Search results for "Hudson Yards"
Jahn-ing at Work
Eavesdrop: Hadid, Jahn, Venturi, and the Soho Grifter
If you have been following the saga of Anna Delvey, the so-called “Soho Grifter” in the news, you might have come across the great profile of her in New York magazine. Long story short, Delvey, whose real name is Anna Sorokin, conned rich New York socialites into supporting her lavish lifestyle and her extravagant Soho House–like private club, the Anna Delvey Foundation. She was convicted on May 26 of two counts of second-degree larceny and one count of first-degree attempted larceny. In the trial proceedings, more details have been in the news, including an ARTnews report that displayed a range of slides from the presentation that she used. One of the more exciting ones for us at Eavesdrop is slide 68, which outlines design director Gabriel Calatrava’s role and background. Also, Santiago Calatrava and developer Aby Rosen were board members, while Daniel Arsham of Snarkitecture was listed as an advisory partner of the “foundation.” A spokesperson for Arsham told AN, “Daniel had no role and was as surprised as everyone else to see his name listed in her foundation materials.”
Here's who said it
In last month's Eavesdrop we asked who quipped, “Details wag da dog” in response to Mies van der Rohe’s oft-repeated maxim, “God is in the details.” We all know Robert Venturi’s retort to Mies’s “Less is a bore.” But even more playfully, it was the master of Manayunk himself who said, “Details wag da dog."
Zaha Hadid (doesn’t) sell out
A slowdown in the New York City luxury market seems to have claimed another building. According to Crain’s, the ZHA-designed 520 West 28th has only sold 40 percent of its units, and even less than that when measuring in square feet.
Despite the curvaceous building’s prime location along the High Line, there actually aren’t too many neighborhood institutions, like grocery stores and movie theatres. The building’s sky-high prices and large unit sizes haven’t helped either, and the $60 million double penthouse has sat vacant since the building’s opening.
It appears developer Related is changing its marketing approach, as an eagle-eyed AN editor spotted a massive “ZAHA HADID” banner across the building’s top level while walking the High Line. Now that Hudson Yards is open nearby, Related hopes the extra neighborhood amenities will entice potential buyers.
Chicago’s decision to award the new $2.2 billion O’Hare Global Terminal and Global Concourse building to the Studio Gang–led team has stirred criticism, and some of it is from a surprising source. Legendary Chicago architect Helmut Jahn released a handwritten note blasting the winning design, saying that he hoped the next mayor of Chicago would roll it back.
“I am embarrassed that some of my most respected colleges [sic] have been missused [sic] to placate a premitidates [sic] decision, not justified by design or experience. Such attitude has not made Chicago a capitol of world architecture. Hopefully the next mayor will turn this around.”
What a world!
Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. Or is that the other way around? Anyhoo, at a recent roundtable discussion at the United Nations in New York, Bjarke Ingels unveiled a prototype floating city (see front page). In his presentation, he said that his scheme “would not look like Waterworld.” However, one of the two screenwriters of Waterworld was one of the next speakers, Peter Rader. “I bet when Bjarke threw shade at Kevin Costner, he didn’t think the screenwriter of Waterworld was in the audience. This looks exactly what we did in Waterworld,” said Rader.
Welcome to New York
Architect and designer Piero Lissoni talks Italian design
Hudson Yards West
Related taps Foster + Partners for new neighborhood in Silicon Valley
Women in Facades
Leading women working in facade design address industry's challenges
Torts, Tech, Towers
Weekend edition: Tech urbanism, liability explained, and more
Decks (over) and Yards
After Hudson Yards, Sunnyside could be New York's next megadevelopment
Lawrence Halprin and William “Holly” Whyte both published books in the 1960s that highlighted the ad hoc and often bottom-up design decisions that make cities successful for their users and inhabitants. Facing the massive Nieman Marcus–emblazoned steel and glass street wall that greets visitors entering Hudson Yards from 10th Avenue, the lessons of Halprin and Whyte seem a quaint reminder of how city building has changed in the past 50 years. Hudson Yards, or as its developers like to call it, “New York’s next great neighborhood,” is not so much an accretive, incremental part of the city, but a pop-up assemblage of high-rise corporate boxes surrounding a shopping mall. There is little here that would interest Halprin or Whyte about how to design a city.
As America’s white middle class was abandoning the city for the suburbs, the authors wanted to rediscover and celebrate the joys of high-density living. Gentrification has gone from an obscure English academic theory to a popular derisive term to describe how our cities are being organized, planned, and developed. In New York City in 2019, even affordable housing has been handed over to large corporate entities, much as it was in the 19th century, when tenements proliferated and developers were allowed to do as they wished with their property holdings.
The urban critics writing about Hudson Yards yearn for a seamless Whyte-inspired urban fabric that gives as much as it takes from the city. Sadly, the Yards are described, variously, as “an urban failure,” a “$25 billion enclave,” “too clean, too flat, too art-directed,” and “a vast neoliberal Zion.” But how could it have been otherwise? It was conceived, planned, and designed by a corporation with little interest in anything but short-term profit, and it proceeded with little input from community boards, elected officials, or planners. The community boards had all been bludgeoned for years by proposals for sports stadiums on the site, and they gave the go-ahead to the first proposal that promised housing and a school, even if that meant luxury towers. Without serious input from community boards and city planners, this new quarter of the city was destined for failure. Developers only begrudgingly accepted the High Line—one of the most successful top-down planning projects of the past 25 years—into its 14 acres of “public” space when pushed hard by the department of city planning. The High Line, to its credit, makes provision for the sort of urban happenstance that we like about cities, and we can be thankful it wends its way through Hudson Yards and does not stop at its perimeter. The short High Line spur, with its still unfinished plinth for a rotating case of public sculptures, visible overhead to cars driving up 10th Avenue, is the sort of unexpected condition that makes the city richer. Unfortunately, the gigantic footprints of the Hudson Yards buildings and their corporate lobby design aesthetic makes it impossible for any bottom-up ad hoc events to take place.
A major problem for the Yards is that it sits on a 28-acre concrete pad and underground infrastructure complex that precludes any urban use that doesn’t generate billions of dollars in income. It’s the same problem faced in varying degrees by the World Trade Center site and Park Avenue, but these seem like triumphs of urban design compared to Hudson Yards.
Sadly, this blueprint for city building on concrete pads (and its economic and financing formula) may be the model for the next big development site in the city, Sunnyside Yard, as New York’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) has already begun planning its future. It was identified as a potential development site in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 2030 plan, and the 180-acre site in western Queens is not far from Manhattan and the growing centers of Long Island City, Astoria, and Queens Plaza. It potentially has 19 million square feet of retail, commercial, residential, and mixed-use spaces, and has been identified by the EDC as a place that could potentially house up to 24,000 homes, 19 schools, and 52 acres of public parks.
In February 2017, the city unveiled a feasibility study of the Sunnyside Yard area, which showed that decking was in fact possible, and that there were various scenarios in which a development of the site could move forward. But again, expensive decking will almost certainly preclude anything but corporate high-rise offices and luxury residential towers with commercial and open space, exactly like that at Hudson Yards.
Sunnyside Yard sits next to one of the most important residential developments in the United States, Sunnyside Gardens, designed by Henry Wright and Clarence Stein of the Regional Planning Association of America (RPAA). If only the planners for Sunnyside Yard could look next door and have the expertise and nerve to propose something as revolutionary as the RPAA did in the 1920s. But let’s not hold our breath—we are more likely to get another version of Hudson Yards on this public land.