This week Mayor Bill de Blasio, developer SL Green, and other suited officials gathered for the ceremonial groundbreaking of One Vanderbilt Avenue, soon to be one of New York's tallest towers. The building, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), will rise 1,401 feet skyward when it's complete in 2020. Notably, developer SL Green, the largest commercial property owner in the city, is investing millions in transit infrastructure upgrades in and around the site, which is across the street from Grand Central Terminal. Litigation that hampered development was settled in August, allowing the project to move forward. On the public side, improvements include a transit hall at the tower's base, a 14,000-square-foot pedestrian plaza on Vanderbilt Avenue, and more points of access to and from Grand Central for straphangers, Metro-North riders, and the Long Island Railroad's planned East Side Access. Grand Central, Mayor de Blasio noted at the ceremony, is the system's second-busiest, with 154,000 people passing through daily. The tower's enhanced public offerings are no accident, but an exchange for super size. The developer and city officials want One Vanderbilt to be a model of the type of development that could happen under the proposed rezoning of Midtown East. "By committing to $220 million in public investment, One Vanderbilt will benefit not only its tenants but the city as a whole," said Carl Weisbrod, chair of the City Planning Commission, in a statement. "As we move forward with a proposal to revitalize Greater East Midtown, we believe that One Vanderbilt will signal this neighborhood's full potential. For East Midtown, the best is yet to come." Weisbrod's remarks allude to the city's plans to add more competitive Class A office space to Midtown East to make the neighborhood more attractive to tenants who flock to modern office space downtown and in New Jersey. In October, Weisbrod told DNAinfo that the rezoning will most likely be approved within 12 months. The public portions of the 58-story building will come online before the project is totally complete. As for design, the tower's taper nods to New York's classic skyscrapers, while its sharp articulations express contemporary supertall ambitions. The $3 billion "trophy tower" will contain 1.7 million square feet of Class A office space, ceilings up to 20 feet tall, and de rigueur column-free floor plates. On its subastral levels, the structure leans back from the street, allowing previously obstructed views of Grand Central's cornice on its Vanderbilt Avenue side. More images of the project are available on the building's new website.
Posts tagged with "Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF)":
A plethora of big names are gunning for a $1.1 billion tower in Sydney, Australia. From the U.S., HOK, SOM, and KPF are vying for the commission. A stellar list of firms in their own right, British firms Foster + Partners and David Chipperfield Architects are also in running, alongside Australia’s BVN and Hassell. The lucrative project is an office skyscraper backed by developer Lendlease and located on 182 George Street. Nestled within Sydney's, Circular Quay—a prime piece of real estate—the office, according to the Architect's Journal, would climb to 813 feet. Tenants look set to gain access to vistas over the waterfront that look onto the iconic Sydney Harbor Bridge and Jørn Utzon’s Sydney Opera House. If built, the tower would be the tallest in the country. A masterplan is also said to be accompanying the scheme. On their website, Lendlease said that the scheme will "promote connectivity from George Street to Pitt Street, through to Circular Quay and maximise integration with transport infrastructure." In the statement, the developer goes on to say:
The project will deliver new quality commercial premises and new urban places in an environmentally sustainable way. A vibrant public place will be created with new urban amenity, including a public bike hub and public plazas with dining options, shopping, entertainment and leisure, delivering a new destination in Circular Quay for residents, visitors and workers. This will help to affirm Sydney's position as a globally relevant, intelligent, and innovative metropolis. It is also in alignment with the City of Sydney's vision to create activated areas and new public spaces.
The development is one of many touted/in the works for the area. Danish studio 3XN Architects is currently designing Quay Quarter Tower—a 49-storey office tower in the area of which they beat Japanese firm SANAA and MVRDV for the right to design. Meanwhile, the Sydney Opera House is undergoing a massive renovation courtesy of Australian firm ARM. Unlike his compatriots, Japanese architect Kengo Kuma won the commission for two high-rise residential towers earlier on this year. That project is due to cost $742 million and will offer two towers rising to 57 and 28 storeys, set for completion in 2018.
SL Green has announced that the litigation around Kohn Pedersen Fox's (KPF) One Vanderbilt was settled, paving the way for construction to continue. The suit, brought by Andrew Penson of Midtown TDR Ventures, the owner of Grand Central Terminal, against SL Green and the City of New York involved a dispute over the station's air rights. Midtown TDR Ventures challenged the Vanderbilt Corridor rezoning amendment and the One Vanderbilt special permit that allowed the supertall to move forward. Recently, though, one of Midtown TDR Ventures investors, Lehman Broothers Holdings, sold a $65 million stake in the property, which may have prompted the settlement. The settlement "[eliminates] uncertainty surrounding the building," according to a press release from the SL Green's PR agency. The 1,401-foot-tall tower, bounded by Vanderbilt and Madison avenues between East 42nd and East 43rd streets, is slated to add 1.7 million square feet of Class A commercial space to the neighborhood. KPF refers to the building as "a 21st century successor to Rockefeller Center" that dialogues with the city's iconic office towers and Grand Central, its neighbor. To no one's surprise, Marc Holliday, CEO of SL Green, praised the settlement in a press release: “This is a major milestone for the future of East Midtown, clearing the way for One Vanderbilt to deliver state-of-the-art Class A office space and a $220 million investment in Grand Central’s transit infrastructure. We’re pleased that the new ownership of Midtown TDR Ventures shares our commitment to development in East Midtown and worked with us to quickly reach this agreement. With demolition nearly complete and work already underway on public improvements, One Vanderbilt is well on the way to becoming a reality.” As plans call for the tower to be connected to Grand Central, SL Green has agreed to invest $220 million in public infrastructure improvements in and around the station.
The New York City Housing Authority (NCYHA) is on the hunt for a developer to back a sustainable heat and power generation complex for Brooklyn's biggest housing complex to be. NCYHA says the developer would "finance, design, construct, and operate a campus-scale heat, hot water, and electricity generation and delivery network" that will serve the 28 buildings housing 6,000 residents in Red Hook. Officially known as the "The Red Hook Houses District Energy System," the project will comprise two energy plants located at each end of the complex that will form a micro-grid that supplies the housing network. Additionally, as part of a post-Sandy contingency plan, the micro-grid would let the NYCHA to produce its own energy and link up with the Red Hook Community Microgrid scheme. "NYCHA believes that the distributed energy component of this project has the potential to be a self-sustaining enterprise, and the RFP provides an opportunity to raise dedicated funds for that," said NYCHA spokeswoman Zodet Negron. “As part of NYCHA’s Sandy Recovery program, we are working to build back stronger and more resilient than ever before,” added NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye. As of last week, the NYCHA has released its "Request for Proposals" which calls for a two part submission process due on July 22 and September 9. Developers will work alongside New York firm KPF, who have produced a selection of renders, for the scheme. Nilda Mesa, director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability also mentioned how the scheme will combat greenhouse gas emissions. “NYCHA will be harnessing the energy produced in multiple ways, and eliminating individual building systems, which is a smart way to set up a system that will be better to maintain and control." In terms of funds for the project, The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has set aside $438 million for repairs on NYCHA buildings damaged by Sandy. "FEMA funds can pay for cogeneration/microgrid components that are consistent with the restoration and resiliency of electrical and heating systems that were damaged by Sandy," a spokeswoman said.
With the Landmarks Preservation Commission's (LPC) blessing, a building near Rockefeller Center is set to get green. On Tuesday, the LPC approved a verdant rooftop terrace addition to 75 Rockefeller Plaza, an early modernist building designed by Robert Carson and Earl Lundin in 1941 that sits on the north end of the plaza, between West 51st and West 52nd streets. Completed six years later, the 424-foot, 33-story building was originally part of Rockefeller Center, and was declared an individual landmark in 1985 when Rockefeller Center received its designation. New York–based Kohn Pederson Fox (KPF) and preservation consultants Higgins Quasebarth & Partners are revamping an extension on the tenth floor. The move gives the building more interior space as well as outdoor areas on the ninth floor roof. The proposal also includes an extension of the 11th floor that would create a terrace on the floor above. The designs reflect the commission's goal of keeping the terrace and garden from marring the historic viewshed. In the proposal, the architects emphasized the discreet qualities of their design from street level: The only new addition to the visible landscape is a new, laminated glass guardrail that encircles the terraces' perimeters. The commission approved this plan and Herzog & de Meuron's Upper East Side megamansion for a Russian billionaire with an entrancing backyard in the same session. Although 75 Rockefeller Plaza is a private office building, workers in nearby towers will be able to get a dose of greenery-by-proxy from their cubicle windows.
New York City's waterfront Hudson Yards development is a big deal—literally. The largest private real estate development in the history of the United States, the project comprises 17 million square feet of commercial and residential space and 14 acres of public open space. Hudson Yards is having "a catalytic effect in terms of kicking off an entire new neighborhood," said Related Companies' Michael Samuelian. (Related and Oxford Properties Group have partnered with a number of high-profile architecture firms to design and build the project.) "We don't just focus on a building, but on the relationships between buildings—the spaces between the buildings themselves are just as important." Samuelian and KPF's William Pedersen, whose firm is designing three skyscrapers for Hudson Yards, will deliver up-to-date information on the work in progress at next month's Facades+NYC conference. Hudson Yards promises to reshape the city on multiple scales. On the larger end, "the development of Hudson Yards fills a void in Manhattan's fabric which has prevented the city from having a dialogue with the Hudson River," explained Pedersen. Related commissioned a wide slate of architects "to purposely create variety and juxtaposition, which is the dominant characteristic of Manhattan's iconic skyline," he said. As important as Hudson Yards' impact on New York City's skyline, said Samuelian, is its capacity to create a welcoming streetscape. "We put considerable effort into ensuring we have warm, appropriate materials below 150 feet," he said. "Each building changes as it comes down to grade to give civility to the skyscrapers, to make them more humane participants in the street life of the city." Pedersen concurred. "The dominant characteristic of our buildings is their gestural capacity," he said. "They do not stand in isolation but rather seek an active relationship with every aspect of the context they engage, including the pedestrian on the street." Catch up with Samuelian, Pedersen, and other AEC industry leaders reshaping New York's built environment at Facades+NYC. Register today to secure your space at the symposium and in a lab or dialog workshop of your choice.
A specialist in large-scale projects with over 20 years of experience, Kohn Pedersen Fox principal Shawn Duffy is a keen observer of trends in London's commercial and residential building markets. Next month, Duffy—who served as managing principal on Aykon Nine Elms and One Nine Elms—joins BuroHappold Engineering's Jonathan Sakula in a panel on "London Calling: The Bold New Face of the UK" at the Facades+ NYC conference. With respect to commercial developments, observed Duffy, one contemporary preoccupation is how to improve the adaptability of the facade by the occupants. "Most often the outer layer of skin simply wraps a traditional sealed curtain wall with no operable panels," he said. "The control of the blinds in the ventilated cavity is done by a central computer system concerned mainly with reducing heat gain, leaving little or no individual control over daylighting and glare." Duffy anticipates an increased focus on how to enhance the comfort of individual users without sacrificing overall sustainability goals. "The challenge will be balancing the conflicting issues of natural ventilation and noise, daylighting and glare, fresh air and reduction in mechanical loads," he said. On London's residential construction scene, meanwhile, one challenge is the fact that "facades in both tower and low rise construction require solid building materials—aesthetically, so they don't look like office buildings, and in increasing percentages, technically, in order to meet the stringent facade performance requirements," explained Duffy. Because materials including brick and stone are so expensive, architects are often left few options for cladding other than metal or concrete-composite panels. The situation may soon change for the better, however. "The use of prefabricated, fully glazed facade panels is increasing," said Duffy. "The benefits of improved quality control in finishes and reduced fabrication/construction time is offsetting the increased cost of quality materials, creating better looking and performing residential facades." High performance building envelopes have the potential to help mitigate some of London's most pressing concerns, including energy waste. At present, London's commercial market remains fixated on floor to ceiling glass. "The value of extensive glass facades to office developers and occupiers looks likely to continue as a main driver of office facade design," said Duffy. But a growing emphasis on environmental performance will eventually privilege more solid surfaces, he predicted. "We will then see more commercial buildings turning the amount and type of glazing to the orientation of the facades, the existing and future context, and the types of spaces within." Learn more about the cutting edge in facade design and fabrication in London, New York, and beyond at Facades+ NYC April 21-22. For a full agenda and to register, see the conference website.
Kohn Pedersen Fox plays Jenga with this Madison Avenue building, pulling mass away and stacking it on top
It's addition by subtraction on Madison Avenue, where Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) is playing real-life Jenga with a 24-story office building between East 46th and 47th streets in Midtown Manhattan. The architects are removing select floors of 380 Madison Avenue, and stacking them on top of each other to make a taller building. In all, 18 percent of the building will be removed and re-stacked, nudging the building up to 32 stories from its original 24. Amazingly, the rearranged tower, to be renamed 390 Madison Avenue, will have the same amount of square footage as its squatter self, YIMBY reports. Construction is expected to be complete by early 2017. There will be 663,419 square feet of commercial space (mostly for offices), and the first two floors will be double-height, for retailers looking for a swanky address on one of the city's most prestigious shopping streets. The current facade, 1980s dark glass, will be replaced by floor-to-ceiling clear glass panels. The video below, fashioned after an action movie trailer, shows exactly how the building gets taller and leaner. https://vimeo.com/110394303 390 Madison Avenue is not the only recent tower to get Jenga'd. Last June, Büro Ole Scheeren released plans for a residential tower in Vancouver with boxy massing. Two months later, Pritzker Prize–winning architect Eduardo Souto de Moura unveiled plans for a mixed-use tower in Washington, D.C. with a similar profile, while NBBJ's tower, announced last September, promises to topple expectations for Cleveland's skyline. Though AN did not make the comparison initially, BIG's new police station in the Bronx could fall under this emerging typology.
Swiss watchmaker Rolex is looking out for new talent. The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative pairs accomplished artists and designers across all disciplines with emerging practitioners for a yearlong, one-on-one mentorship. At an awards ceremony on Sunday in Mexico City, David Chipperfield was chosen as the mentor in architecture. The partnership with the as-yet-unchosen protege will begin mid-2016. A noted architect of cultural and civic institutions, Chipperfield designed Mexico City's Museo Júmex (completed 2013); the Nobel Center in Stockholm (set to open in 2018); the Royal Academy of Arts master plan (expected completion: 2018); and the Turner Contemporary Gallery in Margate, England. In September of this year, David Chipperfield Architects beat out KPF and Foster + Partners to convert the Eero Saarinen–designed United States Embassy in London into a hotel. For the Rolex initiative, panels of arts professionals all over the world convene to nominate new talent in their respective fields. Mentors choose from a list of three to four finalists. Winners will be announced in June of next year. The pair is asked to spend at least six weeks together, collaborating on projects. Past mentors in architecture include Peter Zumthor (2014–2015), Kazuyo Sejima (2012–2013), and Alvaro Siza (2002–2003). In addition to Chipperfield, this year the committee selected Mia Couto (literature), Alfonso Cuarón (film), Philip Glass (music), Joan Jonas (visual arts), Robert Lepage (theatre) and Ohad Naharin (dance).
It's a big week for big Brooklyn skyscrapers. Yesterday, SHoP Architects and Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates unveiled plans for towers within a block of each other, in the Brooklyn Tech Triangle. KPF is developing the 400,000 square foot office and retail project at 420 Albee Square in partnership with JEMB Realty and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). At 600 feet tall, the tower will be 400 feet shorter than SHoP's, but it will still reign as Brooklyn's second tallest building. Plans for tall towers in Brooklyn are years in the making. In 2004, the Downtown Brooklyn Development Plan rezoned the district bounded by Flatbush Avenue, Fulton Mall, and Willoughby Avenue to spur the development of office space and academic facilities (the area includes parts of the Brooklyn Tech Triangle). Blocks adjacent to this commercial core were rezoned to accommodate denser residential development and ground floor retail. The city has invested $300 million in open space and infrastructure improvements in the Tech Triangle. In a statement, KPF claims that 420 Albee Square is the "first ground-up construction of commercial space since the re-zoning." The effects of the zoning changes in the city's third largest commercial district are especially noticeable on Fulton Mall, where longtime businesses catering to low- and middle-income shoppers are being replaced (homogenized, some say) by upscale national chains. The NYCEDC claims that, to remain competitive, the city needs 60 million square feet of office space built by 2025. How the additional office space catalyzes change in downtown Brooklyn remains to be seen.
On September 23—and in a the heart of downtown San Diego across Jon Jerde’s famous Horton Plaza—Bosa Development, headed by Nat Bosa, opened for a limited run exhibition entitled Rethink Downtown: Behind San Diego’s Skyline. The show celebrates San Diego’s urban history and asks visitors to ponder downtown’s future: Where it’s going and how architecture, design, amenities, and quality of life enable San Diego to matter on a national scale from millennials to boomers? “San Diego is more livable now and the city should be proud of it.” —Jinsuk Park, Kohn Pedersen Fox The exhibition presents a chronological view of San Diego’s downtown urban process of “rethinking” itself though historic photographs, from the Spanish-Colonial Mission of Junipero Serra to the future development of Pacific Gate, a 41–story residential high-rise by Bossa Development designed by the New York firm of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates. Vancouver-based design critic and urban commentator Trevor Boddy curated the narrative Rethink; his premise sketches a slice of downtown history. Photos and drawings hang on a series of freestanding walls where visitors can follow the specific historical moments that have made Downtown San Diego a more livable, rethought place. A large-scale model of downtown shows Bossa’s contribution to the city’s skyline through its current and future developments. It is interesting to note that the curator had not visited San Diego for more than 30 years. “When I was here in 1983 San Diego did not have much of a downtown, you came here to go to Tijuana” Boddy said. The exhibit presents San Diego’s boom and bust evolution, yet it overlooked one of the most important documents ever made for the city and the region; “Temporary Paradise” drafted by Kevin Lynch and Donald Appleyard in 1974. The exhibition events will include lectures and presentations and panel discussions related to architecture and urbanism of downtown San Diego, as well as a showroom for Bossa’s future developments in the city that includes a series of residential high rise projects. During the opening event Bossa emphasized that the purpose of the presence of tall buildings in the city has been to “Give San Diego a new generation of residential high rises, more residential [housing] is needed.” According to the Rethink exhibition, the future of San Diego is a vertical paradise. The evening presentation ended with a tour by KPF’s Jinsuk Park through the design stages of the nautilus inspired Pacific Gate Tower. Guests saw the conceptual sketches and models of the tower now under construction near San Diego’s harbor and will sit alongside another residential tower by Bossa and KPF accentuating a gateway gesture to the city. “Residential buildings are the new architecture icons in cities and an important part of downtown revivals” Park exclaimed. Residential high-rises look great on a city's postcard, but are not necessarily what stimulate great urban public spaces. The efficacy of housing in downtown has been due in most part to the diversity in affordable unit design and the ability to activate urban space at a street level. In 1995, Little Italy a neighborhood on the northern edge of downtown was at the forefront of a new type of urban renewal model. The work of local architects (Rob Quigley, Ted Smith, Jonathan Segal, Kathy McCormick, to name a few) began experimenting with the practice model of architect developers focusing on the urban impact that mix-use dense urban living can have on the economic and urban success of a neighborhood. The livability of downtown San Diego has been consequence of pedestrian amenities such as large tree lined sidewalks, accessibility to public transportation and diverse mid-rise housing developments that encourage small shops and restaurants to stay in their community. A walkable density is what the city needs to focus on. The next rethinking of San Diego should include planning strategies that integrate communities such as Golden Hill, North Park, and Barrio Logan, vibrant zones that are catering to a different type of urbanite. It is these spaces that require investment to strengthen their cultural and housing diversity as well as keeping them far from the homogeneity of the glass box tower.
The final bucket of concrete anointed the top of Kohn Pedersen Fox's 10 Hudson Yards today. Built to LEED Platinum standards, the 52 story office building, at 30th Street and Tenth Avenue in New York City, is the first of sixteen buildings on the 28 acre site. Unusual among commercial skyscrapers in New York, a concrete superstructure and a concrete shear wall account for 98 percent of the building's weight. So far, SAP, VaynerMedia, Coach, and L'Oréal, as well as four other undisclosed tenants, will move into the 1.7-million-square-foot tower beginning March 2016. If they leave their desks, workers can enjoy direct access to the High Line from the building, as well as Hudson Yard's 14 acres of open space. Developers Oxford Properties Group, Related Companies, and Tutor Perini reinforce the building's luxury branding by noting that its three stormwater tanks can hold 1.3 million grande pumpkin spice lattes.