Posts tagged with "Manhattan":

A new Manhattan exhibition creates a dialogue between two generations of architects

Architectural rendering and design today is filtered through digital platforms that define contemporary production. It is rare to see an architecture that breaks out of this design template, whether the architect asserts environmental, stylistic, or urban design as the impulse behind the form. But Re-Constructivist Architecture: A Call From Rome, a carefully crafted exhibition at Ierimonti Gallery in Midtown, purposefully tries to avoid this new international style. Curated by Jacopo Costanzo and Giovanni Cozzani with Giulia Leone, the exhibit presents the work of thirteen, mostly Italian, architects born in the 1980s and sets them the task of generating “a debate between two generation of architects”; principally those presented in the 1988 MoMA show Deconstructive Architecture and of that show's generation. The Deconstructivists, the curators argue, "destabilized a certain kind of relationship with the design theory" and the architects in this exhibit want to rediscover a thoughtful dimension behind the architectural subject. This new work is more about place, specific local issues, and conditions, and operates from an Italian perspective, much as the manifesto of postmodernism did in 1980. The Architect’s Newspaper is sponsoring a special preview of the exhibition next Tuesday, February 7 from 6:00 to 8:30 at the gallery. It will feature short comments from Kenneth Frampton, Morris Adjmi, Umberto Napolitano from LAN and Enrique Walker. Ierimonti Gallery is located at 24 West 57 Street, suite 501.

100 illuminated Tiffany Lamps will feature in the New-York Historical Society’s revamped 4th floor

Louis Comfort Tiffany is synonymous with the lamps that bear his name. However, a recent discovery about the lamps' origins helped shape a new exhibition space currently under construction at the New-York Historical Society. It was well-known that Tiffany employed dozens of women—known as "Tiffany Girls"—to carefully select the glass fragments that went into Tiffany lamps, one of the many types of objets de luxe his company produced. (Tiffany thought women had a better eye for color.) However, letters discovered in 2005 and written by one such Tiffany Girl, Clara Driscoll, revealed that she was a leading creative force in the lamp studio and designed several lamps herself. Now, the New-York Historical Society's 100 Tiffany lamps will be celebrated in a new gallery that will stand adjacent to the also new 1,500-square-foot Joyce B. Cowin's History Gallery, a space dedicated to exhibitions organized by the New-York Historical Society's Center for Women's History. The newly-established center is the first institution of its kind dedicated to public exhibits on women in American history. Both spaces will be located on the museum's fourth floor, which was previously an archive. London and Prague-based architect Eva Jiřičná, who designed the Jewellery gallery at the V&A, is behind the Gallery of Tiffany Lamps, with New York City-based PBDW as architects of record. Specially-crafted curving glass displays, surrounded by a low-light environment and dark blue walls, will let the lamps shine unencumbered. The 4,800-square-foot, two-story Gallery of Tiffany Lamps will also feature an all-glass curving staircase lit by LEDs. Its glowing structural glass steps, risers, and vertical fins will fit together with minimal metal connection details. In addition to telling the history of Clara Driscoll and the Tiffany Girls, visitors will be able to create their own Tiffany lamp through an interactive digital installation. The Joyce B. Cowin's History Gallery will be inaugurated with Saving Washington, an exhibition on First Lady Dolley Madison, along with items from the archives of Billie Jean King, an interactive multimedia wall, among other artifacts. Lastly, as part of the 4th floor's revamp, a new North Gallery will host items from the society's permanent collection—such as a copper globe from 1542 that traces Giovanni da Verrazzano's voyage—in fifteen themed niches. The Gallery of Tiffany Lamps, Joyce B. Cowin's History Gallery, and North Gallery will open April 8th. A new 4th floor multimedia center, which will feature scanners, computers, a 3D printer, and more, will come online this summer. This article appears on HoverPin, a new app that lets you build personalized maps of geo-related online content based on your interests: architecture, food, culture, fitness, and more. Never miss The Architect’s Newspaper’s coverage of your city and discover new, exciting projects wherever you go! See our HoverPin layer here and download the app from the Apple Store.

STEM learning and golf—yes, golf—come together in this Manhattan youth and education center

Hidden away on West 117th Street in Harlem, the Bridge Golf Foundation is setting local schoolboys on the straight and narrow—and down the fairway. Packed into 2,400 square feet, the facility boasts three state-of-the-art golf simulators, a putting green, a 3-D printer, and space for a kitchen, an office, a bathroom, and teaching areas.

On weekdays from three until six, an after-school program brings students from the Eagle Academy for Young Men of Harlem to the foundation’s “Learning Center.” Upon arrival, the boys receive a healthy snack and then go off to engage in either golf or STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) classes.

Tasked with coalescing the plethora of programs within the (relatively) diminutive space was Gordon Kipping, principal of New York studio G TECTS. “We wanted the space to be able to accommodate many things either simultaneously or consecutively,” he said. “I was looking at the programming in visits to the Harlem YMCA where it was already underway. [While the location on West 117th Street was being constructed, the foundation used a YMCA to host programming in its initial months of operation.] I saw the kids taking instruction in golf and in the classroom. I projected how that might take place in the space where we were working. We had considerably less space to work with, so the space is open, flexible, and tailored for the multitude of functions that are taking place in it. It actually works better than a big gym.”

Chairman, cofounder, and principal owner of the Bridge, Robert Rubin, spoke of the “architectural challenge” of making the space a place the boys “would be proud of, and that told the story of the foundation to people that come in off the street, but also something that was attractive to New York City golfers.”

TrackMan golf simulators, capable of compiling 27 different parameters relating to your golf swing (or in this author’s case, 27 things wrong), makes the facility a viable venue for professional golf classes. Being the only facility of its kind north of 42nd Street, the Bridge faces little local competition.

Golf also works its way into the curriculum. Data sent in from the TrackMan can be translated into a means of STEM learning. To cater to the other programs that take place on site, netting that divides the golf ranges can be pulled back to create a much more open feel.

Here, the Bridge can double as a venue for parties, though the primary use is for teaching. Using a collection of Node chairs from seating manufacturer Steelcase (who worked withan educational consultant company to conceive this particular chair), boys can work in a more traditional class layout or in small groups.

Colors found in the Bridge’s logo (G TECTS designed a full identity package for the foundation) also correspond to different areas within the facility, such as the simulator, teaching kitchen, and office spaces.

“The response has been very positive,” said Kipping. “A lot of the golfers who rent out the bays are pleasantly surprised because they are not accustomed to seeing an integrated space designed for golf. The kids love the space and have been making full use of it.”

Developer decides not to build huge glass pavilions on landmarked plaza

Thanks to new rules, it appears that one historic downtown plaza will be free of large glass pavilions, for now. For over a year developer Fosun had planned to build glass-clad entrances to retail spaces beneath the landmarked modernist plaza of 28 Liberty, designed by SOM in 1964. Although the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) approved the renovations in August 2015, the project needed an additional—but contentious—green light from the community and the city to move forward. The developer sought to change the site's city-imposed deed restriction (convents that guide the use of land) to allow the pavilions, some as tall as 17 feet, to be constructed. Currently, the site's deed restriction states that no object taller than six feet can rise from the surface of the plaza. Deed restrictions are usually enacted for public benefit; by limiting use, they can thwart an owner's ability to capitalize on the property. For months Manhattan Community Board 1, residents, and preservationists concerned about the integrity of the plaza debated whether to grant Fosun's request. For Fosun, a seemingly routine appeal for its plaza project couldn't have come at a worse time. The developer's campaign to change the deed restriction coincided with the unfolding scandal over the transfer of Rivington House to a private developer. In that deal, the city lifted deed restrictions on the Lower East Side nursing home, a move that allowed a private developer to flip the site for a hefty profit. A series of public meetings revealed the convoluted nature of the deed-change process, with the mayor's office and City Council offering two competing visions of reform. In response, the Council passed a new law in December that lays out a standardized process for removal and modification of deed restrictions. Among other changes, the law's public review component makes it much more difficult for property owners like Fosun to change deed restrictions. "The developers basically told the board that they're not pushing deed modifications now that the new rules are in place," said Diana Switaj, Manhattan CB1's director of planning and land use. Although community board resolutions on developments like 28 Liberty are non-binding, the city-sanctioned groups provide frontline community feedback on development in their jurisdictions. When reached for comment, Fosun confirmed that it will not be building pavilions. “At this time, Fosun is focusing on creating hundreds of feet of new storefront, restoring the historic parapet to its original condition, and creating a larger plaza by removing mechanical components," said Erik Horvat, managing director at Fosun Property, in a statement. "We continue to advance the effort to invigorate the plaza and bring some 200,000 square feet of new retail to Lower Manhattan. The site offers existing access points and we believe the new retail offerings will provide enormous benefit to the community. We will reevaluate the additional glass entryway pavilions in the future." This article appears on HoverPin, a new app that lets you build personalized maps of geo-related online content based on your interests: architecture, food, culture, fitness, and more. Never miss The Architect’s Newspaper’s coverage of your area and discover new, exciting projects wherever you go! See our HoverPin layer here and download the app from the Apple Store.

The High Line announces a new major stage for sculpture on the park’s new section

The Fourth Plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square, a high-profile venue for a changing program of temporary commissioned artworks, has inspired a similar landmark destination in New York: the High Line Plinth. New York’s plinth will be a visible stage for sculpture located on the High Line's new "Spur" section at West 30th and 10th Avenue; the plinth and the Spur are scheduled to open together. High Line Art (which describes itself as "Presented by Friends of the High Line," the non-profit group that funds and maintains the famous rails-to-trails park) has said construction is expected to begin in 2017, with the opening coming sometime in 2018. According to The New York Times, the plinth will likely change shapes and sizes depending upon the artwork showcased. "High Line Art continues to reach a broad, diverse audience—including more than 2.3 million New Yorkers annually—with free, world-class artwork 365 days a year," said Robert Hammond, cofounder and executive director of Friends of the High Line, in a statement. To determine what artworks should inaugurate the plinth, 12 international artists have been shortlisted by Hight Line Art and an international advisory committee. Models of the artists' proposed sculptures will be displayed from February 9 to April 30, 2017, on the High Line at West 14th Street. Of the twelve, two will be the first High Plinth commissions. The first artwork will be installed in 2018, and each piece will be available for viewing for 18 months. The artists include Jonathan Berger, Minerva Cuevas, Jeremy Deller, Sam Durant, Charles Gaines, Lena Henke, Matthew Day Jackson, Simone Leigh, Roman Ondak, Paola Pivi, Haim Steinbach, and Cosima von Bonin. See the gallery above to sample some of their proposals. The Friends of the High Line also reported that the Spur will provide storage space for park operations, maintenance, horticulture, and new public restrooms for the park. "The High Line Plinth will expand the program's impact by creating a one-of-a-kind destination for public art on the Spur, a new section of the park with even more space for public programming and dynamic horticulture,” Hammond said.
This article appears on HoverPin, a new app that lets you build personalized maps of geo-related online content based on your interests: architecture, food, culture, fitness, and more. Never miss The Architect’s Newspaper’s coverage of your area and discover new, exciting projects wherever you go! See our HoverPin layer here and download the app from the Apple Store.

Just when we need it most, a new map charts social justice history in lower Manhattan

To ring in 2017 right, a New York–based preservation advocacy group has created a map that could change the way we see lower Manhattan. The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) this week debuted its Civil Rights & Social Justice Map, an interactive tool that reveals key downtown sites where women, LGBT people, immigrants, Latinos, and African-Americans have fought for equity, dignity, and representation. Covering its home base, Greenwich Village, as well as the East Village and Noho, the map features places and short blurbs about homes of well-known activists, streets, gathering spaces, and houses of worship. The map draws on the success of the recently-declared Sullivan-Thompson Historic District, which the GVSHP advocated for vigorously. Preservationists are the first to say that the district, also referred to as South Village, is architecturally rich, but its cultural history is just as important. In its designation the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) noted that the rowhouses and tenements illuminate the Italian-American immigrant experience in New York, among other group. The new map, below, pins 100 locations and counting: In addition to famous sites like the National Register–listed Stonewall Inn, the map depicts some of the city's first African-American churches, anarchist Emma Goldman's house, and the Charas-El Bohio Community Center, which served Puerto Rican residents and which neighbors are trying to revive once again. GVSHP intends to update the map "regularly"—if an important site is not listed, readers can email info@gvshp.org with information and sources for consideration.

Discover what your Manhattan block looked like in 1609

Welcome to New York City, 1609. Building upon a decade of research by the Wildlife Conservation Society for the Mannahatta Project and Eric Sanderson's book, Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City is Welikia: an online mapping database that lets visitors view what Manhattan was like more than 400 years ago. But the Welikia Project aims to go further than the book and original study to map the ecology of the other four boroughs. Welikia gets its name from the Native American Lenape tribe where the word (pronounced “way-LEE-kee-uh”) means "my good home." As stated on their website, Welikia aims to provide "the basis for all the people of New York to appreciate, conserve and re-invigorate the natural heritage of their city not matter which borough they live in." The interactive map allows users to locate a block in Manhattan and check out what was (or wasn't) going on in 1609 before Europeans arrived. For example, at Times Square—43rd Street and 44th between Broadway and 7th Avenue—one can find out how likely it was a mountain lion once roamed the area. In this scenario sadly, the probability of this is very small (but there's still a chance) while the odds of a savage meadow vole are much higher. Aside from mammals, the chances of seeing birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and plants are also detailed. Like the meadow vole, hawks were reasonably commonplace too it seems—more so than pigeons. How times have changed. Or perhaps they haven't. From Welikia's map, we can see that Mannahatta was a place thriving with biodiversity. Now, Manhattan is now a place celebrated for its diversity in a cultural sense. As Welikia points out, Mannahatta had more than 55 different ecological communities, giving Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks a run for their money. Welikia though isn't satisfied with just focusing on Mannahatta. Their project aims to measure the modern biodiversity of New York City. Looking back 400 years ago, they hope to look at the ecologies that have prevailed, what has been lost and what can be improved. This information, Welikia says, can be used for educational purposes too. The "Manhattana Curriculum" has been created for schoolteachers, park rangers, and environmental educators. Welikia also encourages people to contribute to the database. This can be done by visiting the online map and becoming a “Landscape Ecology Insider," and gaining access to "unique resources about the current and historical ecology of your borough."

Snøhetta’s Times Square revamp is finally complete

Last week, in that languid time between Christmas and New Years', the City of New York celebrated the completion of a major public works project—not the Second Avenue subway, but an above-ground reconstruction of one of the world's busiest intersections. Almost eight years ago, the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) unveiled plans to dramatically transform Manhattan's Times Square. The $55 million vision, conceived by New York–based Snøhetta, replaced car-clogged streets with pedestrian plazas on Broadway in Times Square between West 42nd and West 47th streets. The project, which spans 85,000 square feet of former roadway, broke ground in 2013. Officials praised the improvements at a December 28 ceremony. “Being able to carve out two acres of new space for pedestrians in one of the world’s most popular plazas is a remarkable gift to the tens of millions of people who visit the ‘Crossroads of the World’ each year,” said Department of Design and Construction (DDC) commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora, in a statement. “Times Square is now equipped with more resilient sewer systems, wider sidewalks, ample seating, and an emphasis on pedestrian safety that will serve generations to come.” Changes to the "bowtie" were first spearheaded by former DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. Now tourists and New Yorkers (if there are any who go willingly) can enjoy new benches, chairs, and tables dotting the five plazas, wider sidewalks, as well as a raised bike lane along 7th Avenue. "With the changes unveiled today, Times Square is now a safer and more welcoming place for the millions of residents, commuters and tourists who visit and pass through it every day," Mayor Bill de Blasio emphasized. "I am so proud that our agencies could come together and finish their incredible work before the new year, ending the disruption that invariably comes with big and complex construction projects.”

A life in the shadows: Take a look at some of Manhattan’s darkest and brightest streets

A comprehensive shadow study of Manhattan has been done by the New York Times. The analysis plots average shadows over the course of the year from every building in Manhattan shedding light (or rather shade) on New York's gloomiest and brightest streets. By hovering over areas of the map, one can find out how much a certain street spends its time in the shadows. This data is presented as a percentage of daylight hours and is split in three to account for different times of year: Summer, Winter, and Spring/Fall. The amount of time a particular area is shadowed is written as a unit of time. For example, the intersection of Broadway and Murray Street spends on average: Four hours and 35 minutes in shadow during the Summer (38 percent); two hours and 34 minutes in shadow during Fall/Spring (29 percent) and two hours and 47 minutes in shadow during the Winter (46 percent). This information changes pretty drastically at the slightest movement of your cursor due to the nature of shadowing. However, the most consistently shadowy areas on the Manhattan grid is the Financial District (FiDi). Much of its narrow streets were designed by the early Dutch settlers of "New Amsterdam," and thanks to the hefty clump of skyscrapers now in the vicinity, they seldom see natural light. One location in particular that this author spotted was Exchange Place. In this dark corner of FiDi, sunlight only gets through three percent of the time in Summer, while the narrow street lies in shadow for the whole of Spring, Fall, and Winter. How cheery. Today, as some may know, is the winter solstice. After rising in the southeast at 5:44 a.m. this morning, the sun will set in the southwest at the depressingly early time of 4:22 p.m. this afternoon. During the Summer months, this will change. Days will be longer, the sun will rise and set farther north, and most of Manhattan's shadows will be shorter. This is due to New York's longitude: by being closer to the North Pole, the city has access to more daylight during the Summer and less in the winter—hence the dramatic shadow interplay.

“One of the beauties of Manhattan, particularly in spring or fall, is that the grid is about 30 degrees off true North,” said New York–based architect and shadow consultant Michael Kwartler in the New York Times. “That means the intersections tend to be very bright because the sun is going diagonally across them at lunchtime.” Speaking of these intersections, Kwartler added that they “tend to be brighter than the streets in between, so it creates this really fabulous rhythm in Midtown of light-dark, light-dark.”

The study in detail can be found here. Those interested in learning about how density, FAR, and vertical development enables—or blocks—sunlight can explore this map from the Municipal Art Society.

At long last, City Council approves St. John’s Terminal–Pier 40 development

Yesterday the New York City Council approved a massive Manhattan air right transfer that allows the controversial St. John's Terminal–Pier 40 development to move forward.

The development of St. John's Terminal, which occupies a three-block area along the West Side Highway across from Hudson River Park, is made possible by the transfer of air rights from the park's stewards to the developers, Westbrook Partners and the Atlas Capital Group. The firms will pay the Hudson River Park Trust $100 million for 200,000 square feet of air rights; in return, they can build five buildings to replace the aging terminal. The exchange allows the Trust, which is self-funding, to repair the pier, which hosts a parking garage, much-needed playing fields, and offices. City Councilmember Corey Johnson, whose district includes the project area, has been negotiating the quid-pro-quo for three years. Despite weaker allowances for affordable housing, many elected officials, preservationists, and residents say they already see its benefits. Part of the deal included a bid to designate the Sullivan-Thompson Historic District (also called the South Village Historic District), a 40-block zone in Soho bounded by five other lower Manhattan historic districts. The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) approved the district two days before the City Council's vote. At that public hearing prior to the LPC's vote, preservationists and South Village citizens testified to the “spirit of the neighborhood”: “safe and clean,” “neighbors know each other,” and its “wonderful lifestyle and cityscape.” Besides protecting the social and cultural history of the neighborhood, the designation of the 160-building area will prevent outsize construction within its mostly low-rise boundaries. Preservation advocacy group the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) spearheaded the decade-plus campaign to landmark a downtown area that includes over 1,250 structures. The two-million-square-foot St. John's project includes 500 units (30 percent of the total) of housing that will be offered to qualifying households at a range of below-market rates, but the rates are not as low they should be under current law. Typically, projects like St. John's Terminal that benefit from upzonings must comply with the city's Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program, which says at least 30 percent of a development's units must go to households making 80 percent of the area median income. This time, though, Johnson, Borough President Gale Brewer, and the community board okayed the upzoning because of the millions going to park upgrades. On Thursday, two council members voted no on the plan, with one abstention, to protest its lowered affordability requirements. Despite the size and ambition of the approved development, the community bargained for provisions that try to keep its character. The deal includes a restriction on future air rights transfers from Hudson River Park within Community Board 2, as well as a ban on big box (most stores over 10,000 square feet) and destination retail to prevent an odious amount of traffic.

Renderings revealed for OLIN’s Manhattan Pier 26

Last night landscape architects from OLIN debuted their designs for Manhattan's Pier 26. The plans brim with programming but are intended, for the most part, to provide space for quiet relaxation.

At a presentation last night to Manhattan Community Board 1 (CB 1), the Philadelphia-based firm and its client, the Hudson River Park Trust, debuted their conceptual pier plans before an eager audience. Extending almost 800 feet from shore, renderings depict a Pier 26 shaped by an angular, elevated walkway that draws visitors above the waterline to take in views up and down the shore, sit quietly among native scrub, or galavant on an abstracted play-forest—a special habitat for New York children.

Based on meetings last year with Tribeca and lower Manhattan neighbors, OLIN teased out a need for open recreational space and native habitat but combined those wants with an even stronger desire for contemplative, relaxing outdoor spaces, into what the firm hopes will be an “iconic destination,” explained partner Lucinda Sanders. “We really tried to think of a place for you, not for tourists.” The pier, which sits south of Canal Street between Hubert and North Moore streets, juts almost 800 feet into the Hudson, a canvas of possibility on a blank concrete slab.

The plans hope to fill gaps in the offerings on other west side piers. In addition to standard-issue ballfields around the pier’s midsection, OLIN proposed a netscape—a pliable mesh surface that sags and bounces as people get on but brings everyone as close as possible—or legally feasible—to the water’s edge. Farther out, stadium-style seating could double as outdoor classrooms, while closer to shore, a large lawn could hold movie nights for 750-plus people. Migrating birds would have an exclusive, biped-free resting spot at the pier’s tip, while recreational boats could dock alongside the structure.

 “There’s a whole hell of a lot of programming—but it’s fantastic,” said CB 1 member Bruce Ehrmann, echoing the room’s appreciative oohs and aaahs.

Wind turbines could power the pier’s estuarium (to be designed by New York’s Rafael Viñoly Architects) or other functions, but there was unexpectedly strong pushback from the assembled on the turbine’s potential noise and bird-killing capabilities. The board also worried about the cellphone-gobbling potential of the mesh nets. Sanders noted the firm is looking at ways to mitigate the loss of phones and keys, perhaps with a sub-net.

All told, the Trust estimates Pier 26 will cost $30.7 million. All of the funds are secured. There’s no plan for the foreseeable to transfer air rights to facilitate nearby development, a la Pier 40, so the area’s spaciousness will be preserved.

NYU reveals design for major mixed-use student and faculty complex

New York University released renderings yesterday of the new Davis Brody Bond and KieranTimberlake–designed 23-story building (dubbed 181 Mercer) on the corner of Houston and Mercer streets, where the Cole Sports Center once stood. Bordering I.M. Pei’s University Village, the tessellated glass building will be 735,000 square feet and includes plans for 58 new classrooms, 50 practice rooms, 20 music instruction rooms, a 350-seat proscenium theater, 10 multi-use rooms for the performing arts, an orchestral ensemble room (the university’s first), and housing for approximately 420 freshmen students and at least 30 faculty. This will make it NYU’s largest classroom building. Additionally, it will include common areas, such as an athletic facility with a lap pool, basketball courts, and other fitness areas that collectively will serve as the new hub of the NYU sports facilities. Both firms have worked on collegiate campuses such as Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Cornell as well as many others, and wanted this building to be a visual departure from the Cole Sports Center, which was described as opaque and monolithic. The architects opted to only use 80 percent of the permitted square footage to create a sense of permeability and keep the structure open to the public. Greene Street will be extended as a pedestrian walkway between the building and the University Village to create an open feel on campus. Fostering a sense of lightness and transparency was key to the design, which incorporates green roofs, glass panels, outdoor terraces, and common areas and pushes circulation spaces to the perimeter. The project has been in the works since plans were filed and approved by City Council in 2012. Construction is set to begin February 2017 and will be completed in 2021. The projected cost is $1.b million.