Long delayed, Herzog & de Meuron's 830-foot-tall stacked tower planned for Tribeca in Manhattan is set to resume construction imminently after a three-year hiatus, reports the Tribeca Tribune. The 57-story residential building at the corner of Leonard and Church streets has been nicknamed the "Jenga Building" for its distinctive massing that varies on each floor. The tower is expected to be complete in the spring of 2016.
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Last night, Peruvian artist Grimanesa Amorós presented her newest lighting sculpture at the Frank Gehry-designed flagship of Issey Miyake in Tribeca. Entitled Uros, the piece is one in a series inspired by the Uros Islands, a group of floating islets made by the pre-Incan Uros tribe using the tortora reeds native to Lake Titicaca. Amorós uses light-diffusing material illuminated from within with LEDs programmed in a custom lighting sequence to evoke the shape of sea foam and reeds adrift on Peruvian water. The sculpture, measuring 15 feet long and 26 inches high, will be on display through January 14. If you can't make it to the store, watch installation of the piece and the artist's discussion of her work here:
Last week, we took a trip around the block from the AN office to go to an open house at 55 Warren hosted by Legrand, the French systems management company. While we were impressed with all the gizmos and glitzy gadgets, it was OCV Architect's clever renovation of the old cast-iron building that grabbed our attention. That's not to say that Legrand didn't impress. Vantage, a subsidiary of Legrand, came in after the walls were painted and moldings affixed before fitting setting up the control network for everything from the shades to security by using radio and wifi. No plaster was destroyed in the effort. An iPhone app allows owners to adjust their Tribeca lighting while in the Hamptons. The glitz factor came with a presentation of Legrand's latest acquisition, Bticino, the Italian fixture company. Their Swarovski-encrusted light switches are tempered by more tame choices of wenge, granite and marble. But back to the architecture... OCV received the necessary Landmark approvals to scoop out the center of this historic structure to create a courtyard light well. Often, these old industrial buildings are quite dark at the center of the floorplate. While losing 2,050 square feet might make the any developer cringe, OCV replaced square footage by plopping it back on top in the form of a $14 million penthouse that's set back far enough from the facade to appease Landmarks.
New York vs. Paris. It seems that the Big Apple and The City of Lights are forever battling over design, architecture, fashion, and film. A Parisian graphic designer decided to take matters into his own hands, creating a website to display his witty color-block graphics that juxtapose these iconic cities. Topics are eclectic, ranging from landmarks (the Empire Sate vs. the Eiffel Tower), to architecture (5th Avenue Apple Store vs. Musée du Louvre), to food (cupcakes vs. macarons), to even car parking styles (parking lot towers vs. double parked). More at the NY Times T Magazine. Oil from plastic. Energy company Vadxx has invented reactors that can transform plastic scraps that can’t be recycled into crude oil with the lowest sulfur content in the world, says Good Magazine. The first reactors are slated for a recycling plant in Akron, Ohio. However, this begs this question: will the amount of crude oil created offset the amount of energy needed for the conversion process? Basket lights. A New Zealand designer, David Trubridge, has infused his lighting with the spiritual--looking to a Maori creation myth for design inspiration, writes Contemporist. The Maori believed gods gave humans three baskets of knowledge. Trubiridge designed three corresponding teardrop ceiling “baskets”: the bamboo light represents knowledge of the natural world, the polycarbonate light symbolizes knowledge of the spiritual world, and the aluminum basket signifies knowledge of the rational world.
A fanciful parametric design for an addition to a single family house in Tribeca made its way before the Landmarks Preservation Commission today and walked away with a stunning unanimous approval. Jeremy Edmiston of SYSTEMarchitects designed the new facade and addition to an existing three-story single-family house at 187 Franklin Street. According to its web site, the firm studies contemporary culture with "a focus on spaces that are multi-layered, overlapping, and intertwining — systems consisting of varying constituencies, economies and environments — systems both concrete and intangible." From the looks of these boards presented to the panel, this project is right on the mark. Currently a nondescript three-story building sitting in the Tribeca West Historic District, the addition adds two new floors and a new facade above the first floor. Preservation consultant Bill Higgins of Higgins Quasebarth related the dynamically morphing facade to the classic details of nearby art-deco buildings and the porous metal balconies to the ubiquitous New York fire-escape. While the comparisons may seem far-fetched to some, the Preservation Landmarks Commission approved the project 9 to 0.
On Monday, September 15, 2008, Herzog & de Mueron's 56 Leonard Street was unveiled. That same day, Lehman Brothers collapsed. As you can guess, this Jenga-like tower never got off the ground—if anything, the Tribeca luxury tower was the exclamation point capping off the real estate bubble in the city. And yet now is your lucky opportunity to buy into the project: Curbed tipped us off to an eBay sale of one of 300 limited edition models of the project—#37 to be exact. Taking the Jenga theme to an extreme, the model actually comes apart, so its 145 pieces (one for each floor/residence) provide "a means of exploring the tower’s radically innovative design." The model even has a replica Anish Kapoor sculpture at its base, just as the tower was supposed to, a symbol of the excess of the times that's now seen as bad taste. Amazingly, there must still be demand for design even in these rough times, as bidding, which Curbed said started at a penny, is up to $187.50. Is there no end to the madness? UPDATE: Apparently not. No sooner did we hit publish than the auction jumped 8 bids and the price now stands at $228.50. And this is only after the first day. Are we looking at a bubble here?