Posts tagged with "Marvel Architects":

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Here's how architects are supplying Puerto Rico with solar energy

In the wake of the profound damage wrought by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, New York-based architects Jonathan Marvel and Walter Meyer are coordinating relief efforts through a Brooklyn nonprofit, the Coastal Marine Resource Center (CMRC), which has initiated a project called Resilient Puerto Rico to supply solar microgrids to municipalities across the island. Walter Meyer, principal at Brooklyn-based Local Office Landscape Architecture, is organizing a large shipment of solar panels, generators, and power inverters to the storm-ravaged island. Meyer himself has family in Puerto Rico, and is looking for longer-term solutions to replace the island's historically faulty energy grid. Immediate recovery efforts, however, are focused on those in particularly dire straits, like seniors and those in need of medical attention, many of whom lack the proper care or medication due to the near-total outage. Supplies are being held at informal community centers in public spaces all over the island. Some of these improvised centers will receive funding from Jonathan Marvel, founding principal of New York firm Marvel Architects. Marvel, who is in San Juan to coordinate recovery efforts, donated $50,000 towards relief centers that provide cell phone chargers, food, and water. When The Architect's Newspaper (AN) spoke with Marvel over the phone, he was in middle of wiring these funds to a Florida-based supplier of solar panels and generators called Sun Electronics. These solar supplies will be sent to 16 community centers across Puerto Rico with existing leadership structures, each serving tens of thousands of nearby residents. Marvel got information about these centers from his mother, Lucilla Fuller Marvel, a career AICP urban planner in San Juan who has worked on resilience planning her entire life. The panels and generators supplied by Sun Electronics will be then shipped down to San Juan, where Marvel and a team of architects from the firms's Puerto Rico office will put together assembly kits before sending them out to the 16 community centers. The island has 78 municipalities in total, and CMRC's eventual goal is to provide every one of them with a solar microgrid. "We're in many ways a perfect candidate for having a grassroots-based, municipality-scale, solar-powered energy grid," Marvel said. His team's longer term goal is to focus on scaling these renewable energy sources to provide more permanent sources of electricity to communities that aren't generated by petroleum plants hundreds of miles away. Marvel and Meyer are also working with Cristina Roig Morris, assistant vice president and senior legal council at AT&T, to fundraise for the project's larger mission, which may receive help from the Rockefeller Foundation. While the coordinated relief effort is ambitious, Marvel has another idea for architecture students currently on the island. Modeled after post-Katrina efforts to relocate students from the Tulane School of Architecture to other design schools where they could continue studies while their school was closed, Marvel would like to create opportunities for architecture students in Puerto Rico to do the same. The idea is in an early stage, and he is brainstorming ways for the three architecture schools in San Juan (serving about 75 to 125 students total) to partner with host schools in the mainland United States to continue their education. Never one to be excluded, Elon Musk has also extended an offer to aid in the propagation of solar energy solutions to the island, tweeting his interest at Puerto Rico's governor Ricardo Rossello this week.

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For those who'd like to pitch in for Puerto Rico's recovery, below are some recommendations of groups, both in Puerto Rico and on the mainland, to check out. This list is based on recommendations from Ruth Santiago and Luis G. Martinez in our original article on the post-Maria energy crisis. On the island, there are a number of groups doing on-the-ground recovery work, including: Unidos por Puerto Rico (United for Puerto Rico), led by the First Lady of Puerto Rico, one of the largest initiatives garnering funds for recovery. ConPRmetidos (Committed), a nonprofit completing impact and needs assessments and seeking to provide power and structural repairs to the communities most in need. Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico (Community Foundation of Puerto Rico), based in San Juan, a philanthropic foundation awarding grants for, among other things, housing and economic development in local communities. Comité Diálogo Ambiental (Environmental Dialogue Committee), the Salinas-based group that Santiago works for, housed under an umbrella organization bringing together community groups, fishers associations, and others, called IDEBAJO–Iniciativa de Ecodesarrollo de Bahia de Jobos (Jobos Bay Ecodevelopment Initiative). Stateside, here are a few diaspora groups participating in recovery work: El Puente | Enlace Latino de Acción Climática (Latino Climate Action Network), based out of Brooklyn, has been holding fundraisers to raise awareness and support for Maria recovery efforts. Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños (Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College, CUNY) have been pooling community voices, news, and fundraising opportunities since the storm. AN knows this list is not comprehensive, and we encourage readers to leave additional resources in the comments section.
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Brooklyn landlord to Oberlin grads: we don't want you here

This may be one of the only buildings in Brooklyn turning hipsters away. A Brooklyn-based construction company with deep roots in a now-trendy neighborhood is planning to erect an office building with manufacturing space. On paper, it's a hipster honeypot, but in practice, the family-owned business wants little to do with the liberal arts grads, especially those from the Midwest, who flood the borough after each graduation cycle. Owners of Adams European Contracting want working-class Brooklynites to sign leases, not just "Oberlin students who have just moved to Brooklyn like an hour ago," according to the project's lawyer. Brooklyn's Marvel Architects is designing the nine-story building, at 79 Bogart Street in East Williamsburg, with commercial and manufacturing space. The owners are seeking a zoning variance for the building so they can add a video game room, wine bar, and showers, amenities to appeal to artists, ad agency employees, and "drone designers"—again, this building is not just for Midwest liberal arts transplants... "We're competing for talent," the lawyer, Ken Fisher, told DNAinfo. "We think that the density will create a community in the building and will give it a sense of destination." His client plans to move their offices to the new building once it's finished.
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Here's where art on the facade of the Brooklyn Heights library will go

Last week the Department of Buildings (DOB) approved demolition permits for the Brooklyn Heights branch library, clearing the way for a 36-story tower but raising questions about the ultimate fate of the art on the library's facade. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported that exterior demolition at 280 Cadman Plaza West will begin in late March, and take about three months to complete. The new tower, designed by New York's Marvel Architects, will add 133 condos, retail space, and a STEM lab for young people in the neighborhood. An almost 27,000-square-foot library will occupy the development's mezzanine, part of the ground floor, and a below-grade level. Though it's smaller than the low-rise building it's replacing, the city maintains that the new branch will contain more usable space. Moreover, the sale of the city-owned property to developer Hudson Companies for $52 million is set to generate $40 million in capital repair funding for the BPL. Although site work has begun, the library sale and delayed transfer of ownership have remained a point of contention for activist groups like Citizens Defending Libraries, which maintains that no work should begin until the deal between the two parties is signed. So, with plans filed and permits in, there's just one more question—what's happening to the art on the library facade? The Architect's Newspaper previously reported that New York City's Public Design Commission (PDC) had to weigh in on the two bas–relifs by Clemente Spampinato before they could be removed. Keri Butler, deputy director of the PDC, shared the latest on the art's final home in an email:
The Public Design Commission has reviewed the methods and materials for removing the artworks from the facade of the library and temporarily storing them, and has found these methods to be appropriate with the understanding that a proposal for relocating the artworks within the new development at 280 Cadman Plaza West will be submitted by September 2017.
Displaying Spampinato's work in the new library underscores its civic function while preserving the art more-or-less in situ for public enjoyment. There's no word yet, though, on where in the new building the reliefs will be hung when it opens in spring of 2020.
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Building of the Day: St. Ann’s Warehouse

This is the thirteenth in a series of guests posts that feature Archtober Building of the Day tours! We’re at the halfway point of Archtober and today’s Building of the Day tour brought us to Brooklyn to tour Marvel Architects’ AIANY Design Award-winning St. Ann’s Warehouse. We met our tour guides, Lissa So, AIA and Zachary Griffin, RA, in the Max Family Garden adjacent to St. Ann’s Warehouse where they gave the group some historical context for the building. The original structure was built in 1886 and consisted of five stories. In the 1940s, the building was lowered to two stories and was later abandoned. The Silman Group was brought in in 2000 to strengthen the existing brick walls, but the structure stood as a shell until Marvel started construction in 2013. So and Griffin told us how their primary design goals were to respect the existing historic brick walls while giving St. Ann’s a wide open floor plan for their activities. Upon entering the lobby, you immediately notice how the walls are primarily unfinished plywood. This was entirely intentional as Marvel wanted to use as little paint as possible in order to play the new walls off the old brick walls. It gives it an old, industrial look which works well in the space. Inside, the designers wanted the lobby and main floor space to feel continuous, so there are no doors separating the main lobby area from the performance area. This really allows patrons to grasp the scale of the building. Perhaps the most noticeable feature of St. Ann’s is the glass brick wall atop the historic brick walls. The existing walls are 24 feet tall and Marvel needed an additional seven feet to accommodate new mechanical areas. So and Griffin decided to use glass bricks after trying out almost every other material since that gave them the best acoustics in the space while also nicely complimenting while not explicitly imitating the existing brick. Being directly under the Brooklyn Bridge meant that acoustics were an extremely challenging feature to deal with. The glass brick also allows ample natural light into the space, a nice change from other theaters. The main staging space is very flexible by design. Seating can be added or removed as needed and the floor is Masonite which allows St. Ann’s to paint and replace them. Working with Charcoalblue, Marvel built a very intricate catwalk in the newly added space above where they hid the electrical, lighting, and HVAC systems. Marvel began construction shortly after Sandy, so there was a concerted effort to put mechanical systems up above in case of another catastrophic weather event. One of the more interesting parts of the building is the bathroom adjacent to the lobby. Marvel originally wanted a unisex bathroom in the space, but the Department of Buildings would not allow that to happen. As a compromise, Marvel built a common area with sinks and mirrors. The unique lighting fixtures from David Weeks Studio and infinity mirrors go a long way in making the bathrooms a quirky, fun part of St. Ann’s. We’re taking off the next two days to allow everyone to enjoy the amazing selection of buildings offered by Open House New York Weekend. We’ll be back Monday for our visit to Pivot! About the author: Jacob Fredi is the Public Programs and Exhibitions Coordinator at the Center for Architecture. When he’s not on Building of the Day tours, you can find him playing board games (Settlers of Catan!) and brewing his own beer.
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Marvel Architects' Brooklyn Heights Library tower gets green light from New York City Planning Commission

Development at 280 Cadman Plaza West was given the go-ahead at today's New York City Planning Commission meeting. Excluding two commissioners who recused themselves, the commission voted unanimously to approve plans for a 36-story tower designed by Marvel Architects. The mixed-use development will replace the Brooklyn Public Library's Business and Career Library, which opened in 1962. The development will house 136 luxury rental units, ground floor retail, and a new, 21,500-square-foot library. Commissioner Carl Weisbrod noted that the developers, Hudson Companies, would build additional retail on nearby Fulton Street, as well as develop 114 units of affordable housing off-site, along Fulton Street and Atlantic Avenue. The hearing was packed to capacity with members of Citizens Defending Libraries (CDL), a grassroots organization devoted to protecting the city's libraries from being sold to private developers. After the commission's vote, the group reacted in anger and dismay, calling members of the commission "sell outs" and noting that the commission "disregarded all that [we] said" about selling off city property. In a statement, a spokesperson for the Brooklyn Public Library said: "We applaud the City Planning Commission for joining Community Board 2, Brooklyn Heights community organizations, and Brooklynites who care about the future of their libraries in supporting BPL’s plan for a new Brooklyn Heights branch. As the Commission recognized, this project is a win-win for Brooklyn. In addition to bringing a new state-of-the art library to Brooklyn Heights at no cost to BPL, it will also help to alleviate the system's capital crisis by generating more than $40 million that will be invested in libraries throughout the borough. We look forward to continuing this dialogue throughout the public review process." The library is in the midst of a budget shortfall, and the proceeds from the sale will go towards approximately $300 million in deferred maintenance across all BPL branches. CDL claims that the city bestowed a below-market deal on the developers. Michael D.D. White, cofounder of CDL, notes that the property is valued at $120 million. The commission's approval may be the final green light for the development, but judging by the intensity of the activists' disapproval, developers may encounter fierce opposition from CDL in the near future.
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Marvel at the time-lapse renderings of Nolita's 34 Prince Street

Those feeling nostalgic for the New York of yesterday can feast on time lapse renderings by Brooklyn-based MARCH for Marvel Architects' 34 Prince Street. The New York firm is converting the former convent, orphanage, and school into luxury residences. Newly released renderings depict the 1825 Federal-style building as it was in 1900, 1940, 1980, and 2016 (the project's expected completion date). The structure, part of the Old St. Patrick's Cathedral's holdings, will be converted into eight condos and a townhouse, with a starting price of $7.74 million. A second, glass brick townhouse will be constructed on the site, as well. The church will move to a 6,100 square foot ground floor space. They may not contain fireworks or butterflies, but the historically accurate details (check out the telegraph wires, above) and the range of color tones make it look like they were shot on film.
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With slight alterations, controversial Brooklyn Bridge Park development to start back up

In our recent story about the current development surge happening in and around Dumbo, we touched on the controversy surrounding the Pierhouse—an under-construction hotel and condo complex next to the Brooklyn Bridge. The Marvel Architects–designed building, which will help cover Brooklyn Bridge Park's maintenance costs, has riled up local residents who say it is blocking their views of the iconic bridge. The Pierhouse was expected to top out at 100 feet, but was pushed about 30 feet higher due to a bulkhead. The Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation (BBPC) maintains that the building's design is exactly what was presented to the community in 2013. But facing growing criticism, the BBPC went ahead and asked the site's developer to double-check that the building fully complied with the Brooklyn Heights Scenic View District. So at the end of January, the Department of Buildings filed a stop work order at the site so everything could be evaluated. Now, a few weeks later, work is expected to pick back up at the Pierhouse, but with a few concessions in regards to height. A spokesperson for the project told the website New York YIMBY that two parapet walls will be removed and the building will be lowered by 1.5 feet.
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Brooklyn Bridge Park unveils 14 tower designs amid community debate

All the top names in New York City architecture are vying for a piece of Brooklyn Bridge Park, but whether any of their designs will be realized still remains to be seen. As community groups try to block Mayor de Blasio’s controversial plans to bring affordable housing to Michael Van Valkenburgh's celebrated park, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation has unveiled 14 design proposals for two coveted development sites on Pier 6. Those proposals were unveiled just hours before a Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation meeting that was packed with community members voicing their strong opposition to any new development in the park. The RFP that the corporation issued in May called for two towers—one 315 feet and the other 155—that are 30 percent affordable. This plan has been met with plenty of opposition, and even a lawsuit, from local groups who claim the towers will block views, eat up green space, and not provide appropriate funding for the park. Under a Bloomberg-era deal, revenue from private development at the park is intended to cover its upkeep and maintenance costs. At the meeting, local residents asked the corporation to reevaluate that plan and pursue other forms of funding. Most were adamantly opposed to new residential towers at the 85-acre park. "This is about developer's greed," shouted one woman during the meeting who was quickly met with applause. There were two individuals with signs that read "Parks for All / Not Condo$ for a Few" and even kids stationed right in front of the corporation's members with homemade signs that read "Save Our Park" and "We Love Our Park." Ultimately, the corporation voted 10-3 not to revisit the funding plan. It will, however, complete a new environmental review of the site. As the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, if the lawsuit can be resolved, a decision on the site should be made by the end of the year and construction could start about year after that. The proposals for the pier, which were barely mentioned at the meeting, came from architects including Morris AdjmiPelli Clarke Pelli,Bjarke IngelsDavis Brody Bond, and Selldorf Architects, among others. You can check out all 14 proposals in the slideshow below, which reveal a wide variety of tower aesthetics rendered with most of the standbys we've come to expect in modern visualizations—hot air balloons, regular balloons, and plenty of birds. Surprisingly, not a single kayak.    
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New York City's Bike Infrastructure Growing and Improving

New York City’s bike infrastructure is expanding into new territory with new greenways connecting the city in a web of safer transportation options. And as it does, the Department of Transportation is working to significantly improve the bike lanes that already exist. In recent weeks, significant progress has been made on the Brooklyn Greenway—a planned 14-mile stretch of protected bike lanes along the borough's waterfront. Volunteers have been busy prepping an empty lot in the Columbia Waterfront District to become one of the Greenway’s many landscaped parks. This two-acre lot is designed by Rogers Marvel Architects.   A little farther north in Williamsburg, the blog Greenpointers spotted new markings along Kent Avenue to connect one of the Greenway’s missing links. An existing on-street bike lane will be moved to create a two-lane, buffered bike path with more insulation from moving trucks and cars. And over in North Manhattan, the NYCDOT recently proposed two-miles of bike lanes for Washington Heights and Inwood. Farther south on the island, existing bike lanes in Tribeca and the East Village are being converted into protected lanes. So what will all these bike lanes mean for New York? Are drivers doomed to sit in increased traffic? Simple answer, no. As Fivethirtyeight recently explained, "bike lanes, if they’re planned for the right streets, can be created without greatly increasing vehicular congestion."
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SCAPE, Rogers Marvel to Design Water Works Park in Minneapolis

The Minneapolis Parks Foundation and the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board have announced that two New York-based firms, SCAPE / Landscape Architecture and Rogers Marvel Architects, will collaborate to design Water Works Park, part of the city’s ongoing RiverFirst project. Slated for completion in early 2014, Water Works Park will be incorporated into the existing Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park above St. Anthony Falls, the only true waterfall along the Mississippi River and an important part of Minneapolis' history. The park already draws 1.6 million visitors each year, a number that officials expect to increase with the addition of the year-round, multi-use park. As part of the initial stage of the RiverFirst plan, Water Works Park will feature a series of walking and biking trails that will allow visitors access to the Mississippi as well as the adjacent neighborhoods. The plan is part of a 20-year vision to develop a 5.5-mile stretch of riverfront property in Minneapolis with an emphasis on urban ecology and mobility. SCAPE and Rogers Marvel beat out 26 other bids from the U.S. and Europe to win the project in a unanimous decision. In a press release, the selection committee highlighted the two firms' collective knowledge of the site, particularly its historical, cultural, and natural significance. SCAPE and Rogers Marvel will work alongside local planning and design teams, a factor that committee members considered when making their decision. “In our interview, it became clear that the principals of the SCAPE team work uncommonly well together, and can build a rapport with diverse partners and audiences,” they stated in the release. Schematic design for the project is scheduled to begin in August, and will include additional input from James Lima Planning + Design and SRF Consulting.
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Preparing for Future Storm Surges Delays Rogers Marvel's Brooklyn Bridge Park Pierhouse

While Hurricane Sandy hasn’t slowed development in some parts of Brooklyn, it has delayed the groundbreaking of the Roger Marvel Architects-designed hotel and residential complex at Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park called the Pierhouse. The New York Post reported that the project was originally slated to begin construction this month, but Toll Brothers, the developer, said they will hold off until the redesign of the 159-apartment and 200-room hotel complex is updated with measures meant to protect against future storm surges. Changes include elevating the building three feet, adding steps and ramps to the lobby, and placing the mechanical systems on the roof. This development is paying for a considerable portion—about $3.3 million—of the park’s $16 million annual maintenance budget. Nearby, plans for a velodrome proposed for the park were scrapped in part due to potential flooding of the site.  
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Apartments to Rise at Brooklyn Bridge Park Site in the Shadow of the Manhattan Bridge

For those in the market for prime waterfront real estate, there is something brewing in DUMBO. Today Brooklyn Bridge Park issued a Request for Proposal for a development on a vacant parcel in the north section of the park right next to the Manhattan Bridge.  This site, located in what will be called the “John Street Section,” is approximately 9,600 square feet and will accommodate up to 130 residential units (with a maximum height of 130 feet) in addition to over 100 parking spaces and retail on the ground floor level.
“The addition of the residential development at the John Street site represents a critical element of our park maintenance plan,” said Regina Myer, President of Brooklyn Bridge Park, in a press release. “This development will not only benefit the DUMBO community, it will further activate the northern end of the park.” This development will join the sprawling Toll Brother’s project, The Pierhouse at Brooklyn Bridge Park, a 200-room luxury hotel combined with 159-residential units designed by Rogers Marvel Architects. We'll see what kinds of proposals surface this March when the deadline for the RFP is due.