Developer Fortis Property Group has put up a new website for its redevelopment of the contentious Long Island College Hospital (LICH) campus in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, revealing a new suite of renderings for the luxury neighborhood-in-a-neighborhood. After Fortis declined to wage a zoning battle in 2016 and decided to build out their as-of-right scheme on the LICH campus, the developers renamed the sprawling site River Par. The contentious project is being split into several parcels among different designers, with five new market-rate residential buildings across River Park, and a renovation and conversion of the landmarked Polhemus Building and nearby townhouses into luxury housing. With the phase one renovation of the 1897 Beaux Arts Polhemus Building already underway, more details about the five planned towers are slowly coming to light. Information and images of the Romines Architecture PLLC-designed, split-volume 5 River Park were released in January, and now renderings of 1 and 2 River park have been made public. 1 River Park, designed by FXCollaborative, will feature an undulating series of facades across a glassy curtainwall. While the design was supposedly inspired by the interplay of light and waves on the nearby East River, it also bears certain biomorphic qualities. The balconies, some of which will be up to 300 square feet, will directly face the East River. The 15-story tower will hold 48 units ranging in size from studios to three bedrooms. 2 River Park will be River Park’s tallest project at 475 feet tall. Designed by Hill West Architects, the tower will also feature a split-volume massing; one section will be clad in curved glass (to preserve views of the river) and rise to a tapered point, while the rectangular lower section will have vertical stone louvers running up its sides. The masonry section at the building’s base reference a mast, with the billowing glass half on top referencing a sail blowing in the wind. While the exact number of units for 2 River Park hasn’t been made public yet, Fortis is promising “half-an-acre of sky gardens” for residents. Fortis has released a new master plan rendering as well, which shows how the new towers will slot into the existing neighborhood, as well as the Polhemus Building and Polhemus townhouses. The eight townhouses have also received updated renderings, and BKSK Architects is handling the renovated of the Polhemus tower, whileRomines Architecture is responsible for the townhouses. Construction on River Park is expected to wrap up in 2020.
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After a tumultuous history of protests, arrests and community pushback, the redevelopment of the Long Island College Hospital (LICH) campus in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, into a luxury community is moving full steam ahead. Now named River Park, renderings for the development’s final tower, 5 River Park, have been revealed via New York YIMBY. Romines Architecture PLLC is designing the 91,000-square-foot tower. Split into two volumes, the 15-story tower will hold 30 condo units atop a lot-spanning ground floor lobby and parking area. As originally reported in 2016, owner Fortis Property Group had opted to build out the former LICH site as-of-right, forgoing a rezoning that would have required the company to build affordable housing in exchange for denser development. Now, as shown in the project’s master plan, Fortis has moved ahead with plans to build five new market-rate residential buildings throughout River Park, and retrofit the landmarked Polhemus Building and nearby townhouses into luxury housing. As part of the first phase, which is ongoing, the Polhemus Building, an 1897 Beaux Arts “hospital skyscraper” and part of the hospital there until its closing in 2008, is undergoing an exterior renovation and interior redesign by BKSK Architects and will eventually hold 17 condo units. The second phase is the most contentious part of the redevelopment, as the five planned towers will bring hundreds of high-priced units to the neighborhood. A different architecture firm has designed each, as Fortis wants River Park to be seen as a “new neighborhood” rather than a cluster of residences. Information on 3 and 4 River Park has yet to be released. FXCollaborative (formerly FXFowle) is designing the 15-story 1 River Park at 350 Hicks St., which will hold 48 apartments ranging from studios to penthouses. While no renderings have been released yet, the building will have an outdoor pool, gardens, and something called an “amenity pavilion.” Hill West Architects will be designing the tallest of the River Park towers, as 2 River Park, or 339 Hicks St., will top out at 440 feet tall. While the exact number of apartments included in the complex hasn’t been made public yet, a rooftop garden will be available for residents that will offer sweeping views across the East River into Manhattan. The design fully plays up the site’s proximity to the river, as Fortis notes it “is composed of a strong masonry tower acting as the 'mast,' supporting the 'sail,' a west-facing glass screen that curves like the headsail on a yacht.” Fortis has described the design of 5 River Park as contextual, stating that it uses “a palette of traditional materials common to Cobble Hill, including brick, limestone and elaborate metalwork.” The shorter half of the building will also be clad in traditional brick in contrast to the more modern, dark-grey concrete of the taller half behind it. Construction on 5 River Park is ongoing. It remains to be seen where a healthcare facility run by the NYU Langone Medical Center will be relocated to; the continuing operation of the center, with its freestanding emergency room, must be included by Fortis as part of a settlement reached with the city. Construction in the area is expected to finish in 2020.
It makes sense that one of New York City's exceptional botanical gardens would develop what would become one of the city's first green buildings. What is extraordinary is that the Queens Botanical Garden (QBG) began its new Visitor and Administration Building in 2000 – the year LEED certification was launched – and achieved LEED Platinum for a building that ambitiously demonstrates what designed harmony between buildings and nature can be. Patrice Kleinberg, garden educator for the QBG, and Joan Krevlin, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, partner at BKSK Architects, led today’s tour, providing perspectives on both the garden’s unique public engagement challenges and the design solutions. At the earliest stages of the project, the QBG engaged the community to find out what would serve them; across all sectors, they heard “water.” What subsequently evolved was a series of water systems that were both experiential and functional – the building houses not only administrative operations and diverse public programming, but also collects, conserves, cleans, and recycles water. Three different sustainable roofs serve different purposes. The main structure hosts a solar-powered roof, which generates enough power for about 20% of the building’s operations. The roof of the auditorium is planted with local species, cooling the building. The forecourt’s soaring roof canopy, which provides a shady transition space between the gardens and the interior, doubles as a rainwater collection unit. The water collected by the canopy is stored in a subterranean 26,000-gallon cistern that is pumped up into the Fountain of Life, which leads to a leafy stream and eventually into a moving body of water that is terraced between the buildings and culminates in a moat-like pond. The Visitor and Administration Building also sustains a grey water system, wherein water from sinks, toilets, dishwashers, and showers moves through a sandy, planted biotope, from which it can be repurposed. These innovations have inspired and expanded the QBG’s educational offerings, engendering green cleaning job training, and leading to the development of new K-12 curricula. Importantly, the project's bioswales have greatly decreased storm run-off in the area’s sewage systems. Tomorrow, we’ll head over to the World Trade Center Transportation Hub.
After years of delays, BKSK is set to revive this half-built luxury tower in New York's artsy Noho district
With some financial maneuvering, the long-delayed construction site at 22 Bond Street in NoHo will finally see some action. For years, a 14-story super structure has been lurking at the coveted corner as a blatant reminder of a hotel project that went south. Now, with some refinancing, BKSK Architects will adapt the existing skeleton into an 11-story, block-through condo building. The Commercial Observer reported "developers Second Development Services and Richport Group have refinanced their $28 million acquisition and construction loan on 22 Bond Street from Starwood Capital Group with new debt from Glacier Global Partners." So this means that the $52 million project is now moving forward—but there is still no completion date just yet. "Taking advantage of the site’s expansive exposure on Lafayette Street, the building will become a literal canvas for art with a giant, site-specific mural," BKSK wrote on its website. "Additionally, the deep site is bracketed by two facades of weathered steel on the north and south ends, framing an 'art garden' within, visible to passersby through a large vitrine near the entrance on Bond Street. This building-as-art concept continues the neighborhood’s legacy as an incubator for art, where beginning in the 1970s, some the city’s most prominent contemporary artists emerged." This will be BKSK's second major project on the architecturally potent Bond Street. The backside of 22 Bond faces the firm's 25 Bond, a stately condo building clad in stone, bronze, and glass. And right across Lafayette Avenue from 22 Bond are two nearly-completed buildings from other big name design firms: Selldorf Architects and Morris Adjmi. The Selldorf-designed 10 Bond Street is clad in sculpted terracotta panels, while Adjmi's 372 Lafayette has an aluminum skin. Check out the photos and renderings of 22 Broad street below to see the building's sorry state today, and where it's headed soon. [h/t YIMBY]