The proposal throws into doubt St. Vincent's existing plan to build a new medical facility and sell its campus to the Rudin Co. for $300 million to erect a condo complex. The hospital had only just gotten the go-ahead from the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission last summer to proceed with its $1.6 billion modernization project after years of protests.While there is still time for a resolution to be worked out—we got about a dozen different press releases about the news from shocked and concerned politicians today—it looks like the hospital's expansion plan is at least on hold, possibly indefinitely. This could mean that the dogged efforts by preservationists to preserve the O'Toole building, formerly Albert C. Ledner's one-of-a-kind National Maritime Museum Headquarters, could be back on life support and possibly on the way to a full recovery. Not to mention a victory for the Village NIMBYists who felt threatened by two new towers in their low-rise, historic neighborhood.
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My friendship with Dan began in the fall of 1980. He was working for Charles Gwathmey, who had plucked him out of a Yale design studio to come work in his office. He went back to school just as I was leaving to interview with Charles for a job. When I proudly told Dan that Charles had offered me a job on the spot, it wasn’t surprising that Dan claimed full responsibility for arranging it all.
Courtesy coco Meyers
I was always in awe of Dan’s cool confidence and, dare I say, his cockiness in dealing with Charles. Everyone else in the office seemed to cower in fear. Dan had the gift of logic that he used to engage Charles. Only Dan could out-logic the logician and I believe Charlie saw Dan as a kindred spirit. During the design of the de Menil Residence, Charles was in the final stages of refinement of the plan and its site orientation when Dan was bold enough to tell him that the orientation of the house was backwards, and that the plan had to be flipped from west-east to east-west. After Charlie’s initial shock and withering fury, he came around to agree with Dan.
In 1984 Dan and I began our partnership, New York Architects. Our collaboration was a fierce one where we argued, butted heads, and fought for our ideas, but the work was all the better for it. I drew Dan out; he reeled me in. This dynamic tension met in the middle with our best work for Gagosian and the White Apartment. That apartment was a study in Zen minimalism, the perfect synthesis of us both. I finally saw how beautiful and exhilarating the color white and pure space could be, how fanciful and potent natural light could be.
In 1994, we dissolved our practice when it seemed we were pulling in opposite directions. Where most partnership break- ups end in bitterness, ours emerged in lasting friendship. After he established his practice in East Hampton in 2003, I watched his work develop with his projects for Larry Gagosian, Martha Stewart, and Michael Kors. His aesthetic, his eye for detail was probably influenced most by his love of racing and restoring vintage sports cars. He worked tirelessly on the restoration of his 1953 Siata, fretting over the details of the dashboard, the bezel around the speedometer, the hidden toggles, the precise hue of red paint. His insistence on automative perfection made an easy transition to architecture.
Even though I was three years older, I looked up to Dan as one would an older brother, a feeling that lasted right up until I said goodbye to him.
During the real estate boom, it seemed like every block in the city was decked over with at least one construction shed. Even now, with construction in decline, the Department of Buildings says there are roughly 1 million linear feet of sheds covering city sidewalks and buildings. These structures may be valued for their safety benefits, but they have also led to an outbreak of rickets and vampirism.
In the hope of banishing these unsightly overheads, the Bloomberg administration and the AIA New York Chapter launched the UrbanShed design competition in August to find a new alternative, which the mayor unveiled today in Brooklyn. The sheds, called Urban Umbrella and designed by University of Pennsylvania/Penn Design architecture student Young Hwan Choi, with Andrés Cortés and Sarrah Khan of Agencie Group, are not mandatory, though Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg insisted they will be popular with New Yorkers.
“It’s about creating better options for the public,” the mayor said. “Once they’re out there, those who have the influence, the retailers and restaurateurs, the apartment and building owners, they will demand it.”
Department of Buildings commissioner Robert LiMandri, whose office helped lead the competition, said that over time, the expectation is that the new sheds will cost 30 percent less than their $100-per-sqaure-foot forebears, which have not been updated since the 1950s.
Plans are underway to install a prototype of the Urban Umbrella at a Lower Manhattan construction site this summer, under the direction of the Downtown Alliance, and, if everything performs up to expectations, to roll them out across the city. The mayor emphasized that it was up to the private sector to embrace the new structures, but when asked by AN if the city might lead the way by requiring them on all public projects, he replied “Yes, absolutely.”
The new sheds were heralded for creating more light and space on the sidewalk than their plywood predecessors. This is achieved by using translucent fiberglass decking, on which tinted appliqués can be added, creating a kaleidoscopic effect.
The design team, whose members also include Will Robinette, Todd Montgomery, and Zachary Colbert, created palm-like supports that eliminate the cross-bracing that makes sheds such an annoyance for the city’s pedestrians, blocking off open access to sidewalks. The structure also takes up less space, and a fan-shaped lighting system has been cleverly integrated. And because of the Urban Umbrella’s airiness, it will block less of the buildings, making storefronts and underlying architecture more visible on the street.
“This solves a problem that has been ubiquitous for years,” said City Planning Commission chair Amanda Burden, who served on the jury with LiMandri, transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, and a half-dozen industry professionals, including David Childs of SOM, Craig Schwitter of Buro Happold, and builder Frank Sciame. “Walking on the sidewalk should not be an ominous adventure, but it is,” Burden added. “These new sheds are gorgeous and innovative and safe.”
Young-Hwan, in addition to having his designs realized downtown and possibly across the city, will receive a $10,000 prize as well as pride of place at the Center for Architecture, which has an exhibition of the three finalists from the UrbanShed competition up through February 10. The 28-year-old designer, who grew up in Korea, was somewhat shy during his remarks to the press, though he closed with gusto. “I’m really happy to see this on the street,” he declared, cracking a smile.
The Central Delaware waterfront is a seven-mile stretch of postindustrial wastes, remnant port uses, big-box stores, planned casinos, and decaying piers—a daunting swath for planners hoping to remake Philadelphia’s eastern flank. “The toughest problem so far is just the scale of the place,” said Alexander Cooper, founding partner of Cooper, Robertson & Partners. “The Delaware River is not like the Schuylkill. It’s a big, wide, commercial body of water with another state on the other side.”
Late last year, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) named New York–based Cooper, Robertson as part of the team to develop a masterplan for the area, along with landscape architecture firm Olin, architects KieranTimberlake, and economic analysts HR&A Advisors. At the same time, the DRWC is charging ahead on designs for a pier near the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, plus a trail that will open public access to the long-blockaded riverfront.
In awarding the $1 million masterplan contract, the DRWC looked to the site’s industrial past as a key to its rebirth. “For waterfronts we’ve worked on, the predominant land use tends to be residential,” Cooper said. “People here are much more interested in job creation, and that’s tough in this economy.” Other challenges include the fact that 95 percent of waterfront parcels are privately owned, meaning that the team will likely pursue land swaps to facilitate the area’s redevelopment.
Throughout the year-long process, Cooper will rely on Olin and KieranTimberlake, both based in Philadelphia, for their understanding of the site, which stretches from Allegheny to Oregon avenues and from the river to I-95. They’ll also need to anticipate a high-speed transit corridor on the water side of the highway, whose precise alignment is now being studied by federal officials. The rail line should help unify the waterfront and, with its spur into central Philadelphia, offer a needed link to the river.
Designers have a head start in a 2007 vision plan developed by Wallace Roberts & Todd and PennPraxis. “Through the process of the PennPraxis plan, there’s a greater awareness in Philadelphia of the river having a public component,” said Sarah Thorp, masterplanning manager at the DRWC, noting that a new zoning overlay calls for a 100-foot waterfront setback. “The master-plan needs to go through on a parcel-by-parcel basis and figure out how to execute that open-space network.”
For now, projects on tap include James Corner Field Operations’ designs for Pier 11, now known as the Race Street Pier, expected to open by 2011. And design-build proposals are being studied for a parcel at Pier 53, linking to a trail that should increase access from South Philadelphia. That $570,000 project, which Thorp said will “clean and green” the pier’s upland area, is due to open this summer.
Urban Center Books will close its doors on January 23, leaving New York—temporarily, at least—without a bookstore wholly devoted to books and journals on architecture and urbanism. The shop will continue to sell books online while it looks for a new home near the Municipal Art Society’s (MAS) new offices in the Steinway Building on 57th Street.
The move comes as the New York Palace hotel reclaims the spaces in the Villard Houses that have long held offices as well as galleries and lecture space for various groups relating to the built environment, collectively known as the Urban Center.
While Urban Center Books (UCB) says its online business is growing, it remains committed to a physical space. “Shopping online is not a substitute for browsing the shelf. It’s a curated collection that’s heavily edited,” said Jo Steffens, UCB’s director. UCB is a nonprofit store owned by MAS, and is itself considering space in the Steinway building.
Steffens is also looking at two other spaces near 57th Street. The Steinway building space, she said, is larger than they would like, lacks a street presence, needs to be brought up to ADA standards, and does not have a permit for public assembly (necessary for lectures and book parties). She hopes the UCB will reopen in the summer or fall, and may open a temporary space at the Center for Architecture in the spring.
In September, after a long tenancy next to MAS, the Architectural League decamped for new offices in Soho, gaining a considerable amount of desk and meeting space but losing the shared lecture and gallery space. Their lecture programming is being held in a variety of venues, including the New Museum, the Cooper Union, the Trespa showroom, and Parsons the New School for Design.
The exhibition program will also likely be mobile, possibly including vacant retail spaces. “We’re inhabiting the city,” said Anne Rieselbach, program director at the League. “Having our center of gravity downtown made more sense.”
Gordon H. Smith Corporation
“The skin of L haus is fairly unique. It’s a field-assembled rain screen wall. We looked at a number of pre-engineered systems and those were all too expensive for the project, so we designed something with Jonathan Leavitt of Leavitt Associates. He engineered the framing members and connections with us and taught the contractor what to do with those. Jonathan actually got out on the scaffolding and went through a number of details with the mechanics in the field.”
“The architecture that we do is geometrically challenging and that trickles into the execution of all the details. It requires a higher level of commitment and understanding and capability. Josef Gartner in particular, having to fabricate the Cooper Square Hotel facade, which takes the brunt of the complications, delivered a very high-quality product consistent with the design intent.”
Carlos Zapata Studio
“At 11 Times Square we did this highly engineered glass wall at the entrance. Alberto De Gobbi at Permasteelisa did everything from adjusting the dimensions and finish of the stainless steel joints to working through 20 different frit patterns and colors to make sure that those joints were concealed.”
|Maloya Laser |
65A Mall Dr., Commack, NY; 631-543-2327
Michele Oka Doner
94 Mercer St., New York;
68 Lombardy St., Brooklyn; 718-388-6476
57 Grand St.,
Superior Iron Works
45034 Underwood Ln.,
1955 5th Street, St. Romuald, Quebec, Canada;
4062 Grumman Blvd., Calverton, NY;
Castro Barros 527,
Buenos Aires, Argentina;
216 Fairmount Ave., Philadelphia, PA;
100 East 5th St., Brooklyn;
P.O. Box 197, Cutchogue, NY;
“Art Metal Industries [formerly J. Frederick] fabricated all of the bronzework for our New York Stock Exchange streetscapes, from the no-gos to the recently completed turntables in perforated bronze. These are very tricky components involving a lot of steps and security issues, and they completely live or die in the fabrication. Kevin Biebel did super-elegant and totally reliable work.”
Rogers Marvel Architects
“Michele Oka Doner is an artist based in New York and Miami. After seeing her work at the Miami airport, I asked if she wouldn’t be insulted to adapt one of her patterns for an air-conditioning grill. She said not at all, and designed and fabricated hand-burnished aluminum grills that were works of art with biomorphic patterns. She was very easy to work with, very professional, very organized, and on time.“
Alexander Gorilin Architects
“Seetin Design did the railings and ornamental metal work at the Jerome Robbins Theater. Bob Seaton’s shop drawings were particularly good. They showed his attention to detail and his enthusiasm.”
“We worked with Front on the curtain wall and skylight glazing design. They set us up with this engineer based in Argentina named Dante Martinez, with a company called Tisi that engineers and builds metal structures. He’s an Argentine renaissance man. He helped us with the moving wall in terms of how to design a system to lift a five-ton door, and Tisi built it in Argentina and installed it in New York as well.”
520 8th Ave., New York;
122 Hudson St., New York; 212-226-6370
180 Varick St., New York;
Champion Metal and Glass
45 East Industry Ct.,
Deer Park, NY;
35 Irving Ave., Brooklyn;
Resthofstraße 18, Steyr, Germany;
Galaxy Glass & Stone
277 Fairfield Rd., Fairfield, NJ;
General Glass International
101 Venture Way,
“Bendheim provided all of the interior glass for all our glass walls at 166 Perry, and they were particularly helpful in procuring this blue glass. There’s only one or two shops in the world that make it, and they were instrumental in getting it for us.”
“David Shuldiner came in halfway through the TKTS job. They were terrific at solving problems on the fly. It was amazing to watch them work. You get a new respect when you watch these guys installing.”
“Goldray Industries’ depth of experience with glass types and fabrication has been critical to the Nexus. They worked with us to generate a large number of ceramic frit glass colors and translucencies to create a glass face that blends into the adjacent masonry brick campus context.“
“At Harlem Hospital we put a series of images over a 65-foot-high by 185-foot-long facade with just under 500 separate glazing units. In order for the images to appear continuous, all the sections had to align perfectly and have color continuity. We were really pushing the envelope and General Glass’ ability and interest to invest in innovative technologies helped us reach our goals.”
“Ace Styline is a very professional company that strictly follows AWI standards. They have a large, efficient shop and install all over the country. These are the guys to use if you’re looking for low drama and someone willing to help solve problems.”
Deborah Berke Architects
“EMI brought a high level of craftsmanship and precision to the millwork on the New York Law School project. There are 12 classrooms and a large auditorium with Socratic seating, all with different radii requiring custom desk installation. EMI was able to provide quality shop drawings that required limited revisions, and all components of millwork were tracked with barcodes to facilitate craftsmanship and a high level of coordination with other trades.”
“Our dialogue with Fetzer on the millwork in Alice Tully Hall was very collaborative and incredibly rewarding. They have a young team of engineers and were really able to assist us on a challenging project. They could have pulled back and covered their tracks when it got hard but instead they engaged with every step from fabrication to assembly.”
Diller Scofidio + Renfro
“The guy that engineered the roof of St. Aloysius Church is Daniel Tully out of Santa Fe. He patented this technology in the late ‘70s. No one’s used it in 20 years. It’s a hyperbolic paraboloid structure with wooden beams that outline a frame topped by three layers of plywood. Unadilla Laminated Structures fabricated it as a monolithic structure in their shop in upstate New York, which looks like a big skateboard park. Then they cut it apart, shipped it to the site, and reassembled it.”
Erdy McHenry Architecture
|Lido Stone Works |
4062-601A Grumman Blvd.,
2419 24th Ave., Queens;
Pagliaro Bros. Stone Co.
6301 Foxley Rd.,
Upper Marlboro, MD;
1180 Lakeshore Rd. East, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada;
Pompili Precast Concrete
12307 Broadway Avenue, Cleveland, OH;
640 Morgan Ave., Brooklyn; 718-599-2999 www.smcstone.com
215 Park Ave. South, New York;
Swenson Stone Consultants
P.O. Box 651, Hanover, NH; 603-643-0363
P.O. Box 1145, Pittsfield, MA; 413-499-1441
239 Washington St.,
Berkeley Heights, NJ;
Vermont Structural Slate Company
3 Prospect St., Fair Haven, VT; 802-265-4933
“For the parking garages around Yankee Stadium, I worked with Endicott to develop four different colors of green brick. It took a while to get a really good palette, but I’m very pleased. I wanted the actual red clay of the brick itself to come through the glaze, to get an effect that varies in the light. They were able to keep the colors of the batches very standard, and that quality control was key.”
Wendy Evans Joseph
Wendy Evans Joseph Architecture
“A very big part of research for us is experimenting with crushed stone, playing with the aggregate, adding flecks of mica and the like, and Pompili was very capable of giving us just what we wanted.”
“For A Voce’s facade, we needed four slabs of really nice marble to get the minimal chic Italian look we were after. Theresa Quintong at Unlimited Stone searched all over upstate until she found them. We call her the Marble Lady.”
“Our client, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, wanted their new headquarters to be elegant, understated, and timeless, and to be a living model of their sustainable mission as an organization. Slate was strategically used in the main public gathering spaces of the project, as it embodies all of these qualities. Vermont Structural Slate is 500 miles from most locations in the northeast, which minimizes material transport and therefore environmental impact. Stone is a natural material that does not off-gas. It is also highly durable, which means it is unlikely to end up as waste material.”
CARPET & TEXTILE
Bentley Prince Street
110 Sargent Dr.,
New Haven, CT;
7733 Old Plank Rd., Stanley, NC;
25 East 26th St., New York; 800-423-3531
2720 Tobey Dr.,
Knape & Vogt
2700 Oak Industrial Dr. NE, Grand Rapids, MI;
121 West Railroad Ave.,
5535 Distribution Dr., Memphis, TN;
330 Reservoir St.,
480 Myrtle St., New Britain, CT;
2720 Tobey Dr., Indianapolis, IN; 800-999-0408
KITCHEN & BATH
AF New York
22 Wezt 21st St., New York; 212-243-5400
Davis and Warshow
57-22 49th St., Maspeth;
1700 Executive Dr. South, Duluth, MN;
P.O. Box 240, Hornberg, Germany;
Domingo Gonzalez Associates
Tillotson Design Associates
46 Greene St., New York;
1000 BEGA Way,
30500 Whipple Rd.,
Union City, CA;
1400 Lester Rd., Conyers, GA; 800-315-4982
31-30 Hunters Point Ave., Queens;
7200 Suter Rd.,
Pinnacle Architectural Lighting
12655 East 42nd Ave.,
5 Lumen Ln., Highland, NY; 845-691-7723
5455 de Gaspé, Montréal, Quebec, Canada;
7400 Linder Ave., Skokie, IL; 847-410-4400
44 West 18th St., New York;
“Focus Lighting did the lighting design for Aureole Restaurant. I thought the lighting they selected was very appropriate for each room’s use. They were very aware of the setting of each room and how all the spaces worked together.”
Laurence G. Jones Architects
“We didn’t want to use exposed lighting fixtures at the NYC Information Center, so the only things emitting light are the media. Kyle Chepulis at Technical Artistry helped us figure out how to take all of the fixtures and stagger them so that we didn’t get any hotspots, and integrate the lighting with our media system so they can be tuned together.”
WXY Architecture + Urban Design
“Suzan Tillotson is always brilliant and easy to work with. The lighting at our Southampton house had to be recessive, but there was a lot more to it. I design with twilight shots in mind, to capture that twinkling, magical time between day and night. Suzan’s the master of the twilight hour.”
Alexander Gorlin Architects
“In lighting the High Line, we wanted to make sure that the city lights would feature strongly as part of the evening landscape and L’Observatoire saw eye to eye with us on that concept. Instead of using typical overhead pole lighting that makes your eyes close down, they worked with us on developing a custom extrusion for linear LED light that doubled as the guardrail.”
Diller Scofidio + Renfro