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Trump in a Slump

Petition aims to rename the block in front of Trump Tower after Obama

As of today, over 3,900 people have signed an online petition to name a stretch of Fifth Avenue in Manhattan after former President Barack Obama. The petition comes shortly after a portion of Rodeo Road was renamed "Obama Boulevard" by the L.A. City Council in August.

“We request the New York City Mayor and City Council do the same by renaming a block of Fifth Avenue after the former president who saved our nation from the Great Recession, achieved too many other accomplishments to list, and whose two terms in office were completely scandal-free,” wrote Elizabeth Rowin, the author of the petition.

The clear controversy surrounding the appeal stems from the fact that the famed Trump Tower occupies the block, located on Fifth Avenue between 57th and 58th Streets, which petitioners want to dub “President Barack H. Obama Avenue.” If the name change were to be approved, President Trump would be constantly reminded of the president before him, a president who Trump has falsely accused of a variety of offenses over the years, ranging from lying about his citizenship to spying on Trump's campaign.

With 3,975 signatures and counting, the MoveOn.org appeal is a little ways away from reaching its goal of obtaining 4,000 signatures total.

To the dismay of the petitioners, the City Council holds that in order to get a street renamed after an important figure, the honoree must have had a meaningful connection to the community and must no longer be alive. While Obama does not meet at least one those prerequisites, petitioners and local residents hope to deliver the online form to Mayor Bill de Blasio for approval.

The New York City Council frequently votes on street co-namings, with 164 streets renamed within the past year. In December, the council voted to co-name streets after three of New York's greatest musical icons: Notorious B.I.G., the Wu-Tang Clan, and Woody Guthrie.

h/t 6sqft
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Run-In on the Row

Judge delays construction of proposed homeless shelter on Billionaires’ Row

Last week, plans to open a new homeless shelter at the former Park Savoy Hotel in Manhattan’s “Billionaires’ Row” were temporarily halted after a judge hearing a case brought by a group of residents granted more time for a panel to investigate the issue. The group of residents, known as the “West 58th Street Coalition,” claims that the homeless population would bring crime and loitering to the upscale block while decreasing property values. They also argue that the shelter is a massive fire hazard with its narrow, winding staircases and limited exits and sprinklers.

Disputes over the proposed shelter have culminated over the past year after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that 150 homeless men would be relocated to the 70-room hotel, which is within walking distance of Central Park. The $60 million plan is part of a larger program to open 90 new shelters throughout the five boroughs within the next five years.

Supreme Court Justice Alexander Tisch initially ruled against the protesting residents, claiming that their argument regarding loitering and decreased property values “does not form a sufficient basis for granting a preliminary injunction," but on December 26 First Department Appellate Judge Jeffrey Oing issued a temporary halt on construction so that an appeals panel could fully investigate the complaints. Arguments from both sides are due this month, and the future of the shelter should become clearer thereafter.

Billionaires’ Row, located just below Central Park between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, is home to Manhattan’s ultra-luxury residential skyscrapers and boasts some of the tallest and most expensive apartment buildings in the world. No one yet occupies the shelter site on the extravagant block, but city lawyers have announced that it could open any day now. The New York City Law Department also stated that it believes that the appeals court would ultimately refute the activists’ claims.

“We believe the lower court was correct in denying the injunction and once the appeals panel gets a full briefing that decision will stand,” a spokesman said in a statement to the New York Post. “The City remains focused on opening this site as soon as possible so that we can provide high-quality shelter and employment services to hard-working New Yorkers experiencing homelessness as they get back on their feet.”

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Density Immensity

This map depicts the population density of world cities in stunning detail
Maps are cool, maps are fun, maps show us things in the world that we couldn't otherwise see. Over at The Pudding, Matt Daniels has extruded block-by-block population data for some of the world's major cities to give viewers fine-grain insight into population distribution across the core and metro areas. New York, with Manhattan at the center, resembles a geyser just before gravity intervenes, while nearby but less dense locales like Philadelphia, D.C., and Boston look like a teenager's cheekbone in a Clearasil ad. (No shade towards the Northeast Corridor, I swear!) Daniels copped the data from the Global Human Settlement Layer and processed it using Google Earth Engine. For areas like India and China where population counts are unreliable, the data appears a little noisy in map view. A detailed explanation of the data gathering and manipulation is available here. Curious to see your city in bars? Head on over to Human Terrain. h/t City Observatory
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Stacks on Stacks

Take a look behind the construction of the tallest modular hotel in the U.S.
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Modular construction is gaining steam in New York City, with the technique being utilized for new projects ranging from affordable housing to academic facilities. In September 2018, modular technology reached a new height with the tallest modular hotel in the United States, the 21-story citizenM New York Bowery located in Manhattan. For the modular units, Concrete Architectural Associates, Stephen B. Jacobs Group Architects and Planners, and DeSimone Consulting Engineers reached out to Polish manufacturers Polcom Modular, and Aluprof S.A.  The units, which measure 48 feet by 8 feet by 9 feet and incorporate two hotel rooms and a central corridor (following a pattern of guestroom-corridor-guestroom), were specifically designed to navigate the street width of New York City. Each module was assembled with the street-facing facade included.
  • Facade Manufacturer Aluprof S.A., Poland Polcom Modular
  • Architects Concrete Architectural Associates & Stephen B. Jacobs Group Architects and Planners
  • Facade Installer Architectural Building Services
  • Facade Consultants DeSimone Consulting Engineers                  Gilsanz Murray Steficek LLP
  • Location New York
  • Date of Completion September 2018
  • System Mullion/transom captured system with hopper tilt-in windows
  • Products Aluprof MB-SR50 Hi; MB-60l
Following fabrication, the 210 modular units were transported hundreds of miles from the manufacturing facilities in Goleszów, Poland to the northern port city of Gdańsk where they began the second leg of their trip to New York’s Red Hook Terminal. From Brooklyn, a convoy of flatbed trucks transported the units across the East River to the construction site. The project began with the construction of a four-story concrete base, topped with a 36-inch-thick slab that spans up to 38 feet. This podium, which houses larger amenity spaces below, serves as a transfer slab to support the modular pods above. While the bulk of the citizenM New York Bowery hotel is composed of modular units, there are certain structural elements that span the building’s height. Prior to the craning in of prefabricated components, the construction team poured a full-height concrete structural core along the sites southwest corner and a sheer wall to the north. These concrete structural elements are the primary lateral system for the tower, with the sheer wall largely preventing the modular units from twisting. "Diagonal strap bracing on the module ceiling acted as the floor diaphragm to transfer the floor lateral loads back to the sheer walls," said DeSimone Consulting Engineers Managing Principal Borys Hayda, "the sheer wall's steel connection plates were bolted into the module ceilings and the female end of a Halfen stud embedded into the concrete structure." Once on site, the modules were lifted by crane and stacked module-to-module, each tied to the one directly below by bolted connections. According to DeSimone Engineers, "countersunk bolts were typically used for the diaphragm connections to prevent boltheads from interfering with the bearing of the module above." During construction, the prefabricated units were effectively cocooned within a watertight membrane, with the central portion later being cut out for the hotel’s corridors. After a brief learning curve at the start of the project, the construction team was capable of installing one floor of modular units per week. The top two floors of the tower are framed by structural steel, allowing for larger amenity spaces.
 
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Well Underway

REX’s performing arts center obtains $89 million to speed up construction
Last week, the Ronald O. Perelman Center for the Performing Arts, which is currently under construction at the World Trade Center site, was awarded an $89 million grant by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The long-awaited funding brought the project 82 percent of the way toward meeting its total construction costs. “We are grateful to the LMDC for their support to help realize the dream of creating a performing arts center in Lower Manhattan that will serve the local community, New Yorkers from all five boroughs, New Jersey residents, and visitors from around the nation and the world," said Maggie Boepple, President of the Perelman Center. Designed by New York–based firm REX Architecture, the 90,000-square-foot, 138-foot-tall cube-like structure will hold three open and flexible performance spaces that can fit up to 1,200 people. Its bold exterior, which is clad in marble on all four sides, will stand out from the sea of skyscrapers that surround it. The site will also hold various public meeting spaces and an open plaza. At night, the exterior facade will be illuminated with a warm glow. Since construction commenced in June 2017, the main building’s steel skeleton has risen at a relatively monotonous pace, as the majority of construction has taken place below street level at the soon-to-be Vehicle Security Center. Its main entrance is situated beneath the Financial District’s Liberty Park. As of now, an intricate web of concrete pours and steel beams supports the underground garage floors that compose the lower section of the site. Now that funding has been received, the Performing Arts Center should top out by the end of next year and is scheduled to be fully completed in 2021.
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Thanks for all the Flames

Egads! Here are the top architecture scandals and controversies of 2018
2018 is nearly over, and the world of architecture wasn’t immune from the deluge of drama that swept over politics and pop culture. Take a look back at the wildest stories of the year, and relive some of the outrage as the New Year rolls in. Richard Meier accused of sexual assault After a stunning New York Times expose in March where multiple women detailed four decades of harassment at the hands of Richard Meier, the architect announced that he would be taking a six-month leave of absence from Richard Meier & Partners Architects. The backlash was swift, and the AIANY announced that they would be stripping the 2018 Design Awards from Meier as well as Peter Marino, who was facing his own set of sexual harassment allegations. After Meier’s leave of absence ended in October, he announced that he would “step back from day-to-day activities” at the firm he founded in 1963. However, how involved Meier remains with the firm is still a matter of debate, as the studio announced that he “will remain available to colleagues and clients who seek his vast experience and counsel.” #MeToo rocks the architecture world After the revelations about Richard Meier went public, a debate over harassment and discrimination in the design world blew up. A Shitty Architecture Men list went live and detailed anonymous complaints about some of the biggest names on the architecture scene—before Google pulled the plug on the list over legal concerns. Still, the conversation around the gendered power dynamics typically present in architecture’s educational and professional track boiled over, and the AIA contiuned to address the topics at the AIA Conference on Architecture 2018. Asbestos makes a comeback In AN’s most outrage-inducing story of 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that asbestos was back on the menu for use in products on a case-by-case basis. The agency issued a SNUR (Significant New Use Rule) that meant the impacts of asbestos on the air and water no longer needed to be considered in its risk assessment (asbestos is a friable material and easily crumbles into carcinogenic fibers when broken). After a significant uproar online, including from Chelsea Clinton, the AIA called for a blanket ban on the material’s use. Kanye’s summer of meltdowns Kanye West had an interesting summer. After returning to Twitter with a vengeance, ostensibly to promote his new album, West hung out with conservative commentators, took a trip to SCI-Arc’s Spring Show, declared that he would be launching an architecture studio called “Yeezy Home,” and revealed a collaboration with interior designer Axel Vervoordt. AN’s readers weren’t exactly thrilled at the news, but West did manage to at least release renderings of the studio’s first affordable housing prototypes. Unfortunately, West later deleted all of his past tweets and the fate of Yeezy Home, and the social housing project, is currently unknown. The sunset of 270 Park When it was announced that Chase wanted to tear down and replace the 52-story former Union Carbide headquarters, questions abounded about when, why, and how. The 57-year-old tower was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), but much of the credit goes to SOM partner Natalie Griffin de Blois, and the news prompted a debate about her legacy in what was then a predominantly male field. Debate erupted online over whether the tower should be demolished and replaced with a Foster + Partners-designed alternative, and AN’s senior editor, Matt Shaw, penned an op-ed asking that New York not stymie progress for buildings that weren’t worth it. The trials and tribulations of the AT&T Building The saga of Philip Johnson and John Burgee’s postmodern Midtown skyscraper took yet another turn this year. In January, the lobby of the AT&T Building (or 550 Madison) was stealthily demolished. Then, in July, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) voted to landmark the building’s exterior, a definitive blow to the Snøhetta-designed renovation that would have glassed over the 110-foot-tall arch at the granite tower’s base. Unfortunately, owing to the work done earlier in the year, the lobby was no longer eligible for the same such protection. Then, ahead of the next round of LPC hearings, Snøhetta went back to the drawing board and released a much more sensitive scheme for restoring the tower that kept the arch, and the building’s imposing columns, intact. The AIA speaks out against rolling back license requirements Readers had an intense reaction to the AIA’s first Where We Stand statement of 2018. As the institute came out against an increasing trend of states rolling back license requirements for architects, readers were split. Would decreasing the barrier to entry increase competition, as the states claimed? Do architects really need to study for years and spend thousands of dollars in test materials to claim their certification? On the other hand, we expect doctors, lawyers, and practitioners in other highly-specialized fields to require licensing, so why should architecture be any different? Patrik Schumacher takes Zaha Hadid’s fellow trustees to court Patrik Schumacher drew scorn from the public after taking to London’s High Court in a bid to strip the other three executors of Dame Zaha Hadid's will from her $90 million estate. Zaha’s niece, Rana Hadid, artist and friend Brian Clarke, and developer and current Pritzker Prize jury chairman Lord Peter Palumbo, released a joint statement decrying the move. Before Hadid’s death, she had chosen the four to disperse her estate through the Zaha Hadid Foundation, and the non-Schumacher executors claimed that Schumacher's suit was for his personal financial gain. Schumacher responded, lamenting that his former friends and colleagues should have spoken with him first before going public with their grievances. Amazon takes Queens After a year of speculating, Amazon declared that it would be splitting up its HQ2 into two separate headquarters, dropping one in Long Island City, Queens, and the other in Crystal City, a suburb of Arlington, Virginia. The backlash against dropping a sprawling campus for 25,000 employees in New York’s already-overburdened waterfront neighborhood was swift, as city politicians and local residents criticized the $3 billion in subsidies the tech giant would receive, as well as the impact on the neighborhood. Foster + Partners’ London Tulip pierces the skyline The not-so-innocuously phallic Tulip tower in Central London made waves across the internet when it was revealed in November. Commentators and critics alike decried the 1,000-foot-tall observation tower, which balances a glass observation atrium atop a hollow concrete stem and would spring up next to the Gherkin. The icing on the cake is that the rotating pods on the outside of the glass bulb could be disruptive to the London City Airport’s radar system, meaning construction may have to wait until a full study is completed. Venturi Scott Brown-designed house suffers secret demolition When the purple-and-green, sunrise-evoking house designed by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown in Shadyside, Pittsburgh, went on sale in June, it was hoped that a preservationist would save the building. The two-bed, two-and-a-half bath Abrams House was built in 1979 and was in great condition, but it soon came to light that the new owner only purchased the home so that he could tear it down. The buyer, Bill Snyder, also owns the Richard Meier-designed Giovannitti House next door and began a secret interior demolition which he claimed was necessary to preserve the landscape around the Meier building. After the news came to light, preservationists and colleagues of Venturi and Scott Brown rallied for the house’s protection.
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More Than Skin Deep

2018 Best of Design Awards winners for Interior — Healthcare
2018 Best of Design Award for Interior — Healthcare: NYDG Integral Health & Wellness Designer: Brandon Haw Architecture Location: New York Situated in Manhattan’s Ladies’ Mile historic district, the NYDG Integral Health & Wellness is the new, 7,000-square-foot flagship facility for the New York Dermatology Group. Eight blood work and nutrition treatment rooms, two cryotherapy suites, and a shop are integrated within a single loft space. Brandon Haw Architecture developed the interior project as a space within a space. A central, freestanding enclosure—clad in wave-pattern fiberglass panels—contains all facilities while making room for a perimeter walkway, allowing patients and staff to circulate alongside magnificent, light-filled windows. Treatment-room walls were custom-built in Italy using yacht hull technology. Small details like bronze trims, door pulls, and cabinetry were introduced to complement dark reclaimed wood block floors. Honorable Mention Project Name: Studio Dental II Designer: Montalba Architects Location: San Francisco
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Yøu're a Winner, Baby

2018 Best of Design Awards winners for Interior — Retail
2018 Best of Design Award for Interior — Retail: Jack Erwin Flagship Store Designer: MILLIØNS Location: New York For Jack Erwin’s first brick and mortar retail space in Midtown Manhattan, MILLIØNS designed the men’s shoe boutique by employing a series of elements that oscillate between symmetry and asymmetry. The store features a white raw concrete central stage for display, along with seating, fitting areas, and storage solutions. A set of reconfigurable aluminum units for exhibitions are accompanied by a white, scalloped wrap desk. The white pearlescent and satin finishes of the furniture pieces are set against blue-teal gradient, powder- coated aluminum curtain surfaces. Together, these elements form a dynamic and immersive environment for this Madison Avenue flagship. Honorable Mention Project Name: Valextra Bal Harbour Shops Designer: Aranda\Lasch Location: Miami
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Venti-Size Retail

Starbucks brings a multi-story Reserve Roastery to Manhattan’s Meatpacking District
New Yorkers can now experience their own Starbucks Reserve Roastery, the coffee company’s sprawling “upscale” take on the typical Starbucks typology, and AN was able to tour the new location ahead of its December 14 opening. Reserve Roasteries are Starbucks’s largest spaces—the 30,000-square-foot Shanghai location is the largest Starbucks in the world—and the new Meatpacking location is no different, clocking in at 23,000 square feet and covering multiple levels. The flagship store, which anchors the base of the Rafael Viñoly–designed 61 Ninth Avenue, has been imagined as an all-day destination, according to Starbucks’s chief design officer, Liz Muller. A Starbucks location already exists directly across the street, but Reserve Roasteries are meant to be more experiential than the normal stores. Case in point: The Meatpacking location contains several distinct zones that encourage guests to wander and browse. At the roastery’s ground floor is a 360-degree central coffee bar, a lounge (complete with an active fireplace), an active roasting area with a 30-foot-tall copper off-gassing kettle, a separate counter and kitchen for the Italian bakery brand Princi, a station where customers can buy and grind their own beans, and several merchandise stands offering high-end design items. A lounge with another coffee bar sits below-grade and is meant to offer a quieter, uninterrupted experience where guests can work. On the top level is the 60-foot-long Arriviamo Bar, a cocktail bar with seating for up to 80, where bartenders will sling mixed drinks made with Starbucks coffees and teas. The interior is rife with nods to the Meatpacking District’s industrial past. The building’s concrete columns have been left exposed, and terrazzo was used for the flooring. In a Willy Wonka-ish touch, pneumatic tubes crisscross the ceiling to deliver freshly-roasted coffee beans from the roasters directly to hoppers at each coffee bar. Muller described being inspired in part by the conveyor belts that butchers would use to transport carcasses back when the area was used to process meat and dairy. To help modulate the acoustics of such a large space, the in-house design team covered the ceiling in solid-timber boxes that both break-up noise from below and naturally amplify the store’s speaker system. The undulating pattern of the boxes is reminiscent of an ocean wave, and each box is rimmed with copper to impart a soft glow. A series of wooden slats set with recessed lighting was used to clad the ceiling of the below-ground lounge area, creating visual homogeny with the vertically-oriented screen that wraps around the store’s edges. If visitors venture further back into the cellar, they can catch a glimpse of the basement storage area where green (unroasted) coffee beans are kept, and a terrarium full of coffee plants imported from Costa Rica. The furniture was all custom-crafted by BassamFellows from solid walnut, including the backless stools, extra-wide riffs on the classic Kennedy chair, side tables, and the wheeled-display stands. Each Reserve Roastery features its own unique central art piece, and for the New York store, Starbucks installed a 10-foot-tall, 2,000-pound version of the siren from their logo rendered in copper. The piece was designed by artist Max Steiner and fabricated by the Polich Tallix foundry. Those in the Midwest: don't fret. Starbucks is still on track to open its largest outpost yet in Chicago next year: the four-story, 40,000-square-foot Reserve Roastery at 646 N. Michigan Avenue.
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Gettin' Cozy

Rockwell Group designs a chill winter escape for Pier17’s new rooftop lounge
What’s most surprising about Rockwell Group’s design for R17, the new speakeasy-inspired lounge atop Lower Manhattan’s Pier 17, is that it’s not flashy. In contrast to the stand-out building it’s housed in, the 1,830-square-foot restaurant and bar provides a chic setting for cocktail and wine lovers to casually get a drink after work without being inundated by the holiday crowd that’s currently shrouding the South Street Seaport district. While the majority of the structure’s rooftop will transform next week into a veritable winter wonderland complete with New York’s newest ice-skating rink, the bar itself is designed to maintain an aura of intimacy. At least, that’s how Rockwell Group envisions it. “We wanted to create a calming atmosphere that people could escape to,” said Senior Interior Designer Renee Burdick, “similar to how New Yorkers might escape to a cabin or chalet upstate during winter.”      But that vision is completely seasonal. For The Howard Hughes Corporation, the group that owns the mixed-use development, the design team crafted a “pop-up” space that will transition in both style and setting from a winter pavilion into a summer pavilion. While R17 can only accommodate around 70 people now, when it’s floor-to-ceiling sliding doors are open in the warmer months and the dining area expands onto a tiered terrace, the space effectively quadruples in size, increasing capacity to 300. The current cabin vibes, created thanks to low-lighting, fur pillows, dark-hued furniture, and textured wool rugs, will be replaced with a lighter material palette and beachy upholstery. The large fireplaces will become settings for playful art installations. This “transformative” approach to interior architecture is very site-specific, said Rockwell Group. Not many hospitality projects have the bandwidth to literally flip the space throughout the year. “The programming shift here is enormous,” said Richard Chandler, associate principal and studio leader at Rockwell Group. “It will have a completely different look and feel in the summer. We'll add new pieces to the design every year so it’ll always be evolving.” Some things about the lounge will stay the same. Its anchoring design feature is a blue onyx-topped bar with a sand-colored wavy tile that serves as siding. Burdick says it’s designed to look like a mountain skyline. These two elements bring a feel of fluidity to the space, along with the large-format printed tiles on the floor, that contain brushstrokes of blue, silver, and gray. The motif of movement is continuously carried out on the ceiling and windows, which include metallic threads and gilded wood-and-metal screens respectively. These help tone down the bright sunlight that may stream into the space during the day and shield restaurant-goers from the lively scene going on outside, which Rockwell Group will outfit with a temporary bar and lounge that’s reminiscent of a ski lodge interior. These “warming huts” will be shaped to mimic the urban water towers found atop buildings across the city. Much like these locally-inspired building shapes, R17 boasts an array of city, state, and American-made materials that complement the mountain chalet and Long Island beach home concepts. The space serves as a new living room for the city—with arguably the best view of the Brooklyn Bridge in all of Manhattan. It doesn’t have a flamboyant entrance and isn’t suffocated by the bright, technicolor lights that glare out of Pier 17 at night. It’s an understated, flexible space that’s simple and luxurious. Although, in the summer, Rockwell Group plans that the expanded scale, along with the pier’s popular summer concert series, will bring a different kind of festive and potentially exclusive energy to new bar and restaurant. According to Chandler, we'll have to wait and see.
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Visions with Views

2018 Best of Design Awards winners for Landscape — Public
2018 Best of Design Award for Landscape – Public: Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park Designer: SWA/BALSLEY and WEISS/MANFREDI with Arup Location: Queens, New York

SWA/BALSLEY and WEISS/MANFREDI transformed 30 acres of postindustrial waterfront into the new Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park. Set along the East River in Long Island City, the recently opened public space represents a new urban ecological paradigm and a model for coastal resilience. With a soft approach to protect against floodwaters, the firm created newly established wetlands to replace existing concrete bulkheads. The design leverages the site’s dramatic topography with a grassy promontory. A new island can be reached by a pedestrian bridge while a 30-foot cantilevered overlook provides panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline. Adjacent to a residential development of affordable units, the park will become the center of an emerging community.

Honorable Mentions Project Name: Naval Cemetery Memorial Landscape Designer: Marvel Architects and NBWLA Location: Brooklyn, New York Project Name: Ghost Cabin Designers: SHED Architecture & Design Location: Seattle
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Wanna Buy?

New York’s Van Alen Institute has sold its building
New York's nonprofit Van Alen Institute has sold its building, the organization said in a Monday press release. The sale of its property at 30 West 22nd Street in Manhattan closed on November 28. The organization explained the sale by saying that its offices no longer host exhibitions or a bookstore as they used to, and the institute presumably does not need its prime storefront real estate. "Our current ground floor space is no longer adequate to support our staff or audiences," Van Alen said in a statement. "We have been located elsewhere in New York City in the past and intend to purchase a new home in the future." The statement went on to say that "a rebalancing of assets was in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of the organization," after the Flatiron District property's value had increased faster than expected. The statement also said that the organization was outgrowing its current space and that a buyer had offered to buy the building at a price that exceeded what the Institute would earn from rents. The organization will remain at its current location for the immediate future while it looks for a new home. The news comes on the heels of the announcement from David van der Leer that he is stepping down from his role as the organization's executive director to pursue his own consulting projects. No permanent replacement has yet been announced.