Category Archives: In The News

In The News by • 01/18

In this issue:
· New Public School is on the Books for Riverside South
· Hell’s Kitchen Outs a New Hotel
· Former School Becomes Live/Work Space for Artists
· Two Residences Support Seniors and Homeless Adults
· Sustainable Commons Energizes Athletics at Arcadia University
· New Buildings Commemorate Gallic Battle

New Public School is on the Books for Riverside South


Riverside Center School/PS-IS 342.

Dattner Architects

The Upper West Side will gain its first new public school in decades. Designed by Dattner Architects, the 100,000-square-foot Riverside Center School/P.S.-I.S. 342 will be located on the lower five floors of Riverside Center Building 2, a new 43-story residential tower in the 75-acre Riverside South development. Funding for the school portion of the building’s core and shell will be provided as a public benefit by Extell, Riverside South’s developer. The school’s fit out, including a rooftop recreation area, will be provided by the NYC School Construction Authority. Dattner is collaborating with the base-building design team, which includes Atelier Christian de Portzamparc with architect-of-record SLCE. The school has an assigned capacity of 488 students and is expected to open its doors in 2015.

Hell’s Kitchen Outs a New Hotel


Out NYC.

Paul C. Dominguez

Billed as the city’s first gay-/straight-friendly urban resort, the Out NYC is scheduled to open this March in Hell’s Kitchen. Built in the 1950s as a Travelodge, the approximately 90,000-square-foot structure later became a homeless shelter. The 105-room boutique hotel contains rooms ranging from sleep shares for four to 350-square-foot bedroom suites. In addition, the hotel features a 14,000-square-foot nightclub, lounge and cabaret, a restaurant, business/conference center, function space, a 5,000-square-foot wellness center enclosed in a glass-covered atrium, and three distinct landscaped courtyards. Paul C. Dominguez, architect and a managing director of Parkview Developers, served as lead designer, and Matt Markowitz Associates is the architect-of-record.

Former School Becomes Live/Work Space for Artists


El Barrio Artspace.

HHL Architects

Construction has begun on the transformation of former P.S. 109 in East Harlem into El Barrio Artspace, a mixed-use affordable home for local artists and their families, designed by Buffalo-based Hamilton Houston Lownie Architects. Originally designed by Charles B.J. Snyder in the Collegiate Gothic Revival style, the 115,000-square-foot 1898 building is known for its steeply pitched roof, copper-clad cupolas, and decorative terra cotta. Upon completion, the building will contain up to 90 sustainable units of live/work space, ranging from studios to two-bedroom apartments. In addition, the five-story building will contain 10,000 square feet of non-residential space for arts and cultural organizations, a community garden and kitchen, and a green market. Demolition of the building, which was on the National Register of Historic Places, had already begun when the community stepped in and protested. The $50 million community-driven project is being developed by the Minnesota-based nonprofit Artspace with El Barrio’s Operation Fightback. Victor E. Morales Architect is serving as associate architect. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2013.

Two Residences Support Seniors and Homeless Adults


Urban Pathways Hallets Cove House.

Gran Kriegel Associates

Gran Kriegel Associates has designed two new residential buildings for long-term housing with onsite support services. Funded by the Department of Housing, Preservation and Development (HUD), the almost 45,000-square-foot, eight-story El Rio Residence for Comunilife is located in the West Farms section of the Bronx, and contains 65 efficiency apartments for low-income seniors. Interior common areas include a food warming pantry, lounge, multipurpose room, residents’ storage, laundry room, offices for support services, and front and rear landscaped yards for recreational activities. The project’s small footprint also maximizes separation from a 1901 Neo-Gothic structure that shares the site. Since the historic structure is New York State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)-eligible, the design required review by the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission and the SHPO. Because of this, the building’s massing and façade materials were carefully designed to harmonize with its neighbor.

Urban Pathways Hallet’s Cove House, a 32,000-square-foot, L-shaped, six-story facility for formerly homeless adults living with mental illness in Astoria, Queens, includes 50 studios with kitchenettes. Funded by the New York State Office of Mental Health, the project features a communal lounge on each floor, a multipurpose room for dining and informal gatherings, plus a landscaped back yard for passive recreation. Both projects will be completed by the end of 2013.

Sustainable Commons Energizes Athletics at Arcadia University


Arcadia Commons.

Kliment Halsband Architects

Kliment Halsband Architects has completed the 50,000-square-foot Arcadia Commons, a gathering place at Arcadia University in Glenside, PA. The new, three-story building extends the existing recreation and athletic center, giving it a new, gray native schist-and-terra-cotta façade. The building features a multi-purpose space for 500-person assemblies, a gallery for student and faculty work, a café, and an office suite with smaller spaces for informal group meetings. In addition, the existing athletics and fitness facilities have been expanded. Photovoltaic cells on the roof connect to a monitor inside the building displaying real-time information on electrical output. Forty-two geothermal wells under the campus green provide low-emission, energy-efficient heating and cooling, and power the new cooling system for the gymnasium. An energy-recovery system captures and recycles energy, and operable windows allow cross ventilation when outside conditions permit.

New Buildings Commemorate Gallic Battle


Alésia Museum and Archaeological Park.

Bernard Tschumi Architects

An interpretive center, the first phase of the Al&eacutesia Museum and Archaeological Park complex designed by Bernard Tschumi Architects, is set to open in March. Located in Burgundy, France, the museum is on the site of the historic Battle of Al&eacutesia, between Julius Caesar and the Gauls in 52 B.C., and contains exhibits and interactive displays that contextualize the events of the battle and its aftermath. The cylindrical building, almost 50 feet tall and 164 feet in diameter, features an exterior wood envelope, as the Roman fortifications would have been constructed at the time of the siege, some of which are reconstructed nearby. The roof of the building is planted with low shrubs and trees, camouflaging its presence when seen from the town above. The second building, scheduled to be completed in 2015, will act as a more traditional museum, with a focus on found objects and artifacts excavated from the site. Also cylindrical, but made of stone, the building is partially buried into the hill so that from above it appears to be an extension of the landscape.


Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Hollwich Kushner (HWKN) have been selected to design a new entertainment complex to replace the Pavilion dance club on Fire Island Pines that was destroyed by fire last year.

The Landmark’s Preservation Commission has voted to create the East 10th Street Historic District, between Avenues A and B, which is composed of 26 mid-19th- and early 20th-century buildings.

An exhibition of 18 built and speculative projects designed by LTL ARCHITECTS Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis will be on view at the College of Wooster Art Museum in Wooster, OH, through 03.05.12.

Slade Architecture‘s exhibition “FOR_PLAY,” which focuses on projects both built and unrealized that were designed for play or include an element of play, will be on view at Syracuse University School of Architecture from 01.31-03.23.12.

Spector Group has been chosen to serve as interior architect for 50,000 square feet on three floors for investment management firm, Man Group. Located in midtown, the office is designed to achieve a LEED Gold certification.

In The News by • 01/04

In this issue:
· Frick Collection Opens New Portico Gallery
· A New Public School is on the Books for Riverside South
· Visitor and Education Center Looks Back to Past Life in the Lower East Side
· Bronx Psychiatric Center Starts Construction
· New Building Serves as Gateway to Hospital Campus
· Veterans Honored With a Memorial Plaza at Penn State

Frick Collection Opens New Portico Gallery


The Frick Collection.

Davis Brody Bond

The Frick Collection recently opened the 800-square-foot Portico Gallery of Decorative Arts and Sculpture, the first major addition to the museum’s display spaces in nearly 35 years. As designed by Davis Brody Bond, details relate to the vocabulary of the original Beaux Arts mansion designed by Carrère and Hastings in 1914. The gallery was created by enclosing the existing bluestone-paved loggia in the garden. Floor-to-ceiling windows inserted between the existing Ionic columns frame views of the formal gardens. Currently on view is the gallery’s inaugural exhibition, “White Gold: Highlights from the Arnhold Collection of Meissen Porcelain,” presented along with sculptures by Jean-Antoine Houdon, including “Diana the Huntress,” a signature work that will now be on permanent display.

Visitor and Education Center Looks Back to Past Life in the Lower East Side


Tenement Museum Sadie Samuelson Levy Visitor and Education Center.

© Paúl Rivera/ArchPhoto

The Lower East Side Tenement Museum has completed a five-year expansion project with the opening of the Sadie Samuelson Levy Visitor and Education Center. Transformed by Perkins Eastman, the storefront reveals some of the former tenement building’s layers of history. Cast iron columns and historic signage were retained, while other architectural elements served as inspiration for modern flourishes. New tiles make use of circa 1800s colors and patterns, and a remnant of Victorian-era wallpaper serves as the design scheme for proposed future ironwork. The new space offers 10,000 square feet of additional operating space and includes “smart” classrooms for the museum’s education programs, a demonstration kitchen for programs on immigrant foodways, a theater space, a permanent gallery for visual art exploring immigration issues, and expanded retail space.

Bronx Psychiatric Center Starts Construction

Bronx Psychiatric Center.

Spector Group

Construction has begun on the new $350 million campus for the Bronx Psychiatric Center. Based on a master plan designed by Spector Group for the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) and the New York State Office of Mental Health (NYSOMH), the project encompasses six new buildings on more than 50 acres, as well as the preservation of five existing buildings. The Spector Group is also designing the central services building, central utility plant, and residential village consisting of three outpatient buildings — a Safe Horizon Haven House with a 24-bed and 20-bed wing; a 96-bed transitional living residence; and a 48-bed studio residence. The project, which is designed to achieve LEED Silver, is slated to be completed in December 2013.

New Building Serves as Gateway to Hospital Campus


North Shore LIJ Medical Center.

Photo © SOM

A new 300,000-square-foot patient tower at North Shore LIJ Medical Center in New Hyde Park on Long Island, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) with landscape design by Thomas Balsey, was recently dedicated. Creating an entry and arrival for the 48-acre campus, the building stacks two distinct programs — the Katz Women’s Hospital and the Zuckerberg Pavilion. The women’s hospital has its own dedicated entrance and two-story lobby, with four floors above containing 88 patient rooms, along with diagnostic and treatment services. The building is characterized by a curved glass façade. A syncopation of vertical elements is intended to reflect on the diversity of the interior functions. The project is compliant with the Green Guide for Health Care.

Veterans Honored With a Memorial Plaza at Penn State


Veteran’s Plaza on the University Park Campus, Penn State University.

Ennead Architects

Penn State University selected Ennead Architects as the winner of a competition to design a new Veteran’s Plaza on its University Park Campus. The plaza, a gift from the class of 2011, honors veterans who attended the university. Preliminary plans call for a circular walkway and curved stone wall centered around an artistic representation of a warrior’s shield, symbolizing honor and sacrifice. The proposed shield form is a 10-foot-diameter disc carved in polished black “jet-mist” granite set to float above the grass, its surface carved to simulate rippling water to evoke a feeling of contemplation and tranquility. The curved wall, named in honor of an alumnus who posthumously received a Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan, is inscribed with a Greek phrase translated as “Either with it [your shield], or on it.” The plaza, designed in collaboration with Mark Mennin, a sculptor known for his monumental works, is the firm’s third project for Penn State.


The Landmarks Preservation Commission recently voted to approve a scaled-back version of proposed penthouse additions to the Puck Building, designed by PKSB Architects. The revised additions are now 20 feet shorter, and materials were changed from glass and metal to predominantly masonry and brick to match the existing building.

The National Academy’s Annual Exhibition features works by more than 100 artists and architects juxtaposing contemporary masters with emerging and mid-career artists. On view 01.25-04.29.12, architectural projects include work by NY-based Peter Gluck; Thomas Phifer, FAIA; Robert A. M. Stern, FAIA; Bernard Tschumi, FAIA; Billie Tsien, AIA; and Rafael Viñoly, FAIA.

The plan to redevelop Admiral’s Row passed at City Council. The property, now owned by the federal government, will be transferred to NYC to become a part of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Plans call for the construction of a 74,000-square-foot supermarket with 127,000 square feet of light industrial space above. Two of the 11 historic structures will be restored, and the others will be demolished.

The city of Newport, RI, has given the green light for the building of Maya Lin’s “The Meeting Place,” a public park in honor of Doris Duke. The design calls for three low-walled structures built around a square constructed of local stone to evoke foundations of houses built in the area.

In The News by • 12/08

In this issue:
· Pro Bono Design to Improve Valentino Park
· Bronx Center Heals Patients with Light and Open Air
· The Kalahari Will Entertain in Harlem
· Tennis Scores in Princeton

Pro Bono Design to Improve Valentino Park




When Red Hook-based non-profit PortSide NewYork decided to convert a shipping container into a community amenity, desigNYC, a grassroots non-profit founded on improving NYC through design, organized a competition. BoatBox in Valentino Park was the winning entry, designed by a team from 590BC Architecture, Studio L’Image, and Lee H. Skolnick Architecture that provided services pro bono. In addition to maintaining the shipping container’s existing use to store kayaks, a shade structure around the box will provide a protected gathering space. Freestanding kayak racks will be available to the public. BoatBox also serves as a place to post information on the area’s history, the sources of harbor pollution, boat safety, and eating fish caught in local waters. PortSide is now working closely with the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation on the conceptual design and conferring with the Coast Guard on messaging about safety.

Bronx Center Heals Patients with Light and Open Air


VIP Community Services Residence.

Alexander Severin/RAZUMMEDIA

VIP Community Services, specializing in substance abuse treatment programs, has recently occupied its new 30,000-square-foot residence in East Tremont, the Bronx. Designed by WASA/Studio A, three floors of bedrooms serving 80 residents are above two floors of common spaces for recreation, computer classes, and group therapy. A dining hall opens into a landscaped rear garden that is tended by the residents. The design creates a dignified and welcoming environment suffused with natural light and color that will facilitate the recovery process.

The Kalahari Will Entertain in Harlem


My Image Studios

Hibbs Architects

My Image Studios (MIST) recently began construction on an 18,800-square-foot entertainment center, designed by Wappinger Falls, NY-based Hibbs Archictects. Featuring emerging and established artists of the African and Latino diaspora, the center is located on the first floor of The Kalahari, a residential condominium in Harlem designed by Frederic Schwartz Architects. The venue will feature post-production facilities for film/digital media, three multi-purpose theaters, and film/video exhibition space, as well as a studio for live broadcasting. The theaters can be combined or transformed into a banquet hall due to the swiveling seats that can be recessed into the floor. In addition to a concessions area, the center will have a bar, a top-shelf kitchen for culinary arts, and a full-service restaurant with another bar on the terrace. Half of the mezzanine is to be used as a control room for the theaters, while the other half is for restaurant storage. The project is scheduled to be completed in May 2012.

New Academic Building Means Business


SUNY Plattsburgh.

Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman + Associates Architects

The State University of New York at Plattsburgh recently broke ground on a new 43,400-square-foot building designed by Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman + Associates Architects (GSKA). The three-story building will be home to the business, economics, and computer science departments and will serve approximately 1,200 students plus 50 faculty and staff members with new offices, and a number of specialized rooms, including classrooms, video conferencing rooms, computer labs, and an accounting lab and trading room with a stock-market ticker. Two student commons will be equipped with computers, and there will be a green rooftop terrace. The $14.2 million academic building is designed to achieve a LEED Silver certification and is expected to be open in time for the 2013 spring semester.

Tennis Scores in Princeton


Cordish Family Pavilion at the Lenz Tennis Center.

Dattner Architects

The recently completed 7,100-square-foot Cordish Family Pavilion at the Lenz Tennis Center at Princeton University was designed by Dattner Architects to reflect the geometry of tennis courts. Both an indoor and outdoor facility, the building’s central feature is a covered, two-story 3,700-square-foot observation deck where coaches and trainers can watch matches. Wrapping the interior, an overhanging zinc roof slopes and folds to become the rear wall, and the volume, which is supported by slender steel columns, appears to hover over the courts. Coach offices are on the upper level and a glass-enclosed meeting room has views of the courts. A masonry enclosure on the lower level burrows into a small hill and houses men’s and women’s locker rooms, mechanical systems, and storage. An external stair and ramp along with accessible paths are integrated into the landscape and connect the upper and lower levels.


The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, Port Authority of NY and NJ, and NYC recently announced an initial investment of $14 million giving the green light to transform Pier 42 on the East River into park land.

The NYC Council has approved the redevelopment of Admiral’s Row, a historic, six-acre site in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. New development will maintain two existing structures, raze the less stable ones, and make way for a major supermarket. After the federal government transfers the land to the city, the project will be overseen by the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp.

LOT-EK is participating in an exhibition that MAXXI Architettura is devoting to the work of innovative practitioners whose work relates to the recycling of architecture, cities, and landscapes. The exhibition is on view through the end of April 2012, at the MAXXI Museo Nazionale Delle Arti Del XXI Secolo in Rome.

A new organization, Archive of Spatial Aesthetics and Praxis (ASAP), will launch on 12.12.11. With a mission to be an archive of practices advocating for architecture and its “value as part of a broader social, political, and aesthetic discourse,” the 10-year program will collect, archive, exhibit, write, and circulate media about architecture.

In The News by • 11/23

In this issue:
· B2 Modulates Atlantic Yards
· Brooklyn Navy Yard Expands its Illustrious History
· Center for Mathematics Advances Brown University
· New Museum Nestles into its Utah Environment
· Kigutu Builds Sustainably Off the Grid
· A Tower Rises in the East

B2 Modulates Atlantic Yards


Barclays Center.


Forest City Ratner recently unveiled SHoP’s design for three new residential towers that are envisioned to cradle the Barclays Center at Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn. Located along the southern and eastern elevations of the arena site, the buildings will provide approximately 1,500 units of new residential housing. B2, the first of the towers, will also be the largest modular building in the world, with 930 modules. The 340,000-square-foot, 32-story building will contain approximately 350 rental apartments — 130 studios, 180 one-bedroom, and 40 two-bedrooms — and 50% of all units will be affordable to low- and middle-income households. It will also contain 4,000 square feet of retail space and 20,000 square feet of arena storage. SHoP Construction is responsible for design and construction services, Arup serves as structural and mechanical engineer, and X Site Modular is the modular consultant. The building is designed to achieve LEED Silver. Construction is expected to start in early 2012.

Brooklyn Navy Yard Expands its Illustrious History


BLDG 92 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners in collaboration with workshop/apd

BLDG 92, a new visitor’s center and exhibition space at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, will depict the history of the site, from its time as a naval shipyard to its rebirth as a center for artists and green manufacturing. Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners in collaboration with workshop/apd designed the adaptive reuse of what was once the commandant’s house. Built in 1857, the 9,300-square-foot building underwent extensive structural stabilization, exterior restoration, and interior rehabilitation. A new 24,000-square-foot addition connected to the historic building via an atrium is a contemporary interpretation of the industrial surroundings. The addition will provide space for meetings, and features a rooftop café and an employment center. The entire facility is designed to achieve a LEED Platinum certification. The Navy Yard is currently undergoing its largest expansion since WWII, adding approximately 1.6 million square feet of new space

Center for Mathematics Advances Brown University


Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics (ICERM).

Michael Moran

Architecture Research Office (ARO) recently completed the Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics (ICERM) at Brown University in Providence, RI. The facility is the newest of eight National Science Foundation Mathematical Sciences Research Institutes, and is the only one in New England. Located on the top two floors of a downtown tower, much of the existing partitions and layout were preserved. The 104-seat lecture hall is the heart of the space and features views of downtown on three sides. The fourth wall is a writable surface of translucent glass panels inset with two suspended projection screens. This floor-to-ceiling surface is a double layer of illuminated glass, allowing daylight to filter into ICERM’s central lounge, and produces a glowing connection between the lecture hall and the lobby. Furniture was selected to maximize group collaboration, and conference rooms are equipped with Smartboard and video-teleconference technology.

New Museum Nestles into its Utah Environment


Rio Tinto Center, Natural History Museum of Utah.

©Jeff Goldberg/Esto

The Natural History Museum of Utah recently opened the 153,000-square-foot Rio Tinto Center, designed by Ennead Architects. Located on 17 acres, the $103 million museum is nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains overlooking Salt Lake City. With 42,000 square feet of copper cladding and a roofline that rises and falls with the contours of the terrain, the building was also designed to cause minimal disruption to the environment. The museum contains more than 41,300 square feet of gallery space, including a 60-foot-high central public space that separates two wings. One wing contains research laboratories, conservation labs, collection storage, and administration, while the other houses public spaces for thematic galleries. The museum is seeking LEED Gold certification and features the use of recycled materials, local resources, photovoltaic energy, radiant cooling, and an extensive stormwater catchment and management system. Salt Lake City-based Gillies Stransky Brems Smith Architects (GSBS) served as architect-of-record, and the exhibitions were designed by Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA).

Kigutu Builds Sustainably Off the Grid


Village Health Works.

Louise Braverman, Architect

Construction is set to begin on a 20-bed staff residence for Village Health Works, in Kigutu, Burundi, a landlocked, densely populated country in East Africa. Designed by Louise Braverman, Architect, the 6,000-square-foot residence is located in a community that is 100% off the municipal grid and will be powered exclusively by a solar farm. Sited partially below grade and in alignment with the ground contours, the building takes advantage of the earth’s natural insulation for temperature control. Kigutu’s outdoor communal culture has been adopted in the building’s design — oversized porch doors are used to seamlessly connect the outside with a series of interior public living spaces. Extended roof overhangs will optimize natural daylight, and cisterns will capture rainwater for irrigation. Perhaps the most sustainable feature of the project is that members of the community will manually build the residence from local bricks and stone, thus negating the use of fuel-consuming machines and creating transferrable job training skills. This is the first phase of a master plan designed by the firm for the 40-acre site.

A Tower Rises in the East


Renaissance Tower.


Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2012 on the Renaissance Tower, a 36-story office building, designed by FXFOWLE, located in Istanbul, Turkey. The tower is sited at the intersection of two major highways so it can be seen in the round. Functioning like an obelisk, the sculptural massing of the 947,000-square-foot building takes cues from Ottoman geometric motifs and local landforms. The tower is rotated 33 degrees for optimum solar control, and features a solar-responsive stippled golden scrim attached to its curtain wall. Three groupings of two-story “sky-gardens” are strategically integrated at key exposures to provide a thermal buffer between exterior and interior. A larger exterior garden crowns the tower while the base of the building features retail, gardens, and a piazza.


Cook+Fox Architects is designing a building near Herald Square that will house PUBLIC New York, a 16-story hotel. Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2012.

The Institute of Multidisciplinarity for Art, Architecture and Design presents “[global] Crisis & Design ver.1.0: Living in the Crisis Era, between Anxiety and Desire,” an exhibition featuring works by Columbia University students and alumni from various disciplines — urban planning, architecture, landscape, fashion, graphic design, and interactive technology design. The exhibition is on view through 12.03.11 at the Artgate Gallery in Chelsea.

On-and-off plans to build a 40-story tower above the Port Authority Bus Terminal, designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners, appear to have been dashed.

EASTON+COMBS is collaborating with fashion design company Ohne Titel for the fifth installation of BOFFO Building Fashion‘s five part series that pairs fashion designers with architectural designers. The installation will be on view from 12.01-14.11 at 75 Walker Street.

In The News by • 11/10

In this issue:
· High Line, Hudson Yards Complete a Vision for Western NYC
· John Jay College Educates for Justice, Builds for the Future
· Washington Mews Undergoes Modernization
· UNIQLO Puts on a Display in Midtown
· Students, Faculty, Staff Connect Over Human Condition

High Line, Hudson Yards Complete a Vision for Western NYC

Leg 3 of the High Line with a new tower at Hudson Yards.

Renderings Courtesy KPF

After receiving two $5 million challenge grants and a $20 million gift from the Diller-Von Furstenberg Foundation, the third and final portion of the High Line will be developed. In addition, Mayor Bloomberg recently announced a 1.7 million-square-foot, 51-story tower at its northern end, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF). To be the largest commercial building in NYC, the lower third, approximately 600,000 square feet, will house the global corporate headquarters of Coach. The leather goods company will anchor the tower within the 26-acre mixed-use Hudson Yards development site. Construction is set to begin mid-2012, and is expected to be ready for occupancy in 2015. The master plan for the project, also designed by KPF, encompasses approximately 5,000 residences in nine residential buildings, six million square feet of commercial office space, including a one million-square-foot retail complex, a 150-room five star hotel, a cultural facility, and a new public school, all planned around 14 acres of public open space. The Number 7 subway line will be extended to the area with a scheduled December 2013 opening.

John Jay College Educates for Justice, Builds for the Future

John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Photo courtesy Turner Construction ©Bernstein Associates

The new 625,000-square-foot John Jay College of Criminal Justice recently held a ribbon cutting ceremony. Located between West 58th and 59th Streets, the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill-designed building provides the functions of a traditional college campus within the confines of one city block. The scale is similar to adjacent buildings and provides a strong visual presence from the West Side Highway. The new building consists of a four-story, 500-foot-long podium and 14-story tower. The podium, which provides connections to the school’s existing Haaren Hall, an early 20th-century building, contains dense social and academic programs and is topped by a 65,000-square-foot landscaped terrace that will act as a campus commons. The tower contains faculty offices, academic quads, a conference center, and instructional laboratories. The building doubles the size of the college’s existing facilities and is a component of John Jay’s transformation into a senior college of The City University of New York system.

Washington Mews Undergoes Modernization

Washington Mews.

Kliment Halsband Architects

Kliment Halsband Architects has begun construction on the restoration of the 100-year-old streetscape and the renovation of four buildings on Washington Mews. The earliest structures on the block-long cobblestone lane were built as stables in the early 19th century and in 1916 were converted into artist studios. New York University purchased the property in 1950 and began using the buildings for faculty residences and cultural institutes. The design preserves the historic character of the street while upgrading underground infrastructure and improving sidewalks and street lighting. The four buildings that will undergo exterior rehabilitation and interior renovation will provide a flexible suite of multi-purpose rooms, including conference rooms, lecture halls, and offices. The use of glass walls in the offices in all buildings intends to allow the floor plate to appear continuous. Each building will have new energy-efficient mechanical and electrical systems, use sustainable finishes, and be universally accessible. Landscape architects Mathews Nielsen is collaborating on the restoration of the streetscape.

UNIQLO Puts on a Display in Midtown


Courtesy of Atsushi Nakamichi, Nacasa & Partners, Inc.

UNIQLO clothing stores recently opened an 89,000 square-foot global flagship store on Fifth Avenue and a 64,000-square-foot store on 34th Street. Gensler acted as the executive architect for both new locations, working to realize the futuristic, experiential ideas of Tokyo-based interior design firm Wonderwall. The design of the Fifth Avenue store features 60-foot escalators flanked by grand stairs lit with LED risers, spinning mannequins, and more than 300 LCD screens for digital signage. Gensler also collaborated with Wonderwall to achieve the scale and vision of the three-story façade, which includes four glass elevators with large-scale LED screens that create moving signage across the façade. UNIQLO’s store design emphasizes visual displays, vast open spaces, 100 dressing rooms, 50 cash registers, and hand-held inventory checking devices. Gensler also ensured that all designs comply with energy codes through the use of UV-coated insulated glass units (IGUs) and a state-of-the-art mechanical system.

Students, Faculty, Staff Connect Over Human Condition

Cornell University College of Human Ecology.

Photos courtesy Gruzen Samton — IBI Group

The ribbon was recently cut on the new 87,000-square-foot Human Ecology Building at Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology. Designed by Gruzen Samton — IBI Group, the building was created to suit the needs of several departments, primarily Design & Environmental Analysis and Textiles & Apparel. Its open floor plan invites faculty, students, and staff to reach across disciplines and find commonalities related to the human condition. The new building features high-tech research laboratories; multi-purpose classrooms; studios for drawing, design, and fabrication; a gallery for student and faculty works; and community spaces and seminar rooms for collaborative projects. The commons links the existing school to the new addition with a multi-purpose space. At night, the wing glows and is a backdrop for outdoor events in warm weather. A new 255-car garage, built into the hillside and faced with local stone, serves as a base and a foil to the glass-clad academic building above. The building complies with LEED-Gold standards and green features include automatic ventilation, a green roof, electric vehicle charging stations, and a glass façade for harvesting daylight.


New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously to landmark Westbeth, following through on a promise made seven years ago to the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and other community groups working to extend landmark protections in the Far West Village.

Signature Urban Properties received the green light to develop a mixed-use affordable housing development for West Farms and Crotona Park East, the Bronx. Ten new buildings will consist of 1,325 units of housing and 46,000 square feet of retail space. Dattner Architects designed the master plan and is working on the design for the first two buildings.

The Museum of the American Revolution, a non-profit organization dedicated to the history of the American Revolution, has selected Robert A.M. Stern Architects to design a museum built in the historic area of Philadelphia. MFM Design will create exhibitions to display weapons, artwork, manuscripts, and commemorative artifacts from the period.

In The News by • 10/26

In this issue:
· Hub for Student-Athletes at Columbia University Breaks Ground
· New NYSID Graduate Center Opens, Lobby Gets a Makeover
· Avon Dresses Up New HQ
· Historic Theater Will House Contemporary Art Forms
· Under-Utilized Maintenance Building Gets Transformed into a Campus Center

Hub for Student-Athletes at Columbia University Breaks Ground


Campbell Sports Center, Columbia University.

Steven Holl Architects

Construction recently started on Columbia University’s Campbell Sports Center. Designed by Steven Holl Architects, the new center will form a gateway to the Baker Athletics Complex, the primary athletics facility for the university’s outdoor sports program. Located on the northern tip of Manhattan, the five-story, 48,000-square-foot facility will serve as a hub for student-athletes and coaches. The facility features strength and conditioning spaces, offices for varsity sports, an auditorium, hospitality suite, and student-athlete study rooms. The design concept is derived from field play diagrams used for football, soccer, and baseball. As the diagrams yield the physical push and pull on the field, the building’s elevations allegedly will push and pull in space. At night the Columbia-blue aluminum soffits of the building will be up-lit. As part of the project, the university is also creating Boathouse Marsh, a public park that will overlook wetlands in an inlet of the Harlem River. Designed by James Corner Field Operations, park visitors will be able to walk amid water gardens on a boardwalk along the marsh’s perimeter. The project is scheduled to be completed in late 2012.

New NYSID Graduate Center Opens, Lobby Gets a Makeover


New York School of Interior Design Graduate Center and its lobby.

Gensler (left); photo by David Joseph (right)

The New York School of Interior Design Graduate Center recently opened at Park Avenue and 28th Street. The 40,000-square-foot satellite space (the school’s first), designed by Gensler, houses the school’s new graduate programs in interior design, sustainable interior environments, interior lighting design, and health care interior design. The design is similar to the 20,000-square-foot space on the third floor, which opened in September 2010, with light-filled spaces and an open layout for seminar rooms, lecture halls, exhibition space, computer design labs, and other workspaces. The Graduate Center is expecting LEED Platinum, and sustainable features include materials and finishes made from recycled materials, low-flow plumbing fixtures, LED lighting, daylight-harvesting technology, low-VOC paints, as well as an energy-efficient, water-cooled HVAC system, and sub-metering of electrical usage to help monitor and modulate energy consumption.

M. Castedo Architects redesigned the long and narrow entry space that connects the street entrance to the elevators in the rear of the building. The lobby features a concrete reception desk, porcelain floor tiles, plaster walls, and a faceted wood ceiling that that provides integral light coves and adjustable lighting. The space doubles as a showcase for large artworks from the building owner’s art collection and for student-designed exhibitions.

Avon Dresses Up New HQ


Avon Products U.S. Headquarters.

©Avon Products — Kevin Chu + Jessica Paul Photography

Avon Products recently debuted its new 275,000-square-foot U.S. Headquarters, located in Midtown Manhattan. The cosmetics company occupies the first 12 floors of a 38-story building built in 1963, designed by William Lescaze. The space was retrofitted by HOK according to the standards of the Avon Green Building Promise and LEED-CI Gold. Construction materials were sourced locally and regionally, and recycled materials were used in elements including ceilings, glass office fronts, and countertops. In addition, 95% of seated spaces offer external views while the low-paneled workstations and glass-front offices that line the building’s core allow natural light to penetrate within the facility. HOK served as design and architect-of-record for all of the spaces except a company store and an Image Room that were designed by SpaceSmith. Because Avon is the company for women, 17% of the construction workforce was composed of women subcontractors, electricians, and woodworkers.

Historic Theater Will House Contemporary Art Forms


Strand Theater renovation.

Leeser Architecture

Ground was recently broken for the renovation of the Strand Theater in Brooklyn’s BAM Cultural District, in Fort Greene. Designed by Leeser Architecture, which won a bid from the NYC Economic Development Corporation, the almost century-old theater will become the new home for BRIC Arts | Media House, a non-profit organization that presents Brooklyn-centric programs, including the annual Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival. The $33 million project will expand BRIC’s current 19,000-square-foot space to 40,000 square feet, and bring the organization’s contemporary art, performing arts, and community media programs under one roof. The building features 8,000 square feet of exhibition space across three galleries, a 250-seat performance space, a television studio, two classrooms, an artist performance/work space, retail space, and a public lobby. In addition, the groundbreaking also marked the start of the UrbanGlass reNEWal project, which will completely rebuild and expand UrbanGlass, the largest artist-access glass workshop in the country. The project is expected to be completed in 2013.

Under-Utilized Maintenance Building Gets Transformed into a Campus Center


Administrative Campus Center, Claremont University Consortium.

Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis Architects

Designed by Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis Architects (LTL), the new Administrative Campus Center for the Claremont University Consortium (CUC) in Claremont, CA, is set to open. Through the adaptive re-use of a 42,000-square-foot maintenance building, the new center will consolidate the majority of the university’s departments and services under one roof. The project is composed of a series of intertwined, tactile architectural elements that redefine the existing facility’s public presence, including a continuous, 740-foot-long cedar screen, a custom ceiling cloud, a digital garden, and a field of 168 solar chimneys that provide natural light throughout the space. To redefine the building’s character, a cedar surface wraps portions of its north, east, and south elevations, and slips into the interior, framing a new reception area and café. The south patio is a large, multi-purpose area protected from the weather by a tensile canopy with translucent stretched fabric. The spacing of the cedar panels incrementally increases to allow light inside. Illuminated at night with imbedded LED lights, the cedar ribbon acts as a wayfinding device and creates a new image for CUC. The project is expected to earn LEED Silver certification.


Robert A.M. Stern Architects has won a commission to redevelop the site of a mansion block in central London’s Mayfair.

New York State and City authorities and the United Nations have given the green light for the construction of a 35-story tower for the UN, to be designed by Maki and Associates and FXFOWLE. A waterfront park will also be developed, although the design team has yet to be announced.

The DESIS Lab (Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability) at
Parsons The New School for Design presents “Amplifying Creative
Communities in NYC: North Brooklyn” from 11.07-20.11 at Arts@Renaissance in Brooklyn. This exhibition and workshop series are part of a two-year, design-driven initiative aimed at helping neighborhoods and communities support social innovations that create a more sustainable NYC.

Yale School of Architecture will present the exhibition “Gwathmey
Siegel: Inspiration and Transformation
” from 11.14.11-01.27.12 at the Yale School of Architecture Gallery, Paul Rudolph Hall.

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


(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


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


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.

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


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.

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.


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


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, 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.


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.

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