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Moving Forward

NYC launches new website outlining timeline and process for the BQX streetcar
After much uncertainty and relative quiet, an updated timeline has been announced for the Brooklyn-Queens Connector (BQX streetcar) that would connect 11 miles of Brooklyn and Queens. The City’s Economic Development Corporation and the Department of Transportation have launched a new website detailing the proposed streetcar, along with previously released and new reports, which would run from Red Hook to Astoria and connect 13 subway lines and 30 bus routes. The BQX team proposes having at least five community board presentations and a minimum of five workshops this winter, and intend to collect public opinion on the $2.7 billion project via the new website and engage in on-the-ground outreach. There will be public hearings and the collection of comments in May and June, followed by a draft environmental impact statement in the spring of next year, with the final version to be released in fall of 2021 following public comment. Alternative options to the light rail line will reportedly be considered (the website gives the example of a dedicated bus lane). Currently, the city aims to open the line in 2029. If all goes according to plan, the city will then seek federal funding (as much as $1 billion according to previous reports) and undertake a land-use review, get the necessary approvals, and select designers, contractors, and companies to run the BQX. Funding has been a major hurdle for the streetcar. The federal government has certainly not been generous with infrastructure projects as of late, especially in areas the current administration sees as opposed to it. While it was suggested that Amazon (which was going to receive nearly $3 billion in subsidies, tax breaks, and incentives) might have footed part of the bill when they had planned to build their HQ2 in Long Island City, that option is obviously off the table. Many City Council members have questioned the price tag relative to the streetcar's projected ridership and the desperate need for upgrades to transit options elsewhere. Mayor Bill de Blasio continues to advocate for the project, however.
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Scrutonizing His Record

Controversial conservative architectural commentator Sir Roger Scruton dies
Sir Roger Scruton has passed away at the age of 75. Scruton, former chair of the Building Better, Building Beautiful housing commission in the U.K., died of cancer on Sunday, January 12 after a six-month battle with the disease. Scruton was born in February 1944 and studied at Cambridge. According to an interview with the Guardian, his conservative political leanings emerged when in Paris during the 1968 student protests, which he viewed as an “unruly mob of self-indulgent middle-class hooligans” professing “ludicrous Marxist gobbledegook.” His career traced many ups and downs and was not without controversy. In 2016 he was knighted for his services to philosophy, teaching, and public education; two years later he became a housing adviser only to be fired one year into the job amid alleged racist comments said while speaking to the New Statesman. Scruton was reappointed, however, after it was realized his comments were taken out of context and misrepresented. As Chair of the commission, Scruton was accused of re-igniting architectural style wars, fueled by his loathing of modernism and penchant to classicism. In April 2018, as AN's reported, Scruton suggested that one of the 9/11 hijackers, who had studied architecture in Hamburg, was “taking revenge on an architectural practice which had been introduced into the Middle East by Le Corbusier.” In 1982, Scruton launched the Salisbury Review, a journal promoting and celebrating conservatism for which he was the founding editor. Later, he visited dissidents in communist Czechoslovakia as part of a series of excursions where he smuggled across books, supported banned artists, and provided courses in subjects suppressed by authorities. He was eventually caught, however, being detained in Brno in 1985 before being kicked out and banned from the country. Never one to stay out of trouble, Scruton was sued by the Pet Shop Boys after he wrongly said in his book, An Intelligent Person's Guide to Pop Culture, that the band's songs should be credited to sound engineers rather than them. In another book, On Hunting, he also discussed his passion for fox hunting. In a 2001 article for New York’s conservative City Journal magazine, Scruton claimed that being gay was just as bad as smoking and knocked 10 years off of the lives of LGBTQ individuals. Scruton had also taken fire for his close association with Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and over comments many interpreted as antisemitic and Islamaphobic. “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Sir Roger Scruton, FBA, FRSL. Beloved husband of Sophie, adored father to Sam and Lucy and treasured brother of Elizabeth and Andrea, he died peacefully on Sunday 12th January,” read a statement on his own website, posted on Sunday. “His family are hugely proud of him and of all his achievements.” Tributes have also come in from U.K. architects and the political sphere. “Deeply sorry to learn of the death of Sir Roger Scruton. His work on building more beautifully, submitted recently to my department, will proceed and stand part of his unusually rich legacy,” tweeted Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government Robert Jenrick. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, meanwhile, said: “RIP Sir Roger Scruton. We have lost the greatest modern conservative thinker—who not only had the guts to say what he thought but said it beautifully.” Robert Adam, director of ADAM Architecture, a firm which specializes in classical and traditional architecture and urban design, told the Architects' Journal, “[Scruton] was always prepared to argue a point in a balanced and sensible manner but was often met with prejudice and hysteria. As a philosopher, he understood that people would have different views and that this was not a matter for opprobrium but for debate. He was a great thinker and a great author and his work will have a lasting legacy but, for me, it is the principle of reasoned and courteous debate, without personal acrimony, with those with whom you disagree, that will live on.”
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Vaulting Renovation

Notre Dame Cathedral's vaulted ceiling still under risk of imminent collapse
Despite the $1 billion raised in an effort to save Notre Dame Cathedral after it was ravaged by fire in April of last year, the 850-year-old structure continues to be under threat of further damage. Jean-Louis Georgelin, a French general overseeing the building's reconstruction, announced that its ceilings are still at risk of collapsing if immediate action isn't taken. “Notre Dame is not saved because ... there is an extremely important step ahead, which is to remove the scaffolding that had been built around the spire,” Georgelin explained in an interview with the Associated Press. The condition of the cathedral's vaults, a signature element of the overall design, is difficult to gauge given the centuries of reconstructive efforts performed by variously skilled craftsmen and the relatively little attention paid to them in the last year by the renovation team. “To make sure," Georgelin said, "we need to inspect them [and] remove the rubble that is still on them. It’s very difficult work that we have started.” Monsignor Patrick Chauvet, the rector of Notre Dame, added that there is a "50 percent chance" the landmark will be saved and predicted with the same likelihood that the 500 tons of scaffolding recently erected could fall onto the building's original three vaults. The news comes two months after the Archbishop of Paris, Monsignor Michel Aupetit, announced that a final evaluation of the damage would be concluded in Spring 2020. “We will have to encircle the scaffolding, then put a second scaffolding over it," he said. "From this new scaffolding, workers will descend by rope and cut it bit by bit into small pieces and this will take a long time." The stonework of the vaults will then have to be examined on a near-individual level. “We cannot take any risks," Aupetit cautioned. "We have to know which ones need replacing and which ones to keep. Only then will we know how much [the repairs] will cost and how long they will take." The most likely method of preventing irreparable damage, Georgelin stated, is for the preservation team to remove the scaffolding by the middle of 2020 and resume restoration in 2021.
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Finally

Construction of Santiago Calatrava's disputed World Trade Center church is back on
Two years after a payment dispute between Skanska USA and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOA) shut down construction at the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine, things are finally back on track. On January 2, Governor Cuomo announced that work would soon resume under the oversight of a new board. Santiago Calatrava’s $80 million design for the new St. Nicholas in Manhattan's World Trade Center complex was revealed in 2013 and was set to replace the 1916 structure destroyed on September 11th. The structure, a ribbed central space that would be illuminated from within and ensconced between four burly pillars, was intended to seem both resilient and reference the Hagia Sophia. Although the GOA and city had been negotiating for years over the fate of the site and the GOA had signed a $1, 198-year lease, Skanska terminated their contract in 2017 after the Archdiocese failed to pay their outstanding bills. At last estimate, there was still a $40 million shortfall, and in April of last year, the Governor personally intervened—reaching out to potential donors—to try to get the project moving again. Now, construction will be overseen by the new, 13-member nonprofit board, “the Friends of St. Nicholas,” which is aiming to have the church finished in the next two years. The board will reportedly be responsible for raising money, overseeing the construction process, and holding audits to make sure the project stays on schedule. It should be mentioned that many of the board members (including the billionaire Gristedes owner John Catsimatidis, and former Chairman of the Battery Park City Authority Dennis Mehiel) were among those that Governor Cuomo reached out to April, according to the New York Post. Although there was no announcement of when work would resume, or if Skanska would return, a 2022 completion date would be four years after the originally planned opening. Although the project broke ground in 2014 and the church topped out in 2016, the site has sat vacant and draped with a tarp since December 2017.
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Time is a Flat Squircle

Canada gives utopia a chance with The Orbit
There have been hundreds of smart cities recently proposed for countries all over the world, but one of the most recent and confident (backed by developer Cortel Group) is The Orbit, a smart city master plan in Innisfil, Canada, just north of Toronto, envisioned by architecture firm PARTISANS Innisfil is a rural town with a long history of progressive thinking. It was one of the first towns to test out Uber and also accepts cryptocurrency as a payment method for city services and taxation. The entire proposal anticipates boosting Innisfil's population from 30,000 to anywhere from 50,000 to 150,000.  The Orbit looks and feels like the utopian Garden Cities which originated in England during the heights of the Industrial Revolution. A suburban dream of order, lawns, and cleanliness away from the filth and chaos of industrial London, these cities were often realized in concentric circles with the ingredients of society each assigned their own belt: Housing, schools, shops, factories, and transportation segregated from each other.  While PARTISANS does admit to Garden City inspiration, their reasons for departure from the framework are weak: The design claims to use a unique street grid form the firm has called “squircles”—not quite squares and not quite circles. But really, they just replace 19th-century jargon with 21st-century jargon, and instead of idyllic lawns for children to play on, the plan speaks to more efficient and environmentally friendly suburbanization patterns as an alternative to urban sprawl. The project, which will span over 450 acres, will also include a plan for mass fiber optic cable systems that will provide connectivity across sidewalks, streets, and buildings as well as drone ports and self-driving cars. The firm has also entertained the idea of how health and wellness centers can benefit from such technologies. All the other elements of a hospitable city will be included as well, including a school, farmer's market, library, recreational centers, and art institutions. The Innisfil Council voted unanimously to accept PARTISANS’ proposal after putting out a call for designs looking for a “visionary city of the future centered around a transit hub.” Prompted by the introduction of a new Metrolinx rail station known as GO Transit, which is expected to form the center of The Orbit's layout, it will be joined by two mixed-use towers that will house offices, retail, and residential spaces. The squircles, or roadways, will then wrap around this central hub.

The Orbit is also following in the footsteps of the earlier proposed project in Toronto by Sidewalk Labs. An offshoot of Alphabet Inc., Sidewalk Labs has redesigned the old industrial waterfront district of Quayside to resemble an Innovative Development and Economic Acceleration (IDEA) district. Both Canadian plans are idealistic in nature and check many of the boxes required for sustainable and sensitive development in contemporary discourse. However, their main drawback is that they are digital master plans, and their biggest ideas, from infrastructure to real estate, require the intervention and cooperation of many different parties—these outside partnerships undermine the authoritative leadership proposed by a utopian plan and jeopardize the guarantees the designers see (although Sidewalk Labs is definitely making progress).

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Bring The Heat

Modernism's Visible Hand reveals how regulatory governance has shaped American architecture
Modernism’s Visible Hand: Architecture and Regulation in America By Michael Osman University of Minnesota Press $30.00 Thermostats, refrigerators, dioramas, slide rules, organizational charts, paperwork—these are some of the elements Michael Osman scrutinizes in his book Modernism’s Visible Hand: Architecture and Regulation in America, which examines the “crossing points among architectural design, management, and environmental control” to reconstruct the regulatory apparatus of American architecture between the Civil War and World War I. Osman is part of the architecture history collective Aggregate, whose 2012 book, Governing by Design, significantly reconfigured the field by asserting a “shared conviction that agency is complex; that authorship of the built environment is dispersed across multiple registers comprising not only architects and designers but also many other kinds of producers and consumers, along with a multitude of associations, institutions, and bureaucracies.” Osman’s latest book takes up a similar approach to explore the ways in which an emerging regulatory imagination at the turn of the 20th century shaped the built environment at range of scales and levels: domestic interiors, industrial warehouses, natural history museums, laboratories, factory floors, and finally the architectural office itself. Osman animates this material to dazzling effect, showing how management of the built environment enrolled people, commodities, nature, time, labor, and design in regulatory regimes, often by transforming them into legible and fungible economic units. The first two chapters consider how new technologies of environmental regulation affected built forms and the ways in which those forms were made available for regulation. “The Thermostatic Interior and Household Management” traces the development of conditioning systems to show how the regulation of the domestic interior was fundamental to the constitution of social roles. These systems create an interior environment independent from its surroundings and therefore stable, regardless of fluctuating exterior conditions. This impact of this ability becomes more extreme in “Cold Storage and the Speculative Market of Preserved Assets.” By examining the development of cold storage warehouses, Osman argues that the buildings were instrumental in transforming perishable goods into reliable economic elements, effectively slowing down time through an architectural response and creating a futures market in the process. Chapters three and four turn to modes of visualizing regulatory systems. “Representing Regulation in Nature’s Economy” considers two modes of scientific inquiry—fieldwork and laboratory work—to argue for connections between ways of representing ecological data and a corresponding regulatory imagination. By making links between the shared linguistic root of economy and ecology, Osman shows how nature itself became likewise imagined (incorrectly) as a self-regulating system whose discrete components could be disaggregated and subject to rationalized scrutiny. Representation of managerial work is the focus of the chapter “Imaging Brainwork,” in which the book considers how the “indirect” labor of management was visualized in order to justify its existences and solidify its power. The tools of regulation in this chapter are the managers who sit between the “controllable” conditions of the factory inside (labor is, of course, one abstraction among many from their perspective) and the unpredictable conditions of the market outside. The final chapter, “Regulation through Paperwork in Architectural Practice,” uses the office of architect Albert Kahn to argue that bureaucratic techniques emerging from scientific management theory were essential to shaping modern architecture. A template for the contemporary office, Kahn’s was organized around principles of industrial work that subdivided architectural projects into discrete sets of tasks. This was “premised on the extraction of data from the firm’s daily operations” so that managers could then make decisions about where to direct resources based on cost and efficiency. Architectural design was thus increasingly cast as a service that represented clients’ financial interests as well as their artistic ones. Though Kahn’s office was organized to appear similar to a machine shop, it was the technologies of management—including paperwork, circuitry, and telephones—that allowed the company to remain profitable in the face of unpredictable exterior circumstances. Throughout the book, “dynamic infrastructures” mediate between intensely managed interiors and volatile exteriors to support regimes of control and together constitute the “visible hand” of the book’s title. Osman makes a clear case that what is at stake is more than the apparent stability of the “interior,” but the ways in which managerial abstraction creates conditions of risk and then presents itself as the inevitable solution. These systems rely on data to mitigate risk through a suite of technologies and techniques. Of the book’s many contributions, the relationship it articulates between regulation, data, and the built environment stands out as especially relevant in our current political and technological moment. The data of Osman’s case studies are generated from discrete, observable, and recordable actions or conditions (temperature, time, piece work, etc.), which then inform managerial action. The input of an external stress (e.g., a surfeit of a commodity) can then be adjusted for—often with the support of the built environment—to maintain equilibrium (or at least the image of it). One century later we find ourselves in a world in which data, risk, and control have come to be defining features of contemporary life, only now, data is not recorded by a diligent supervisor—it is automatically generated with our every click, keystroke, and glance. The world has become data-driven and our gestures, habits, and impulses become justification for a host of decisions made by “managers” interested in minimizing risk, often at the urban level. Modernism’s Visible Hand, beyond offering a brilliant reassessment of the emergence of modern architecture, also, like the best history, illuminates our contemporary condition. Osman reminds us that none of the systems he analyzes were “assumed to be part of an inescapable future.” As our own managers and regulators are increasingly invisible, increasingly automated, and increasingly manipulating “data” to their ends, we would do well to remember that these systems are likewise not inescapable. Jesse LeCavalier conducts research and design at LeCAVALIER R + D and is an associate professor at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture at the University of Toronto.
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Santa Came Early

Santa Fe live-work complex offers artists affordable housing amid critical shortage
Santa Fe’s housing shortage has reached critical levels in recent years, prompting comments that “the fabric of the community is weakened as precious resources—people’s time, energy, and money—are drawn away by housing costs or long commutes,” according to the Santa Fe New Mexican. With an estimated 5,000- to-10,000 additional housing units needed to ease the crisis, a debate has emerged over the market’s shift in focus toward short-term rentals and Airbnb listings rather than affordable long-term rentals. Siler Yard: Arts + Creativity Center hopes to be a small-but-mighty part of the solution by offering income-restricted living and working space for 65 artists. Planning for Siler Yard began in 2012 when Creative Santa Fe, an organization dedicated to “using collaboration and the power of the arts to reframe critical issues and drive positive change,” reached out to the nonprofit developer Artspace regarding the plausibility of creating an affordable living and working complex for Santa Fe artists. Over the next several years, the team commissioned designs by Atkin Olshin Schade Architects, Trey Jordan Architecture, da Silva Architecture, and Surroundings Studio. Most recently, the project was awarded a $10.4 million low-income housing tax credit from the State of New Mexico, officially launching the neighborhood into construction. Siler Yard will welcome applications from anyone who shows passion and commitment to creative pursuits. Applicants do not need to receive their primary income from creative work, and Siler Yards plans to include a variety of creatives, including musicians, writers, chefs, and designers. The units are capped in incremental amounts that will cater to mostly low- and very low-income residents, and more than half will include two or three bedrooms for families with children. In addition to the private units, the complex will include a shared maker space with specialized resources and space to host community workshops and classes. The project, overseen by nonprofit developers Creative Santa Fe and New Mexico Interfaith Housing, expects to break ground in spring 2020 with the full build-out completed sometime in summer 2021.
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Stocking Stuffers

AN rounds up 2019's must-reads for the holiday season
With the end of the decade on the horizon, AN has once again rounded up the best new releases for holiday reading. This list has something for everyone on your list, whether they want to dive back into Michelangelo's renaissance work, learn the ins-and-outs of socialist architecture, or explore the world's contemporary architectural biennials. While it's too late for holiday shopping, that doesn't mean you can't pick up something for the New Year's break. Note: AN may receive a commission for items purchased through the following affiliate links.  Biennials/Triennials: Conversations on the Geography of Itinerant Display  Léa-Catherine Szacka Columbia Books on Architecture and the City  MSRP: $17.99 Recent decades have brought about an onslaught of -ennials (or -iennales), indicating both the growing importance in exhibition design for architects as well as increased capital and spectator entertainment value; architecture for show, but also a “taking the temperature” of the current climate. This little book colleccts conversations between the author and dozens of biennial and triennial curators, as they discuss the showpiece of our contemporary moment in context.  Structured Lineages: Learning from Japanese Structural Design  Edited by Guy Nordenson  MoMA MSRP: $39.57 This collection of 10 seminal essays outlines the contributions of Japanese post-war architect-engineer collaborations that led to some of the country’s most iconic buildings. Japanese domes, bubbles, and sweeping forms fascinated architects and designers worldwide and led to an unprecedented non-linear chapter in architectural history.  The essays, and their generous accompanying images and archival materials, show how the ideas and concepts of these collaborations were passed down seamlessly over several generations, and in some ways, how they still persists as a scientific feat in design imagination today.  Architecture in Global Socialism: Eastern Europe, West Africa, and the Middle East in the Cold War By Łukasz Stanek Princeton University Press   MSRP: $60.00 Political regimes have used architecture as a way of transmitting power, legacy, and permanence throughout all of history, and the socialist movements of the mid and late 20th century were no different. Throughout the Cold War years, architects and planners from socialist Eastern Europe worked closely with those in regions such as West Africa and the Middle East, resulting in a substantial reshaping of the great cities of Accra, Lagos and Abu Dhabi, among others.  This text-heavy book brings this story of cross-continent collaboration to life with previously unpublished images and original archival research, revisiting the connective powers, as well as lessons through longevity, of architecture.  A Moving Border: Alpine Cartographies of Climate Change By Marco Ferrari, Elisa Pasqual, and Andrea Bagnato Columbia Books on Architecture and the City  MSRP:  $25.52 A moving border is not a border at all—movement becomes negotiable, and the ebb and flow of human fabrication and implication are thrown out of balance. This is a phenomenon observed by ZKM researchers, who have dispatched equipment along the mountainous border between Italy and Austria, the ridge that forms the disparate water flows towards either Northern or Southern Europe. Their findings and cartographic visual language remind the reader that borders and the human political mind are in flux and impermanent, but that our actions towards melting glaciers and climate change are not: in fact, they’re reflected as hiccups in the very borders we try so hard to maintain. As glaciers melt, rivers flood, and borders shift, the environment is literally reshaping political boundaries. The Shenzhen Experiment: The Story  of China’s Instant City Juan Du Harvard University Press MSRP: $35.00 The “instant city” concept of Chinese mega-development is crystallized in the success of Shenzhen, a government-planned city that seemingly sprouted from the ground. Recognized for its role as an international technology center, economic powerhouse, and mega-city population of over 20 million, Shenzhen also a bit of a mystery, as the same model has been applied to dozens of other "insta-city projects," but none have approached Shenzhen’s overnight celebrity. This book explores the blurry history of the city, beginning with its farmers and oyster fishermen. Tracing policymakers, government regulation, and that the concept of explosive overnight growth is desirable the world over, is an important story for architects and planners everywhere facing the excitement as well as perils of rapid urbanization and industrialization.  Michelangelo, God’s Architect: The Story of His Final Years and Greatest Masterpiece By William E. Wallace  Princeton University Press  MSRP: $29.95 The last two decades of Michelangelo’s life were at first expected to be marked by failure and decline—the Renaissance artist even began to carve his own tomb. However, intervention via the Catholic Church landed Michelangelo with the master plan of St. Peter’s Basilica, a commission that would change his legacy, as well as the course of the Renaissance's architectural history. A fresh look at a portion of the artist’s life that often goes overlooked, the narrative aspects bring to light many myths and very human struggles that the venerated figure overcame. City on a Hill: Urban Idealism in America from the Puritans to the Present By Alex Krieger Harvard University Press MSRP: $35.00 A critically deep dive into the visions of utopia that have shaped American development, City on a Hill outlines the idealisms underlying various urban design movements, starting with the first wave of pilgrims looking for a new start. Krieger honors the grand ideas that have moved America and its cities forward over the centuries but also underwrites with a critical eye the lessons that can be learned as we move forward towards contemporary ideals of sustainability and smart cities today. 
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Put a Cork in it

One of Los Angeles's last Googie-style buildings to close, signaling unknown future
On December 8, the Facebook page for Corky's, a diner completed in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Sherman Oaks in 1958, announced that it will be closing its doors by the middle of the month following a lease dispute. The post lamented the treatment historic architecture receives in the city, stating that "Landlords just don’t appreciate these unique-style buildings and design.” Designed by Armet & Davis, one of the most prominent firms designing Googie architecture during the post-war period throughout Los Angeles, Corky's iconic roofline, playful neon signage, and stony facade make it an exemplary building of the popular, yet short-lived, style. Since the building first opened as Stanley Burke’s in 1958, the structure has survived the changing of hands and the decades of extensive remodeling that came with it. Corky's interior is notable for its extensive use of wood-paneling, overstuffed green booths, and speckled drop ceiling. Only a small handful of the Armet & Davis's buildings still survive that exemplify the same exuberant Googie style, including Johnie's Coffee Shop across from LACMA, and the iconic Norm's on La Cienega. The building's current owners are urging fans of the building to encourage city leaders to make Corky's a Los Angeles landmark before its next owner potentially decides to demolish it, while Alan Hess, a local architectural historian and preservationist, has personally submitted a Historic-Cultural Monument application to the City of Los Angeles. "Unlike the prevailing examples of high Modernism," Hess wrote in Googie Redux in 1986, "Googie was rarely boring. Its key features—futuristic details, expressive use of new materials, metal-frame structures that allowed seemingly weightless canopies and free-flowing spaces—elicited the fluidity of the Modern era." As of yet, there are no demolition permits have been filed with the city, potentially indicating that the exuberant structure could be here to stay, regardless of its tentative landmark status.
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towering bas relief

Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects' Centrale nods to the Jazz Age with chevrons of terra-cotta
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Midtown East is a competitive Manhattan neighborhood to design a new tower; the skyline is crowded with an assembly of jostling skyscrapers and landmarks constructed over the last century. Completed in 2019, The Centrale is an 803-foot-tall residential tower designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects and developed by Ceruzzi Properties. The building strikes a middle ground between the surrounding Art-Deco icons and post-war glass curtain walls with panels of terra-cotta chevrons and solar-control glass. The 220,000-square-foot tower is located mid-block and is flanked on either side by pre-war midrises of stepped massing and clad in detailed yellow brick, limestone, and ornamental masonry. The challenge for the architectural team was how to incorporate these historical elements into a contemporary mold for a remarkably slender project.
  • Facade Manufacturer Boston Valley Terracotta Interpane Permasteelisa
  • Architect Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects SLCE Architects (Executive Architect)
  • Facade Installer Permasteelisa
  • Facade Consultant Vidaris
  • Location New York
  • Date of Completion 2019
  • System Custom unitized system
  • Products INTERPANE Ipasol Platin 52-36 Boston Valley Terracotta extruded terra-cotta panels
"We were cautious not to fall into the trappings of architectural style and appearance, but rather to emulate the repetition and movement of the Jazz Age and the expressive machinery that celebrated the still young industrial age," said Pelli Clarke Pelli principal Craig Copeland. "The chevron emerged as a key motif for the project; and we soundly incorporated it throughout from the scale of the skyline, to the touch of many close-up details." The base of the project begins with a 100-foot-tall metal screen that cloaks shared residential spaces and is indented with the tower's prevailing chevron detail. Lifting the residences measurably above street level and shrouding the podium with perforated metal is a clever aesthetic solution to engineering requirements. Similar to SHoP's 111 57th Street, the narrow profile of the tower—floor plates are approximately 3,000 square feet— required significant shear walls on the east and west elevations, and is further stabilized by a 400-ton tuned mass damper located at the bulkhead. A series of hinged setbacks occur as the tower rises, shifting the face of the primary elevation to the northeast and northwest in a playful nod to contextual massing. The orientation of the terra-cotta panels corresponds to the alternating facade planes, and are colored cream and dark brown. Using the latter was a practical solution to heighten the depth of a relatively shallow architectural detail, and the terra-cotta bands form something of an abstract impression of fluted buttresses. The design of the facade and the dimensions of the curtain wall units were impacted by the constraints of the site, and contractors relied on a hoist run rather than a conventional crane to install the panels. Typical curtain wall units measure approximately 5'-8" by 11' and 3' by 11', and the terra-cotta units are 4'-4" by 11'. According to Pelli Clarke Pelli associate principal Jimmy Chang, "The design team had to work with this limitation and modify the much more expressed facade (deep saw-tooth profile), to smaller and shallower profile units." Through scaling down the unit sizes, fabricator and installer Permasteelisa saved time in assembly and installation which ultimately translated to overall cost savings of the curtain wall. On the second day of Facades+ NYC, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, engineering firm BüroEhring, and Roschmann Steel & Glass Construction will lead an intensive workshop titled "(P)ReFabricate: An Interactive Reinterpretation of Prefabricated Building Enclosures." Attendees of the workshop will collaborate closely with the team of nine instructors to recalibrate the designs of one of eight prefabricated case studies according to a change in context, contemporary energy standards, and ease of assembly.  
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Pangea-chic

Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s $150 million expansion inches closer to completion
Back in June, DLR Group|Westlake Reed Leskosky was selected to design the next phases of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History (CMNH) Centennial Transformation Project. The multiphase project was initiated over ten years ago and includes several phases of renovations, as well as a 50,000 square-foot addition for education and exhibition spaces.  The $150 million campaign to transform the museum’s entire campus is anticipated to be fully finished by 2026, but Phase 1 (Gateway) is gearing up for completion by December 2020, in time for the museum's centennial celebration. The new changes are expected to improve circulation, expand programming, and provide connections to the surrounding natural landscape. CMNH flanks the Doan Brook Watershed which flows to Lake Erie.  Inspired by the Museum’s commitment to sustainability, DLR Group|WRL’s design evokes the surrounding bodies of water through a continuous form that physically and visually ties the campus together. “DLR Group|WRL’s team was inspired by CMNH’s proximity to and relationship with the surrounding bodies of water,” said DLR Group|WRL senior principal Paul Westlake in a press release. “Our sustainable design concept is an ode to water as a life-giving source and a force that shapes the earth. It speaks to the museum’s significance as a pillar of science, education, research, conservation, and community engagement.”  The completion of Phase 1 will include renovations to the Murch Auditorium and Fawick Gallery, Kent H. Smith Environmental Courtyard, as well as a new Science News Station which will provide visitors with current information on local and global scientific discoveries. The renovations will also connect two previously remote entrances into one grand visitor’s hall.  Phase 2 of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History expansion is expected to break ground in 2021 and will welcome the additional two-story exhibition spaces which will include galleries, science studios, labs, museum gift shop, and cafe. Final phases are expected to be completed by 2026 and once complete, the museum will encompass nearly 300,000 square feet of space to house the museum's five million artifacts.
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In the fold

2019 Best of Design Awards winners for Unbuilt — Commercial
2019 Best of Design Award for Unbuilt – Commercial: Aurora Designer: Belzberg Architects Location: Mexico City Inspired by the relatively temperate climate of Mexico City, this new eight-story commercial office building plays with the relationship between inside and outside, seeking to create a dynamic space in between. A monolithic facade has been carefully sculpted to create a semipermeable surface. The flatness and solidity of the existing streetscape led the designers to carve an entryway that draws people in off the narrow sidewalk. A curved cut appears to defy the weight of the precast concrete panels of the facade. This gesture is echoed in a series of cuts focused toward a view of the mountains beyond; their variation ensures a unique experience on every floor.
Structural and MEP Engineer: Arup Latin America General Contractor: Grupo Anima
Honorable Mention Project Name: Surf Entertainment Facility Designer: BLUR Workshop Editors' Picks Project Name: Folded Wings Designer: Form4 Architecture Project Name: Nanotronics Smart Factory Designer: Rogers Partners