)


Candy Factory Has Sweet Second Life

Wythe Confectionary Apartments.

© Sarah Mechling — Perkins Eastman

Perkins Eastman has completed the Wythe Confectionary Apartments in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Originally built to house the Matchett Candy factory at the turn of the 19th century, the building now contains 69 studio, one-, and two-bedroom loft residences. During the renovation, the team retained architectural features such as brick barrel-hinged corners, a corbelled brick cornice, arched windows, large ground-floor openings, and decorative brickwork punctuated with iron ties across the façade. Brick-and-timber columns were exposed along with cast iron column straps and capitals, and the original heavy-timbered plank flooring was restored and retained as ceilings. Other native materials, including extra timbers and slate flooring that were not used during the restoration, were reclaimed for reuse in the public and shared spaces, which were designed by Visconti Architecture.


News to China Broadcast from the Crossroads of the World

Xinhua North American Headquarters.

Courtesy Shea Communications

Xinhua, the official government news agency of China, moved its North American headquarters from Woodside, Queens, to Manhattan’s Times Square. Designed by Applied Design Initiative with Jay A. Lubow acting as the architect-of-record, the agency occupies the 18,500-square-foot 44th floor at 1540 Broadway, a building designed by SOM and completed in 1990. The space blends traditional Chinese cultural elements into a contemporary office plan, including private offices, open workstations, conference rooms, a pantry, broadcasting infrastructure, and a double-height, multipurpose atrium and reception area that can be converted to a broadcasting studio. The atrium displays Xinhua News Agency’s history and function through an interactive video wall and video band. Jones Lang LaSalle served as project manager for the interior build-out.


Green Bamboo Vault Technique Introduced in Taiwan

Forest Pavilion.

Photos Courtesy Iwan Baan

nARCHITECTS has completed the 22-foot-tall bamboo Forest Pavilion in the Da Nong Da Fu Forest Park in Taiwan. The pavilion was conceived within the context of an art festival organized by Taiwan’s Forestry Bureau as a way to raise public awareness of a new growth forest that is threatened by development. Serving as a shaded meeting and performance space, the pavilion emerges from the ground in a series of 11 green bamboo shading vaults, organized in two rings around a void, like the rings of a tree. The arrangement of vault shapes uses a single geometry, the parabolic arch, in a way that could generate a multitude of configurations. A circular ring of decking serves as either seating for the audience, or as a circular stage. The indigenous Amis tribe learned how to fabricate the bamboo for the pavilion. As new masters of bamboo construction, they are now incorporating the green bamboo vault technique as part of their local construction methods.


First Look at firstsite

firstsite.

Hayes Davidson CGI 2006

firstsite, a new center for the visual arts, located in Colchester, Britain’s oldest recorded town, will open later this month. Designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects (RVA), the almost 35,000-square-foot, crescent- shaped building, clad in copper and aluminum alloy panels, is bounded by an original Roman wall. The building’s roof, which slopes slightly upward in line with the site’s topography, culminates in a monumental portico that frames the lobby with full-height glazing. To the south, the outside arc of the crescent faces a small Victorian garden. A concrete raft foundation allows the structure to rest on the ground and leave buried archaeological remains undisturbed. The program also includes a 200-seat auditorium for film screenings, lectures, and conferences; a café/restaurant with a terrace; and artists’ spaces and artists-in-residences. At the center’s heart is its only permanent exhibition — a newly restored Roman mosaic that dates from approximately 200 AD and was unearthed at the site.

In The News by • 08/31

In this issue:
· SoHo Streetscape Sweetens
· Prime Corner Gets a Glass Box
· Syracuse Recording Studio Is Seen but Noise Not Heard
· Oxford Adds a New Building for its Mathematical Institute


SoHo Streetscape Sweetens

Xocolatti

De-Spec

Xocolatti, a new premium chocolate brand, will be opening its first flagship location in SoHo later this month. Designed by De-Spec, which also served as the general contractor, the concept for the 150-square foot space was to create a vitrine-like space that seamlessly integrates with the streetscape. The walls are lined with a custom-designed, floor-to-ceiling bronze shelving system for display and storage that is based on the different sizes of the shop’s green and brown chocolate boxes. In addition, De-Spec invited branding firm Exit Creative Company to collaborate on the identity of the company, which has plans to grow locations nationally and internationally.


Prime Corner Gets a Glass Box

Manufacturers & Builders Building.

TPG Architecture

One-and-a-half years after razing a 136-year-old building on the northeast corner of 57th Street and Third Avenue, ground was recently broken on the 30,800-square-foot, four-story Manufacturers & Builders (M&B) Building, designed by TPG Architecture. The ground-floor retail storefronts will have floor-to-ceiling, mullion-free glass and a continuous stainless-steel signage band wrapping the façade. The marble lobby has blue glass walls and a black slate floor. Open floor plates and 17-foot ceilings will allow flexibility for fit-outs for furniture showrooms, which are the intended tenants due to the proximity to the Architects & Designers Building (A&D Building) and the Decoration & Design Building (D&D Building). The penthouse floor features two pairs of folding glass walls to transition between the interior and an outdoor terrace. The project is being developed by Marx Realty & Improvement, which has owned the site since the 1920s.


Syracuse Recording Studio Is Seen but Noise Not Heard

219 West.

Photo by Chris Cooper

NYC-based Fiedler Marciano Architecture has completed the revitalization 219 West, a 19,200-square-foot former industrial building located between the historic Armory Square and the SALT (Syracuse Art Life Technology) District in downtown Syracuse. A glazed extension was added to the ground floor, which serves as the main entry. The masonry façade is now opened up by large storefront windows. In a departure from traditional recording facilities, which are sealed acoustic boxes, passersby can watch live recording sessions. The existing wood floor framing was replaced with a long-span concrete deck, which supports a series of secondary “floating” slabs that in turn support isolated wall and ceiling construction. This “room-within-a-room” approach prevents sound and vibration transmission from both adjacent rooms and outside sources, including passing freight trains and heavy vehicular traffic. The remainder of the first floor houses a lobby, lounge, and café. The second floor houses music instruction and rehearsal areas, a dance studio, and office spaces. Three residential suites on the top floor provide accommodations for visiting performing artists and artists-in-residence. The building is adjacent to the Red House Arts Center, and together, they create a new cultural complex.


Oxford Adds a New Building for its Mathematical Institute

Mathematical Institute at the University of Oxford.

Rafael Viñoly Architects

Construction has started on the Mathematical Institute at the University of Oxford in the England, designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects. The institute will move from three separate locations into a single dedicated facility that will provide workspace for a community of more than 500 mathematical researchers and support staff, including faculty, research fellows, and postgraduate students. The new building is designed to balance a need for privacy and silence with interdisciplinary collaboration. Faculty offices are marked by the cellular stone grid on the façade. Individually operated solar screens further express the use of the interior space and animate the exterior. The building will provide more than 300 offices, three theaters (the largest of which will be 366 seats), meeting rooms, and an extensive suite of teaching and seminar spaces. The project, which will open in Summer 2013, is aiming for BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) Excellent certification, and will employ energy-efficient and lowered carbon dioxide emissions, including a sedum green roof and parking spaces for 500 bicycles.


THIS JUST IN…

Pace Gallery announced it is expanding into the empty lot adjacent to its current space at 510 West 25th Street, under the High Line. Designer Bill Katz has been selected to create the new gallery space.

A Western Beef store in the South Bronx is the first supermarket to open under NYC’s Food Retail Expansion Support Health (FRESH) program. The initiative is part of Mayor Bloomberg’s Five-Borough Economic Opportunity Plan, which promotes the establishment and retention of neighborhood grocery stores in underserved communities through zoning and financial incentives. The store received a New Markets Tax Credit loan to purchase and renovate its 65,000-square-foot facility.

Volunteers will paint more than 35,000 square feet of rooftop space with reflective white paint on 20 buildings between East Fourth and Third Streets, between Second Avenue and the Bowery. This is the first phase of the Model Block Project, a program led by Go Green Lower East Side (GGLES) that aims to lead by example by improving one block at a time with sustainable practices.

In The News by • 08/17

In this issue:
· New Office Tower Rises at Bryant Park
· New York’s Tallest Hotel is on the Rise in Midtown
· All the News That Fits into Making a Kiosk
· TriBeCa Makes 21st-Century Transformation
· And They’re Off! Expanding the Casino at Yonkers Raceway
· “City Within a City” Is Planned for St. Petersburg, Russia


New Office Tower Rises at Bryant Park

Proposed tower at Bryant Park.

Pei Cobb Freed & Partners

A new glass-and-steel office tower overlooking Bryant Park will rise on Sixth Avenue. Designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, the orientation of the 28-story, 450,000-rentable-square-foot building will capitalize on direct views over the park and past the New York Public Library. The entrance is punctuated by a concave sculptural detail, which cuts into the building in the shape of an hourglass. A floating, 48-foot diameter, stainless steel disc will be suspended over the 40th Street corner entrance, serving as both a canopy and a signature architectural gesture facing the park. The development will be built as an as-of-right project within existing zoning guidelines. Construction is slated to begin in 2012 with occupancy expected in 2014. The developer is Hines in partnership with Pacolet Milliken Enterprises, and the project is aiming for LEED certification.


New York’s Tallest Hotel is on the Rise in Midtown

Courtyard by Marriott.

Nobutaka Ashihara Architects

At 68 stories and more than 752 feet tall, the Nobutaka Ashihara Architects-designed building will be the tallest standing hotel in the city. Located at Broadway and 54th Street, the project will house two different hotels — the 378-room Courtyard by Marriott and the 261-room Residence Inn — and an all-suite accommodation for longer stays, also by Marriott. The hotels will share a main entrance and arrival lobby, which will incorporate GoBoard® technology, a 55-inch LCD interactive touch screen packed with local information, maps, weather, and news. In addition to ground-floor retail space, there will be a leased restaurant on the second floor, a lounge on the fifth floor, a fitness facility on the 34th floor, and a terrace with outdoor seating will overlook Broadway. The hotels are scheduled to open in late 2013.


All the News That Fits into Making a Kiosk

Aesop at Grand Central.

Juliana Sohn

Aesop, an Australian skincare line known for its brown bottle packaging, has arrived at Grand Central Terminal. The company is literally making news with its temporary kiosk designed by Brooklyn-based Tacklebox Architecture (a 2008 AIANY New Practices New York winner). The kiosk, located in the Graybar Passage, is composed of more than 1,000 copies of the New York Times that were stacked, torn, and bound in a wooden frame and topped with sheets of powder-coated aluminum. The design is said to reflect the company’s respect for the written word and the history of each city that it has stores. The kiosk will be on site for six to 12 months. Two new stores, also designed by Tacklebox, are in the works. The Nolita store is under construction and a second on University Place will start construction this month. Newspapers and related materials will again be used, but executed differently.


TriBeCa Makes 21st-Century Transformation

250 West Street.

Harel Edery (exterior); Studio Aiko (interior)

Gal Nauer Architects has completed the renovation of what was a 1906 warehouse building designed by William H. Birkmire. The work included restoring historic elements on the building’s exterior, as well as designing its interior spaces. Located in TriBeCa, the 11-story, Neo-Renaissance building now contains approximately 300,000 square feet and 111 loft-style condominiums with more than 30 different layouts. The 7,000-square-foot penthouse has a private entry, lobby, and elevator. Building amenities include on-site parking; a private library lounge; a 61-foot pool; children’s playroom; and fitness center. A 5,000-square-foot rooftop terrace offers a sundeck, lounge, and dining area.


And They’re Off! Expanding the Casino at Yonkers Raceway

Yonkers Raceway.

STUDIO V Architecture

Construction has begun on a new casino and expansion of the Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway. STUDIO V Architecture designed an entrance that features a curved, four-story façade of more than 45 feet of frameless, low-iron glass in a 300-foot arc, providing a window where visitors can see directly into the casino. The sculptural entrance was inspired by the landscape of the “hilltop track” at the raceway, which can be seen from the roadway. In what appears to be growing out of the hillside, a steel lattice shell structure creates an entrance canopy. The interior design features a series of installations that evoke abstract urban landscapes sculpted from polycarbonate panels, and hundreds of thousands of copper, brass, and stainless steel pins. Laser-cut steel “clouds” covered with dichroic glass discs and illuminated by skylights and light fixtures create a chandelier to illuminate the gaming floor. The $40 million expansion includes 66,000 square feet of new space. It will provide 30,000 square feet of additional gaming space, 20,000 square feet of food and beverage facility space, 6,000 square feet for a new casino entrance, and 10,000 square feet of office and administrative space. The casino plans to open in time for New Year’s Eve 2012.


“City Within a City” Is Planned for St. Petersburg, Russia

New Holland Island, St. Petersburg.

WORKac

WORKac is the winner of an invited competition organized by The Architecture Foundation to select a master-planning consultant for New Holland Island in St. Petersburg, Russia. Located in the heart of the city, the 20-acre island is bordered by two canals and a river. The island was conceived by Peter the Great in 1719, and became Russia’s first military port in 1721. The winning design envisions the island as a “city within the city,” and includes a public park with a topography that creates an outdoor amphitheater and performance space. An elevated promenade brings the park to the interior of the existing structures, connecting a series of programs — art, design, education, and commercial uses. Recognizing the potential for activity in the historic warehouses on site, the exteriors will be restored and two new structures will be built to accommodate new programs. The shortlist included David Chipperfield Architects (UK/Germany), MVRDV (Netherlands), Studio44 (Russia), and WORKac (USA). WORKac is collaborating with Arup on the engineering, infrastructure design, and phasing of the project. Asit moves from concept to planning, the architects and developers will hold a series of public discussions to ensure continued input from the public.


THIS JUST IN…

Spector Group has been hired to create new office space for Quirky.com, a social product development company in the Terminal Stores Building in West Chelsea.

Leeser Architecture is one of four firms shortlisted in the Moscow Polytechnic Museum competition to modernize the circa 1807, 430,000-square-foot cultural facility.

Boston-based Payette has been selected to perform feasibility studies on the engineering school buildings for three New York State Universities — Polytechnic Institute of New York University in Brooklyn; Columbia University Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science; and the College of Engineering at Cornell University in Ithaca.

New York State and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum are hosting exhibitions in 30 different locations throughout NY to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Artifacts from Ground Zero and expressions of grief sent after the 2001 terror attacks will be part of each exhibition. For more information, click here. Also, the Center for Architecture will be hosting an exhibition, “Seen Since 9/11: Interviews and Photographs of New Yorkers by Tibo” from 09.08-24.11. Click the link for more information.

In The News by • 08/03

In this issue:
· Bakery Will Become Harlem’s Creative Center
· Metal Shutter Houses Are Now Open
· A Synagogue Styled for SoHo
· BMW Guggenheim LAB Makes First Stop on LES
· Students to Make a Splash at Highbridge Pool
· Barclay Center Interiors Released


Bakery Will Become Harlem’s Creative Center

CREATE @ Harlem Green.

LEVENBETTS

The Taystee Cake Bakery complex along the 125th Street Corridor in Harlem is going to be revitalized, expanded, and turned into CREATE @ Harlem Green, designed by LEVENBETTS. Harlem Brewing Company will move its production facility to the mixed-us building, and will grow hops on an open roof. Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center plans to operate 53,000 square feet of space to be leased to small manufacturers and artisans. Upon completion, the $100 million development will include 100,000 square feet of manufacturing space, 90,000 square feet of office space, 40,000 square feet of retail, and 10,000 square feet for community facilities.


Metal Shutter Houses Are Now Open

Metal Shutter House.

Michael Moran

The Metal Shutter House, a luxury condo designed by Tokyo-based Shigeru Ban Architects and his NY-based partner Dean Maltz, has been completed. Located in Chelsea, the building takes its name from two distinct features — the shutters that cover two façades, and condos that feel like individual homes within one structure. The retractable skin of motorized perforated metal shutters echoes the after-hours shutters of galleries in the neighborhood. With direct access from the lobby through a single elevator, each apartment is a floor-through duplex providing light from both the north and south. The double-height exterior walls on the north apartments can be opened via floor-to-ceiling bi-fold doors creating continuity between the interior space and outdoor terraces. The 11-story building contains eight “houses” ranging from 1,950 to 4,644 square feet, and an art gallery.


A Synagogue Styled for SoHo

SoHo Synagogue.

Photo by John M. Hall

Designed by Studio Dror in collaboration with Jeffrey Rosenberg Architect, the recently-opened, 1,600-square-foot SoHo Synagogue puts a contemporary spin on synagogue typology. Recalling its former life as a fashion boutique, the striped storefront provides privacy and evokes the lines of a traditional prayer shawl. Congregants enter a long, narrow reception area that features a sculptural reception desk. This leads to the top of a steel-and-glass open stairwell that overlooks the sanctuary below. The artwork that lines the walls is hinged and, when taken down, can morph into chairs and coffee tables. Neutral-colored low couches replace traditional prayer benches, and in lieu of traditional stained glass windows, the space is illuminated by a series of single retro-style light bulbs. The building’s brick walls remain exposed and seven brick squares from the foundation were used to create a menorah. Fashion designer Yigal Azrouel selected and wrapped the fabric for the ark. The studio’s signature Peacock chairs flank both sides of the ark.


BMW Guggenheim LAB Makes First Stop on LES

BMW Guggenheim Lab.

Atelier Bow-Wow

Tokyo-based Atelier Bow-Wow has designed a mobile structure for the first two-year cycle of the BMW Guggenheim Lab, a mobile laboratory that is making its first stop on the Lower East Side at First Park. The theme is Confronting Comfort and explores how urban environments can be made more responsive to people’s needs. The structure’s lower half is a contemporary version of a Mediterranean loggia, an open space that can easily be configured to accommodate various programs. The upper portion houses a flexible rigging system and is wrapped in semi-transparent mesh. Through this external skin, visitors are able to catch glimpses of the extensive apparatus of “tools” that may be lowered or raised from the canopy according to the Lab’s programming needs, transforming the ground space into a formal lecture setting, a stage for a celebratory gathering, or a workshop with tables for hands-on experiments. A series of smaller wooden shelters provide space for restrooms and a café. This structure will be remain in New York until mid-October, then travels to Berlin and Mumbai.

Led by international, interdisciplinary teams of emerging talents in the areas of urbanism, architecture, art, design, science, technology, education, and sustainability, the Lab addresses issues of contemporary urban life through programs and public discourse. There will be three distinct mobile structures and thematic cycles and during the course of six years during which the Lab will travel to a total of nine major cities.


Students to Make a Splash at Highbridge Pool

Splash House.

Parsons The New School for Design

Next summer Highbridge Pool and Recreation Center in Highbridge Park, Washington Heights, will have a new pool pavilion. Parsons The New School for Design’s Design Workshop, a design-build studio led by graduate architecture students, is partnering with NYC Parks & Recreation to transform the park’s WPA-era bathhouse into Splash House, which will allow the center to remain open year-round and offer more recreational programs. Splash House reorganizes the current circulation and provides new changing and locker areas. Natural systems of light, ventilation, and water make a lightweight and efficient porous structure, while remaining sensitive to its historic context. The project includes sliding doors for flexible spaces, and a water curtain that functions as a play feature for children. In addition to design and construction, students also created a master plan for the center. The Design Workshop provides pro bono architectural and construction services to nonprofit organizations, and this project represents the first of a five-year initiative between Parks and Parsons to identify and implement improvements in public spaces throughout the city.


Barclay Center Interiors Released

Barclays Center Courtside Club (left) and Loft Suite.

SHoP Architects

Renderings of the interior spaces of the Barclays Center of Brooklyn, designed by SHoP Architects, were recently released. In addition to an 18,000-seat arena, the sports and entertainment center is packed with amenities. Inside the main entrance, multiple access points intersect at the arena atrium, including the Nets team store, a practice court viewing window, the box office, and the main concourse, which features the Legends Lounge, a two-sided bar with a platform offering direct views into the bowl. Beers of the World bar features a long bar with a continuous band of reclaimed wood; the Courtside Club offers premium seat holders views of the basketball players walking to and from the court. The arena contains 68 loft suites.


THIS JUST IN…

Twenty-four same sex couples got married over the weekend in Central Park in one of two pop-up chapels that were winners of a competition hosted by Architizer and TheKnot.com, a wedding planning website. NYC-based winners Z-A Studio designed “Kiss,” an installation that resembles a helix, and the other, from ICRAVE, is composed of rainbow ribbons.

Flying Cactus, a piece created by the Animus Arts Collective for FIGMENT 2011, has been chosen by the NYC Department of Transportation for its Summer Streets program. Twelve Flaming Cactuses will sprout up in and around Astor Place this month.

The only open-air roller-skating venue, The High Line Rink, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and James Corner Field Operations in partnership HWKN, is open through September at 30th Street and 10th Avenue.

The Landmark Preservation Commission has approved Morris Adjmi Architects’ warehouse addition in the Meatpacking District. The revised plan calls for a four-story glass addition over an original two-story structure.

In The News by • 07/20

In this issue:
· East River Waterfront Esplanade Opens Phase 1
· Nolita Now Has a Boutique Hotel
· GMHC is Proud of its New Home
· DC’s President’s Park South to Become More People & Protection Friendly
· School in Congo Teaches Sustainability


East River Waterfront Esplanade Opens Phase 1

East River Waterfront Esplanade.

NYCEDC

The first section of the two-mile-long East River Waterfront Esplanade, designed by SHoP Architects with Ken Smith Landscape Architects and lighting designer Tillotson Design Associates, has opened. Future sections are currently under construction. Located south of South Street Seaport on what was once a neglected, inaccessible stretch of waterfront, the esplanade now has plantings, trees, and seating elements evocative of the area’s maritime past. A series of stadium-like steps, known as the “Look-Out,” leads to the water at the foot of Wall Street. A new dog park features a climbing bridge, sand pit, splash pad, and doghouse. A purple girder underneath the FDR Drive will be illuminated at night. The project is overseen by NYCEDC, the Department of City Planning, and the Mayor’s Office.


Nolita Now Has a Boutique Hotel

The Nolitan.

Courtesy: The Nolitan

It can be said that Nolita is now a tourist destination with the opening of its first hotel, The Nolitan. Designed by Grzywinski+Pons, connectivity with the neighboring buildings was key to the design of the eight-story, 55-room boutique hotel. The mass of the 28,000-square-foot building is bifurcated to conform to the trapezoidal shape of the site. A common material palette composed of a terraced terra cotta rain screen, low-iron channel glass, wood/phenolic composite sheathing, and both ceramic fritted and vision point supported glazing, links the volume. Guest rooms come in eight different shapes and sizes. Some have private balconies and others have floor-to-ceiling windows. The firm also designed the interiors and furniture for ellabess, the hotel’s 70-seat on-site restaurant. The furniture designs can also be seen on the 2,400-square-foot landscaped roof deck.


GMHC is Proud of its New Home

Gay Men’s Health Crisis.

Catherine Tighe

Deborah Berke & Partners Architects (DBPA), in collaboration with the Mufson Partnership, has completed the new 166,000-square-foot home for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC). Located in the former WNET Studios on the west side, DBPA worked with GMHC to program the existing offices to make the layout and adjacencies work for the organization’s needs. GMHC occupies a horizontal space on two open environment floors. The new entry sequence includes a dedicated elevator with direct access to the GMHC floors, and a reception area on each floor, making access to services easier and more secure. A new dining room was designed to serve more meals to people living with HIV/AIDS and can also be utilized as a public and organizational meeting space. In addition, The Keith Haring Foundation allowed GMHC and DBPA access to the Keith Haring archives to create a one-of-a-kind, magenta-colored mural. Based on Haring’s Tokyo Fabric Design (1988, Sumi ink on paper), the mural wraps around the entire 3,000-square-feet dining room, creating an atmosphere that is both welcoming and playful, while serving as a clear reminder of the organization’s mission.


Penn Medical Adds a Home for Transplant Patients

Clyde F. Barker Penn Transplant House.

Ty Cole

Rafael Viñoly Architects (RVA) has completed the Clyde F. Barker Penn Transplant House in Philadelphia, the latest project in the firm’s ongoing partnership with Penn Medical. The low-rise building was designed to fit in within its residential neighborhood, but consists of a subtly different volume. The courtyard functions as the central organizing feature of the design and is intended to create a prominent sense of place for patients. Conceived as a home away from home, the Barker House features large furnished bedrooms, a family meeting room, and a fully equipped communal kitchen, and a laundry room. Guest bedrooms are organized around the courtyard, and each unit has a south-facing sloped roof to that allows natural daylight into the room. The building is being partially funded by public donations and the design and construction teams, including RVA, worked on a pro-bono basis.


DC’s President’s Park South to Become More People & Protection Friendly

President’s Park South.

Rogers Marvel Architects

Rogers Marvel Architects has won a design competition hosted by the National Capital Planning Commission to beautify security components and improve the visitor experience at President’s Park South, one of Washington DC’s most frequented parks. The 52-acre park is located between the White House grounds and the Washington Monument, and contains Sherman Park, the Ellipse, monuments, and the closed E Street. The winning design creates space for formal and informal public participation while meeting the stringent security requirements of the U.S. Secret Service. The design defines the edge of the Ellipse by subtly raising the grade, creating a seating wall with integrated lighting for pedestrians. Native-planted, vegetative swales are set within walkways between the new promenade and parking spaces. A new E Street terrace joins the enhanced space of the Ellipse with the White House South Lawn. The winning team includes Ducibella Venter & Santore (security), Weidlinger Associates (civil engineering), Quennell Rothschild & Partners (landscape architecture), George Sexton Associates (lighting), WSP Flack & Kurtz (MEP engineering), Pentagram (wayfinding), and Sam Schwartz Engineering (traffic).


School in Congo Teaches Sustainability

Georges Malaika Foundation School.

Studio MDA

Next month, 104 grade school girls will enter the newly opened Georges Malaika Foundation School, designed by Studio MDA. Located in a village on the outskirts of Lubumbashi, the second largest city the Democratic Republic of Congo, the plan of the school is a simple courtyard building with classrooms connected by covered walkways. The courtyard serves as the hub of the school, around which adjacent programs are organized under shaded outdoor spaces. The classrooms, in clusters of three, are free standing and turned at a slight angle to maximize light and air. Each classroom has a covered outdoor space on one side and a view to the landscape on the other. Double roofs catch breezes, inducing natural ventilation and large overhangs on the roofs create ample shading. Constructed wetlands clean black and gray water generated by the school, allowing water to be re-used for landscape irrigation and educational agriculture. Materials used include compressed soil bricks, made from soil on site, instead of burned bricks, which have been largely responsible for widespread deforestation in the region.


THIS JUST IN…

The NYC Parks Department has released “A Plan for Sustainable Practices within NYC Parks.” It’s the agency’s first comprehensive document highlighting its sustainability-related projects and can be viewed online at www.nyc.gov/parks (search for “sustainable parks”).

Rafael Viñoly, FAIA, has designed the set for Richard Strauss’s opera “Die Liebe der Danae” for Bard SummerScape in Annandale-on-Hudson. Performances run from 07.29-08.07.11.

“4 Projects: 4 Scales,” an LA Forum exhibition of the work of Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis Architects, will run from 07.21-08.27.11, at the Woodbury University Hollywood.

In The News by • 07/07

In this issue:
· Chelsea Tenement Transforms into a Modern School
· Vivid Colors Brighten Children’s Hospital Experience
· Dinner, a Movie, and an Apartment in Williamsburg
· Surfing Museum Evokes the Sky & Sea


Chelsea Tenement Transforms into a Modern School

Corlears School.

FXFOWLE

The renovation and expansion of the 22,000-square-foot Corlears School, a Pre-K through Fifth Grade independent school located in Chelsea, has been completed by FXFOWLE. Initially built in 1905 as a tenement, the building was converted into a school in the 1970s and has since undergone several piecemeal renovations. After acquiring an adjacent property the interiors and structural systems of the existing building were brought up to current fire, life safety, and accessibility codes, and re-configured to blend with the new. Additional classrooms were added, with open areas, or “piazzas,” connecting classrooms on each floor to encourage student interaction. Existing foundation and bearing walls were structurally reinforced to support an additional floor for a gymnasium and a green roof in the future.


Vivid Colors Brighten Children’s Hospital Experience

Alexandra and Steven Cohen Children’s Emergency Department.

©Paúl Rivera/archphoto

The new $50 million Alexandra and Steven Cohen Children’s Emergency Department at the New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, designed by Aedas in collaboration with Swarthmore-based associate architect Poltronieri Tang, recently opened. Located in Washington Heights, the 25,000-square-foot facility — one of only three Level I Pediatric Trauma Centers in NY State — is equipped to care for 60,000 children annually. The department has 26 private treatment rooms, two trauma rooms, four triage rooms, an asthma treatment area, onsite radiology, a laboratory, and pharmacy. A mechanical system affords department-wide isolation and purge capabilities in the event of an airborne catastrophic or infectious event. Instead of a large public waiting room, the facility has a group of smaller seating nooks located close to treatment rooms with family reading areas, a multimedia interactive wall, and game tables. Treatment rooms have floor-to-ceiling illustrations from familiar children’s literature, and the entryway features colorful murals by Sol LeWitt.


Dinner, a Movie, and an Apartment in Williamsburg

Nitehawk Cinema.

Courtesy of Nitehawk Cinema (exterior); photo by Pedro Feria Pino (interior)

Nitehawk Cinema recently opened in a renovated two-story, mid-century brick warehouse in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The complex, designed by Caliper Studio, features three theaters all with tableside food service, a café/bar at street level, and an L-shaped, three-story addition containing nine rental apartments. All of the apartments have access to outdoor space. The units on the top floor have private roof decks while the lower level apartments have access to a raised courtyard on the roof of the cinema. The 23,000-square-foot building features a custom zinc panel façade on the three upper stories with 2,000 cast glass disks backlit by LEDs arrayed in an irregular pattern. The project involved extensive coordination to thread the new structure, elevators, scissor stair, and mechanical systems through the existing two-story building.


Surfing Museum Evokes the Sky & Sea

Cité de l’Océan et du Surf.

©Iwan Baan

The Cité de l’Océan et du Surf, designed by Steven Holl Architects in collaboration with artist and designer Solange Fabião, recently opened in Biarritz, France (one of the world’s premiere surfing destinations). The more than 40,000-square-foot project incorporates textured white concrete made with local aggregates. Exhibition spaces, a plaza, and gardens that fuse landscape and architecture connect the museum to the ocean horizon. The building’s form derives from the spatial concept “under the sky/under the sea.” A concave “under the sky” shape creates a central gathering plaza, while the convex structural ceiling forms the “under the sea” exhibition spaces that explore the leisure and scientific aspects of both surf and sea. The public plaza features two “glass boulders” that contain a restaurant and the surfer’s kiosk; the plaza paving is a variation of Portuguese cobblestone that allows grass and natural vegetation to permeate and grow.


THIS JUST IN…

New York University has selected EYP Architecture & Engineering and Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates to design a new home for NYU’s College of Nursing, provide expanded facilities for the College of Dentistry and space for a multi-school bioengineering program.

Steven Holl Architects, in collaboration with VA-based BCWH Architects, has been selected to design the new Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

CetraRuddy has been selected to design the interiors for Tommy Lasagna, a new Italian Restaurant in Gramercy Park.

The NYC School Construction Authority has selected Dattner Architects to design a new P.S./I.S. school within Extell’s Riverside Center Development.

The Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg, PA, has selected Ennead Architects to design its expansion and renovation.

Perkins Eastman has been selected to design a mixed-use building that will include the DREAM Charter School, affordable housing, and space for Harlem RBI, an organization that provides academic, sports, and enrichment programs, located on the site of the Washington Houses in East Harlem.

In The News by • 06/22

In this issue:
· Pool Proposal Filters Water through its Walls
· New Residential Building Implements Active Design Guidelines
· TEN Squared
· NYC Landscape Architects Design Secret Gardens in Québec
· Sustainability Governs New Municipal Complex


Pool Proposal Filters Water through its Walls

+Pool.

PlayLab and Family

The firms PlayLab and Family have been collaborating on the design for a floating pool, not just on, but in the East River. +Pool is comprised of four pools in one — a children’s pool, sports pool, lap pool, and lounging pool. Each can be used independently, combined to form two Olympic-length lap pools, or opened completely into a 9,000-square-foot, cross-shaped pool. The design filters river water through the pool’s walls using concentric layers of a geotextile designed to remove bacteria, contaminants, and odors, providing safe and swimmable water that meets city, state, and federal standards. Arup New York has released a preliminary report examining the water quality and filtration, structural, mechanical, and energy systems for the proposed design. +Pool needs $25,000 to begin the process by testing the primary filtration layer.


New Residential Building Implements Active Design Guidelines

The Melody.

Courtesy Blue Sea Development

The Melody, one of the first buildings to incorporate the NYC Active Design Guidelines, has been completed. Located in Longwood, South Bronx, the eight-story, 76,000-square-foot residential co-op, designed by Aufgang + Subotovsky Architecture and Planning (ASAP), contains 63 units ranging from one to three bedrooms for families with incomes of $90,000 or less. The building is named for the many jazz, doo-wop, and R&B musicians who lived in the neighborhood and the local clubs where they performed. Its musical heritage is commemorated in the lobby artwork and ornamental ironwork, designed by artist Béatrice Coron. The project features an outdoor exercise path with fitness stations and a children’s climbing and play area; a professionally equipped fitness room; indoor bicycle racks; and two flights of stairs with artwork and piped-in music to encourage residents to walk instead of taking the elevator. The project, which also features balconies, pergolas, roof terraces, and a landscaped backyard, was designed to achieve LEED Platinum certification. Blue Sea Development, the project’s developer/builder, has allocated 14 of the units to Habitat for Humanity, whose Habitat-NYC family partners and volunteers will work on the interiors of their residences.


TEN Squared

Square 37 (left), and Square 50.

TEN Arquitectos

TEN Arquitectos has two residential projects currently in design phases in the West End section of Washington, DC. Square 37 features 174 luxury units, a 20,000-square-foot library, a 1,600-square-foot sidewalk café, and 8,700 square feet of retail space. The building extends along a diagonal beyond the property line, cantilevering over the property enabling all units to have corner windows. Square 50 includes 52 affordable rental units, 20,200 square feet for a new fire station, and an 18,000-square-foot squash club. The squash club has a double-height curtain wall to maximize natural light and an exterior terrace for pre- and post-match socializing. Both projects are designed to achieve LEED Gold and are expected to break ground in 2012, with completion scheduled for 2015.


NYC Landscape Architects Design Secret Gardens in Québec

Diana Balmori’s Making Circles in the Water; Ken Smith’s A Ditch With a View; Michael van Valkenburgh’s This Rocks! Get Lost!.

©2011-Festival International de Jardins

The International Garden Festival in Grand-Métis, Québec, has invited NYC-based landscape architects Diana Balmori, Ken Smith, and Michael van Valkenburgh to create gardens for the 2011 festival themed “Secret Gardens.” Balmori has created “Making Circles in the Water” using a circular water tank to capture images of the changing sky. Smith’s “A Ditch With a View” explores the role of voyeurism by appropriating a typical engineered drainage ditch. Van Valkenburgh’s “This Rocks! Get Lost!” investigates the idea of the archetypal Canadian evergreen landscape combined with an assemblage of white Vermont marble designed to evoke, transport, and unlock our deepest thoughts. The festival features a total of 25 gardens designed by international landscape architects and will be on view 06.25-10.02.11.


Sustainability Governs New Municipal Complex

Wylie Municipal Complex.

©Craig D. Blackmon

The new Wylie Municipal Complex, designed by Holzman Moss Bottino Architecture (HMBA), with Dallas-based Architexas, recently opened. Located in the greater Dallas/Fort Worth area, the complex is composed of three buildings — a three-story, 45,000-square-foot City Hall, a two-story, 48,500-square-foot recreation center, and a single-story 43,500-square-foot public library. Two outdoor entry courtyards provide direct pedestrian access, and each building component is accented with geometric volumes clad in iridescent metal tiles. Capped with saw-tooth roofs, the City Council’s 100-seat chamber and the library reading room’s circular-shaped, light-filled, multi-use spaces are designed to foster community engagement. The project was designed for LEED Silver certification; energy-saving measures include an east-west building orientation, a continuous north-facing clerestory for diffused natural light, and a southern roof overhang extending as much as 40 feet along a 610-foot-long porch to reduce heating and cooling loads. Reclaimed building materials range from floor surfaces covered in rubber made of recycled car tires to carpet tile of 100% post-production yarn.

In The News by • 06/08

In this issue:
· Two Parks Expand their Sites
· New Band Shell Improves Audience Experience
· Brooklyn College Targets Green Performance
· QMA Expands Its Visibility
· TRC Brings TLC to UPenn
· Ennead Raises the Bar for New Law School Building


Two Parks Expand their Sites

The Slide Mountain area of the playground features two innovative jungle gyms (left); Wildflower Field in Section 2 (right).

Julienne Schaer (left); Courtesy of Friends of the High Line (right)

Brooklyn Bridge Park, designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, opened an expanded section at Pier 6. The new 1.8-acre section features three regulation-sized sand volleyball courts, a network of lighted pathways, and a renovated building with restrooms clad with salvaged Long Leaf Yellow Pine. Integrated into the landscape are “Swing Valley,” “The Water Lab,” and “Sandbox Village” (said to be the largest park sandbox in Brooklyn).

Section 2 of the High Line, designed by James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, is now open. Ten more city blocks of elevated park space incorporates lawns and a stepped seating feature. Walking uptown, highlights include a “Woodland Flyover,” a metal walkway lifted eight feet above the rails. A viewing platform above the 30th Street cut-out reveals the structural framework and creates a transition to the rail yard section, yet to be developed.



New Band Shell Improves Audience Experience

Richard Rodgers Amphitheater.

Cooper, Robertson & Partners

A deteriorating band shell in Marcus Garvey Park in East Harlem has been transformed into the new, 1,600-seat Richard Rodgers Amphitheater for music, dance, and drama. Designed by Cooper, Robertson & Partners, the design provides a wider stage that is closer to the audience and features a large, multi-purpose backstage area with changing rooms and restrooms for the performers. An improved seating area includes seatbacks built with recycled plastic, a fabric shade canopy, and upgraded lighting and sound hookups. The $7 million project was made possible through the public/private partnership of the City Parks Foundation, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Rodgers Family Foundation.



Brooklyn College Targets Green Performance

Leonard and Claire Tow Center for the Performing Arts.

Pfeiffer Partners Architects

Ground was recently broken for the Leonard and Claire Tow Center for the Performing Arts, a new addition to Whitman Hall, Brooklyn College’s performance venue. Located in the Flatbush/Midwood section of Brooklyn, the 62,000-square-foot facility, designed by Pfeiffer Partners Architects, creates a new front door for the campus with performance, instructional, and rehearsal spaces. The project features a 225-seat theater with flexible stage configurations to accommodate orchestras, chamber ensembles, and experimental theater. Also included are 30 music studios/practice rooms, a large orchestra rehearsal room, and a theater rehearsal space, which can double as performance venues, a choral rehearsal room, a recording studio, and a scene shop for set construction. Respecting the architectural history of the campus, the center incorporates brick that reflects the campus’s color tones but used in a contemporary fashion. Brick “columns” are interspersed with metal panels and glass curtain wall which are spaced to create a rhythm of materials along the façade. The project is targeting LEED Silver certification, making it the college’s first green building.


QMA Expands Its Visibility

Queens Museum of Art.

Grimshaw Architects

The Queens Museum of Art (QMA) is currently undergoing an expansion that will encompass the entirety of the building originally built as the city’s official pavilion for the 1939 World’s Fair. Designed by Grimshaw Architects, the revitalized QMA will feature new galleries, classrooms, public events spaces, a café, and museum shop. Doubling the size of the museum with the addition of 50,000 square feet, the design focuses on increasing the museum’s visibility and physical connection to its surroundings. A new entrance and expanded outdoor space will be on the park side of the museum; a new entry plaza and a 220-foot-long illuminated glass façade with vertical fins, laminated with a perforated metal mesh will face Grand Central Parkway. The focal point of the design is a glass-enclosed pavilion topped with a cube of translucent glass. Seven galleries are organized around this central space, and integrated sun-shading devices will be part of the skylight system to allow diffused natural light into the exhibition spaces. The glazing of the courtyard walls will control the quality and amount of natural light entering the rest of the building and shield the artwork from harmful UV rays. The $65 million expansion is scheduled to be complete by 2013.


TRC Brings TLC to UPenn

Translational Research Center.

Brad Feinknopf

The Translational Research Center (TRC) at the University of Pennsylvania, designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects, marks the first expansion phase in an overall master plan for Penn Medicine that includes the UPenn Health System and the School of Medicine. The building unites research and clinical functions under one roof to allow the practices of scientific investigation and patient care to inform one another. It will provide research and office space for approximately 100 principal investigators and 900 related staff members. The new research center consists of a 14-story extension to the west wing of the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects in a joint venture with Perkins Eastman. The TRC was planned with an open, flexible design in mind and the program includes a 225-seat auditorium, conferencing, 144 wet benches per floor, and elevated vivarium floors to isolate noise and movement. DNA-like spiral stairs are strategically situated in common areas.


Ennead Raises the Bar for New Law School Building

William H. Neukom Building.

Misha Bruk

The William H. Neukom Building, a new central hub of the Stanford Law School, designed by Ennead Architects, recently opened. The 65,000-square-foot building creates a new focal point along the principal circulation route linking the residential and academic precincts of the campus. Reinforcing the principles of Frederick Law Olmsted’s original master plan for the campus, the building is organized around a central courtyard. A monumental rotunda referencing the historic entry gates on the main quad marks the convergence of the two principal campus grids and serves as the building’s main entrance. Four three-story wings, connected by glass-walled bridges anchored by a ground-floor plinth, house a legal clinic, seminar rooms, faculty offices, open work areas, and conference rooms. The rotunda’s open-air staircase leads to the faculty garden, which is intended to be the school’s “living room,” and upper levels, which house offices, meeting areas, and the dean’s suite and conference room — a circular, wood-clad, sky-lit space. The garden façades of each of the four wings are articulated by planar limestone walls. The building construction satisfies the equivalent of LEED Gold and the new building is expected to use 30% less energy than California code requires.

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