Posts tagged with "Perkins Eastman":

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Designers halt work on Staten Island wheel

Update 7/18/17: This article originally misstated the name of the retail complex under construction on Staten Island. It is Empire Outlets, not Empire Stores. Update 7/19/17: This article originally named S9 as design architect and Perkins Eastman as architect-of-record for the New York Wheel. The two firms are associated architects on the project. It looks like plans for a giant Ferris wheel on Staten Island have ground to a halt. Court papers reveal the designers, Mammoet-Starneth, left the job in May after a pay dispute with the developer. Now, plans for the New York Wheel are on hold. The 630-foot-tall structure—slated to be the largest wheel in the Western Hemisphere—is in easy walking distance of the St. George Ferry terminal on Staten Island's north shore. The project, part of a $1.6 billion waterfront revitalization plan intended to lure tourists to the borough, is adjacent to the Staten Island Yankees (minor league baseball) stadium as well as Empire Outlets, a SHoP-designed retail complex that will be New York City's first outlet mall when it opens in 2018. New York firms Perkins Eastman and S9 Architecture are officially credited as associated architects on the project. The Ferris wheel was supposed to open this year, but court papers reveal a number of compromising problems for the $600 million project, the New York Post reports. The developer, New York Wheel, alleges the designers, who are based in the Netherlands, missed many deadlines and have breached their $165 million contract. The two sides agreed to a 30-day mediation period that began June 12, though a construction livestream on the S9's webpage shows no activity at the job site. Opening day, the Post says, has been moved to spring 2018. The complaint, filed in federal court in Manhattan, details a number of issues with the project on both sides. Costs have doubled from an initial estimate of $300 million, and all this money didn't stop city inspectors from noting poor welding on the wheel's main legs, a major defect that has pushed back the approvals timeline. The base pad that the Ferris wheel sits on is faulty, too, while the wheel and the pad are attached incorrectly. The developers say Starneth, the same firm behind the London Eye, didn't use a manufacturer for the wheel's legs from the Department of Building's approved list, leading to a delay in approvals. In turn, the designers claim New York Wheel provided a bad pad for their wheel.
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Architects aren’t happy with plans to remodel this Manhattan park

Despite new developments reshaping the city from ground to sky, the Statue of Liberty endures as one of New York's most iconic sights. Without getting on a boat, one of the best places to see Lady Liberty is Wagner Park, a small green slice of Battery Park City on the lower edge of Manhattan. Two decades ago Boston-based Machado Silvetti, in collaboration with landscape architects at OLIN, unveiled the park, an open space that ushers people towards the water’s edge with sweeping views of New York Harbor and that famous freedom statue. Now, in response to the specter of Hurricane Sandy and the threat of rising seas, the agency that oversees the area is planning a total park overhaul. The Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) is set to replace the existing landscape that architects and residents love with a park it says will align better with new resiliency measures that are reshaping the Manhattan waterfront. Though Wagner Park comprises just ten percent of Battery Park City's green space, its design punches above its weight. According to Machado Silvetti, the park has three defining features, all in service of stellar water views. The main building—really two pavilions whose rooftops are joined by a wooden bridge—is reached by facing allées that funnel pedestrians from Battery Park and Battery Place. From there, the view beckons park-goers onto a grassy expanse, framed by benches and stone paths. At its opening in 1996, architecture critic Paul Goldberger declared Wagner Park's three-and-a-half acres "one of the finest public spaces New York has seen in at least a generation." That was written in a pre-Sandy time, when climate change was a glimmer only in scientists’ eyes. Now, the BPCA, the state agency in charge of Battery Park City, says Wagner Park needs a totally new design to protect itself, as well as inland areas. Though it didn't flood during Sandy, hurricane-related inundation along nearby West Street and the area's "excessive vulnerabilities" made the agency consider a storm barrier to align with the city's Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency (LMCR) Project, said Gwen Dawson, vice president of real property at BPCA. Right now, LMCR protections terminate right before Wagner Park’s southern boundary and the city’s Battery Park City resiliency initiatives end at the park's north side, near the Museum of Jewish Heritage. At the water's edge, preliminary plans call for extending an existing esplanade to connect with nearby Pier A. To flood-proof inland areas, a deployable barrier set between thick columns would roughly contour the existing building's footprint and the southern allée, while a larger lawn and ornamental gardens would replace the current configuration of wood benches and stonework. BPCA has commissioned Stan Eckstut of New York’s Perkins Eastman, the same architect behind the original Battery Park City master plan, to design the new building and park (in collaboration with W Architecture and Landscape Architecture). Besides the landscape's vulnerability, Machado Silvetti’s building, BPCA says, is too deteriorated and set too deep into the 100-year floodplain to withstand future Sandys. At 12 feet, the structure's first-floor elevation is four-and-a-half feet shy of new minimum first-floor flood zone elevations. Perkins Eastman's design would keep the same footprint as the old building, but, at 42 feet tall, it would more than double the amount of retail space and add room for maintenance operations. The restrooms, which are bigger than those in Bryant Park, would be halved in size to deter tour buses from stopping at the park. Not everyone, though, thinks the BPCA’s approach—or design vision—fits the site. "Design is an important component of resiliency work,” landscape architect Laura Starr said. “The design community is able to translate engineering concepts in a way that’s legible—and attractive—to lay people, so everyone can understand all the options. We all need to be on the same page.” Starr—whose firm worked on the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project, a major initiative to build resiliency along the Manhattan side of the East River—contends that solutions to flooding should focus on Pier A’s plaza, where in 2012 seawater inundated main roads, the World Trade Center site, and the ballfields along West Street. She questioned whether the deployable barriers, which even at rest are very visible and do not go up automatically, would be the best solution. Instead, she believes built-in-place barriers that double as promenades, parks, bikeways, green space, and (in some cases) elevated roads are more effective from a holistic resiliency standpoint than deployable barriers that rely on an operations team to be effective and don’t contribute to the urban design.

Starr serves on Manhattan Community Board 1 (CB1), which met earlier this month to discuss the proposal, the latest in a series of public meetings that commenced in April 2016. (According to a BPCA spokesperson, her firm, Starr Whitehouse bid unsuccessfully on the Wagner Park redesign.)*

CB1, for its part, wants more information. Although it affirmed its pledge to work with BPCA on the plans, CB 1’s Battery Park City Committee believed the expansive character of Wagner Park should be preserved. It expressed concern over the expanded commercial space, especially given the abundant retail options on Pier A. Its resolution states that "it has not been made clear to members of the Committee why the existing structure, which was built in 1994, must be replaced by a new building or why the new building is necessary." The original architect, too, is less than thrilled with the proposal. “The design premise is an insult to the Statue of Liberty,” said Rodolfo Machado, founding principal of Machado Silvetti. “This project seems totally non-site-specific; the symbolic content of the park is completely lost. It’s very banal.” He had not heard about the BPCA proposal until AN reached out for comment last week. Perkins Eastman principal Stan Eckstut maintained that Machado Silvetti’s design is sound, but added that the pavilion was not constructed for the restaurant that today occupies its ground floor. Water, though, has seeped through the bricks and built up inside the walls, causing deterioration. There’s also not enough space for maintenance operations, so the BPCA wants to add 1,800 square feet of space for maintenance, bringing the total to 4,300 square feet. The project's budget has yet to be finalized, but it's estimated it will cost tens of millions of dollars. The next step, BPCA officials said, is engineering and design, which includes the development of an RFP for a more detailed program that is set to come out within the next 90 days. Though this plan affects only a sliver of New York’s 520 miles of coastline, the rebuild-and-replace approach raises larger questions about the future of climate change design in New York City. At Machado’s suggestion, AN reached out to architects for comment on the proposed changes to Wagner Park and the future of resilient landscapes in New York. We’ll update readers as more comments come online. Nader Tehrani, founding principal of NADAAA and dean of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at The Cooper Union:
[It’s] unfortunate that there is a move to demolish these pavilions and replace them with structures that do not acknowledge the colossal scale at which pavilions would need to operate in relation to the NYC skyline, nor acknowledge the critical urbanistic connections to the Statue of Liberty…or the other more nuanced connections within Battery Park City. It might be that these pavilions, like many other structures and landscapes on the edge of Manhattan, would need to be revisited in terms of resilience, and their ability to absorb the cyclical fluctuations of a piece of infrastructure. But to deny them of the critical urbanistic function they offer is to deny NYC some of its paradigmatic qualities. At the end, rising tides will become a consistent challenge in the coming years. If at every turn, the alibi of impending doom is adopted as the basis for the demolition of critical values that make up the discipline of urbanism, then we will end up with a series of barriers (both physical and cultural) that deny us of engaging the very reasons we build urban cultures.
Toshiko Mori, founding principal, Toshiko Mori Architect:
I think the park has become a type of fixture in our downtown life. The design is a bit idiosyncratic but it is very well-detailed and there is something very endearing about the structure which takes into account multiple scales of elements occurring on the site from high rises downtown to the view of the harbor to the experience of park at human scale. In particular, the front esplanade is an excellent design, it makes for a beautiful transition from the building to the lawn. Its gentle arc and steps and stone details help negotiate this important edge in a very graceful manner. Isn't it possible to leave it as is and let it flood like they do in Venice? Or take care of flooding issue in a less obtrusive manner?
Zack McKown, founding principal of Tsao & McKown:
I would like to know more, especially regarding alternative ways of dealing with sea level rise that could preserve the Wagner Park structure by Machado Silvetti. Their design enhances an urban place that offers uniquely strong visual connections to the Statue of Liberty. They employed a powerful and erudite architectural vocabulary that elevates one's appreciation for an appropriately monumental civic celebration and at the same time delightfully challenges one to ponder its mysterious formal origins.
The project that is being proposed has no comparable ennobling or engaging qualities that I can see from these drawings.
*Starr Whitehouse is currently working with Perkins Eastman on another project and the partners worked with the BPCA at a previous firm
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New downtown Brooklyn office tower will straddle the Macy’s on Fulton Street

This week Tishman Speyer unveiled plans for a 10-story office building—nay, a "creative hub"—above the Macy's on Fulton Street in downtown Brooklyn. When it opens mid-2019, the tower will hold offices with 16-foot ceilings, plus an acre of outdoor space spread out over terraces and a roof deck. The structure will be built atop two others: Macy's four-story home, a department store from the 1870s, and a nine-story art deco building from 1930. For Tishman Speyer’s first-ever project in Brooklyn, we are creating an environment that is every bit as innovative, energetic and dynamic as the borough itself,” said the company's president and CEO Rob Speyer, in a statementThe Wheeler will celebrate its special location at the epicenter of Brooklyn and feed off the vitality of the iconic brownstone neighborhoods, open spaces, cultural venues and creative communities that surround it on all sides.”

The founder of Los Angeles–based Shimoda Design Group, Joey Shimoda, is collaborating with New York's Perkins Eastman to design the project, which will add 620,000 square feet 0f Class-A office space to the neighborhood. In a nod to Brooklyn history, the developers are calling is project The Wheeler after Arthur Wheeler, the guy who built the Macy's that grounds the new building.

The department store will continue to own the first four floors for use as retail, plus the lower level of the two connected buildings. Meanwhile, The Wheeler will have its main entrance on Livingston Street between Hoyt Street and Gallatin Place.

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Perkins Eastman designs 159-unit affordable senior housing complex in the Bronx

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is planning to build a Perkins Eastman–designed senior housing complex, "Mill Brook Terrace" in Mott Haven, South Bronx. The scheme is part of NextGen NYCHA, a long-term strategy that involves two other affordable housing projects, both in Brooklyn. Mill Brook Terrace will be built upon a car park on 570 East 137th Street and will rise to nine stories, housing 159 units. Dwellings will be for senior citizens who earn half or less than the Area Median Income ($36,250 for a family of two, as picked up by New York YIMBY). Standard apartments are set to be 760 square feet in size; 120,900 square feet will be allocated to residential units in the upper levels. As clarified by Richard Rosen, principal in charge of all senior housing projects for the architects' New York office, amenities will be located on the ground floor. Here, a 9,000-square-foot senior center will house a commercial kitchen and offer space for senior programming that includes "social service classrooms" for personal care as well as providing hair and bathing services. A neighborhood community area will also feature as will an outdoor garden and a shared second-floor terrace. The project emerged at the start of 2016 when it appeared a mixed-income development was on the cards. Fast forward to today, and despite facing almost nearly $80 million in federal budget cuts, plans have morphed into an affordable senior living scheme. As part of the housing lottery, current NYCHA residents will be afforded preference on 25 percent of the units available. Mill Brook Terrace is scheduled for completion in summer 2019. As for the other two housing projects: Ingersoll Houses in Fort Greene, Brooklyn and Van Dyke Houses, in Brownsville, also Brooklyn are also in the works. Land is being leased for 60 years by the NYCHA for all three projects, which means all will be affordable during that tenure.  
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Shipping container “Globe Theater” proposed for Detroit

Angus Vail, a rock music business manager from New Zealand, wants to build a Shakespearean Globe Theater in Detroit. But rather than a heavy timber and plaster structure, like the 16th century version, he wants to build it out of shipping containers. Working with New York-based Perkins Eastman, Vail has conceived of a theater in the round that could host everything from Shakespeare to punk rock, both of his passions. Near the same dimensions as the original, the Container Globe would be constructed primarily out of 20-foot shipping containers. These containers would be cut to provided box seating, while additional 40-foot containers would make up the thrust stage. Walkways and stairwells would surround the seating, also like the original layout. The entire structure would then be wrapped in a flexible steel mesh. Vail has experience in working with containers, including a performance and arts pop-up in Jersey City. His career in the music industry has also given him insight into another possibly of the Container Globe: It could be mobile. Like many large stage shows, the Container Globe would be able to be broken down, packed up, and shipped to its next engagement. Vail says the main advantage of this is that it can be brought into under-served neighborhoods, where access to the performing art may be lacking. Initial renderings show the Container Globe in front of Detroit’s vacant Michigan Central Station. While Vail has named a handful of possible locations for the project, Detroit seems to be at the top of the list. And through the plan is to make the theater mobile, it has not been ruled out that it would be a permanent structure, with multiples of it built around the world. Currently, the team working to bring the Container Globe together is planning a crowdfunding campaign for early this year. A gallery exhibition is also in the works and set to open on February 2nd at ORA Gallery in New York, a gallery dedicated to New Zealand art and design.
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BREAKING: Designs for new Port Authority bus terminal revealed

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has announced five finalists teams in its competition to design a new bus terminal in New York City. The finalists are: Arcadis of New York, Archilier Architecture ConsortiumHudson Terminal Center CollaborativePelli Clarke Pelli Architects, and Perkins Eastman. The Port Authority Bus Terminal International Design + Deliverability Competition solicits conceptual plans for a bus terminal on Manhattan's west side that would replace the 65-year-old dreaded pit of doom that commuters must traverse to get out of and into the city from New Jersey and elsewhere. The competition is part of a master plan that rethinks both the terminal and its surroundings. The redesigned terminal will accommodate an expected increase in passenger flows. Today, the terminal accommodates 7,000 buses and 220,000 passenger trips each weekday. In 25 years, the Port Authority estimates that ridership is expected to increase 35 to 51 percent 2040. The agency's Trans-Hudson Commuting Capacity Study, as well as input from riders, neighbors, and area community groups, will guide concept designs.
In Phase one of the competition, the agency sought out "design-led" teams with expertise in engineering and architecture, transportation planning, financing, and land use. The current phase, Phase two, culled the best submissions from phase one for a round of refinement towards a deliverable conceptual design and method for bringing the concept to action. Each finalist submitted detailed multimedia presentations to introduce their concepts. Arcadis of New York's entry, below, positions the terminal over Dyer Avenue, and shows a sleek, light-filled atrium edged with green. The team includes ARCADISSam Schwartz Transportation Consultants, Benthem Crouwel Architects, and CallisonRTKL, among others. https://youtu.be/7jz5LEOTZUo Archilier Architecture Consortium proposes a four-million-square-foot terminal topped with a 9.8-acre rooftop park and rounded out by a 33,000-square-foot plaza on Eighth Avenue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIT6rx6rNnE Hudson Terminal Center Collaborative is comprised of STV AECOM, SOM, McMillen Jacobs (MMJ), Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers (MRCE), CBRE, CIBC, James Lima Planning + Development, and Duke Geological Laboratory. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9eFIOsz-XA Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects' team includes BuroHappold and WXY among its 16 collaborators. The design features a curving skylight and green-roofed building that connects with Hudson Yards to the west and Times Square to the east. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zF2k6D_w-IQ Perkins Eastman's entry, created in collaboration with ARUP and Mikyoung Kim Design, among others, puts the bus terminal on the lowest floor of the Javitz Center to get the buses off the local street network. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DVLqhHNU8o The winning team will receive a one million dollar honorarium. Read more about entry guidelines and submissions criteria here.
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Perkins Eastman adds to the University of Chicago Astrophysics Lab

The University of Chicago has begun work on a two-story addition to its Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research (LASR). Designed by the Chicago office of Perkins Eastman, the addition will update and expand the original 1964 SOM-designed modernist single story building.

The main goal of the new addition will be to bring the building up to current standards of physics research, and to house both the Theoretical and Experimental research groups in one building. The LASR will also house the University of Chicago’s acclaimed Department of Physics, including the Enrico Fermi Institute and the Kadanoff Center for Theoretical Physics. When finished, the 63,500-square-foot building will include day-lit offices and collaboration spaces, and two large gathering spaces. One of these spaces will cantilever over the existing building's footprint in order to accommodate larger groups. Expansive picture windows in the gathering spaces allow for views across the architecturally rich campus. A bright double-height commons and roof terrace will also provide spaces for less formal gatherings. Laboratories that are light-sensitive will be located below grade, and to the interior of the building. With a goal of LEED Silver, the building’s facade is calibrated to reduce the need for artificial light, while avoiding excessive solar heat gain. Heating and cooling will be handled by overhead chilled beams instead of forced air. Perkins Eastman joins a handful of architects currently working for the university including Studio Gang, Johnston Marklee, and HOK. The University of Chicago campus is a veritable theme park of architecture with projects by Frank Lloyd Wright, Henry Ives Cobb, Eero Saarinen, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Walter Netsch, Ricardo Legorreta, Rafael Viñoly, César Pelli, Helmut Jahn, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects, and Holabird, Root and Burgee.
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Perkins Eastman reveals renderings for Turkish Consulate building across from the UN

Today Perkins Eastman revealed new renderings for the Turkevi Center, a 32-story mission, consulate, and residential building for the Republic of Turkey to be built on Manhattan's East Side. The 200,000-square-foot building occupies a prominent spot across the street from the United Nations, at First Avenue and East 46th Street. The Center is intended to contrast with its boxy neighbors: a curvy facade takes its cues from the Turkish crescent, and loggias across the upper floors of the south and east faces are layered on a podium shrouded in perforated metal paneling. On the roof, there will be a public terrace with panoramic views of the East River and downtown. The program contains standard consulate functions like a passport and visa office; conference rooms; and lounges, as well as culturally specific spaces, like a prayer room for devout diplomats. Perkins Eastman principals Jonathan M. Stark, Michael K. Lew AIA, design principal Gilles Le Gorrec, and senior associate Tadeusz (T) Rajwer are spearheading the project. Plans for a new consulate have been in the works since 2012. When AN reported on the Center in November 2015, there was some controversy over who was designing the project, and, although public records named Perkins Eastman as the architect of record, the firm declined to elaborate on the design and construction timeline. It's now confirmed that construction is set to begin this year, pending the demolition of the Turkish House building that currently occupies the site. Perkins Eastman expects the tower to be complete by 2018.
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In a race to the top, Perkins Eastman breaks ground on New Jersey’s tallest building

One of Jersey City's selling points is better views of the Manhattan skyline than from Manhattan itself. From the New York shores, its plain to see that Jersey City has amassed an impressive collection of skyscrapers, too. Last week, Perkins Eastman, developer China Overseas America, and city officials officially broke ground on 99 Hudson, a 79 story condominium tower that is set to be New Jersey's tallest building. One block from the Hudson River and sited on what's now a parking lot, the 800-unit building will rise 900 feet from sea level, according to a statement from Perkins Eastman. That's 119 feet taller than the Goldman Sachs building, now the state's tallest building, three blocks away. Renderings depict a complex that occupies the full block. An eight story base with a roof garden sits to the west of the main tower, which has multiple stepped exposures to maximize water views. The development will add 7,500 square feet of public plazas and green space, as well as create ground-floor retail along three sides of its block. The project is the first large-scale condo development in more than five years, though Jersey City has seen its skyline rise dramatically over the past decade. Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop's tenure is marked by aggressive pursuit of development, including towers like these and possibly this, plus an ambitious affordable housing proposal. Jersey City, consequently, is poised to become the state's largest as early as this year.
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Meet The Green Line: How Perkins Eastman would remake Broadway through Manhattan into a 40-block linear park

By now, the "Bilbao Effect" is metonymy for a culture-led revitalization of a postindustrial city driven by a single institution housed in a starchitect-designed complex. The wild success of Manhattan's High Line generates regional seismic effects—the Lowline, the QueensWay, and the Lowline: Bronx Edition all cite the high queen of linear parks as their inspiration. Upping the ante, Perkins Eastman unfurls the Green Line, a plan to convert one of New York's busiest streets into a park. The Green Line would overtake Broadway for 40 blocks, from Columbus Circle to Union Square, connecting Columbus Circle, Times Square, Herald Square, Madison Square, and Union Square with pedestrian and cyclists' paths. Except for emergency vehicles, automobiles would be banned from the Green Line. The proposal has precedent in Bloomberg-era "rightsizing" of Broadway. Traffic calming measures closed Times Square to cars, increased the number of pedestrian-only spaces, and installed bike lanes along Broadway, reducing vehicular traffic overall. In conversation with Dezeen, Perkins Eastman principal Jonathan Cohn noted that "green public space is at a premium in the city, and proximity to it is perhaps the best single indicator of value in real estate. [The] Green Line proposes a new green recreational space that is totally integrated with the form of the city." Value, moreover, isn't linked exclusively to price per square foot. Replacing two miles of asphalt with bioswales and permeable paving could help regulate stormwater flow for the city's overburdened stormwater management infrastructure. Right now, rain falling to the west of Broadway discharges, untreated, into the Hudson, while east of Broadway, stormwater gushes straight into the Hudson. What do you think: is the Green Line on Broadway feasible, or totally fantastical?    
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Exclusive Video> Inside the Empire Stores mid-transformation in Dumbo

As Dumbo has become one of New York City’s most desirable and upscale neighborhoods, the hulking Empire Stores complex has been a persistent reminder of the neighborhood's industrial past—before the boutiques, multimillion-dollar apartments, and Brooklyn Bridge Park. The complex—a series of seven buildings—dates back to the 19th century and was originally used to store dry goods, primarily coffee. For decades, it has been positioned in Dumbo like an impenetrable fortress—a barrier between the cobblestone streets and the landscaped waterfront. But that's about to change. https://youtu.be/Bzhb1WBUNps In 2013, after many failed attempts to revive the Empire Stores, Midtown Equities (with Rockwood Capital and HK Organization) was selected by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, to transform the warehouses into a mixed-use facility. (To fund the park’s upkeep, development sites along the park are being leased to developers.) Plans for the transformation were originally drawn up by STUDIO V which proposed exposing much of the buildings’ original details, creating a rooftop addition, and cutting an open-air courtyard through the complex. In Spring 2014, S9 Architecture, a Perkins Eastman affiliate, was brought onto the project as well. While the architectural plans have changed throughout the process, the signature moves like the central courtyard and rooftop addition (with some tweaks) have been preserved. "I'm especially excited how closely the soon to be finished building remains true to our design from the original competition to the final details:  the dramatic vertical slice of the courtyard with its bridges and suspended stairs, sharp profiles of glass and steel at the courtyard and addition, to the explosion of space and views of the rooftop park overlooking the Manhattan skyline," said Jay Valgora, founder and principal of STUDIO V, in an email to AN. The restored Empire Stores will  include restaurants, offices, retail, a food hall, event spaces, and a rooftop beer garden. The full complex is scheduled to be completed in the spring. As construction continues at the Empire Stores, The Architect’s Newspaper got a look inside the site with Navid Maqami, a design principal at S9.
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These four Urban Design projects made the cut for the 2015 AIA Institute Honor Awards

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has announced the 2015 recipients of its Institute Honor Awards, which it describes as “the profession’s highest recognition of works that exemplify excellence in architecture, interior architecture and urban design.” This year’s 23 recipients were selected from out of about 500 submissions and will be honored at the AIA’s upcoming National Convention and Design Exposition in Atlanta. Here are the winners in the urban design category. Beijing Tianqiao (Sky Bridge) Performing Arts District Master Plan; Beijing, China Skidmore, Owings & Merrill According to the AIA:
Old Tianqiao was once a bustling hub of cultural activities and folk arts traditions ranging from storytelling, variety shows, acrobatics, and operas. The project intends to reestablish the cultural heart of the capital with a collection of modern and traditional performance venues that respect the city’s sensitive, World Heritage context. An integrated design process across many disciplines laid out a series of environmental goals, including reintroducing the historic farm fabric, developing a storm water filtration system, reducing waste by using existing materials, and reducing automobile dependence and carbon footprint by creating walkable neighborhoods around three new subway stations.
The BIG U; New York City Bjarke Ingels Group According to the AIA:
The BIG U is a 10-mile protective ribbon around lower Manhattan that addresses vulnerabilities exposed by Superstorm Sandy (2012). The BIG U consists of three components: BIG Bench, Battery Berm, and Bridging Berm. BIG Bench is a continuous protective element adapted to the local context that mediates new and existing infrastructure. The Battery Berm weaves an elevated path through the park, enhancing the public realm while protecting the Financial District and critical transportation infrastructure. This signature building features a “reverse aquarium” that enables visitors to observe tidal variations and sea level rise. The Bridging Berm rises 14 feet by the highways, connecting the coast and communities with greenways.
Government Center Garage Redevelopment; Boston CBT Architects According to the AIA:
The redevelopment of the Government Center Garage project is an example of undoing the ills of the 1960's urban renewal in Boston that critically separated six thriving neighborhoods. The plan unlocks neighborhood connections, reopens urban vistas, and creates engaging public spaces by strategically removing a portion of the garage while preserving the remaining structure through creative phasing to provide for a sustainable and economically feasible redevelopment. The project introduces 3 million square-feet of housing dominant mixed-use program to downtown, creating a dynamic 24-hour neighborhood as a model for sustainable, transit-oriented development. The project also sets up a new position for urban design in Boston by shaping the urban form to respond to acute desire lines of a pre-grid city and promoting slender building typologies.
Target Field Station; Minneapolis EE&K a Perkins Eastman company According to the AIA:
Target Field Station, which opened in May 2014, is a distinct transit station located in the heart of Minneapolis’ revitalized North Loop neighborhood. By combining sustainable design, open public space, and private development, all linked seamlessly with varying modes of transit, Target Field Station sets the bar for how modern cities leverage transit design to create iconic cultural centers.