Posts tagged with "Building of the Day":

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Archtober is almost here! Check out the Building of the Day schedule

It’s nearly the most architectural time of the year! Archtober, New York City’s annual architecture and design month organized by the Center for Architecture, is just around the corner, believe it or not, and the lineup of archi-activities this season is not to be missed. Now in its eighth year, Archtober will celebrate the influence of the design industry through exhibitions, films, lectures, conferences, and the architect-led Building of the Day tours, which grant visitors unique access to the city’s coolest projects The first site this year is One John Street by Alloy, a new 130,000-square-foot residential property on the DUMBO waterfront. Perched next to the Manhattan Bridge, the 12-story building boasts unmatched views. You won’t want to miss your chance to get inside one of these apartments. You can also peruse the freshly-renovated TWA Hotel, or check out the brand new WeWork space inside S9 Architecture’s Dock 72 (the current talk of the town). You can also revel in the engineering feat that is The Shed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Rockwell Group. Sales for all tours begin today. You can purchase tickets via the Archtober website. Here is the complete schedule of sites to see: Oct. 1 One John Street Architect: Alloy Oct. 2 Lenox Hill Health Greenwich Village Original Architect: Albert Ledner; Renovation Architect: Perkins Eastman Oct. 3 Domino Park Architect: James Corner Field Operations Oct. 4 Newtown Creek Water Pollution Control Plant Architect: Polshek Partnership/Ennead Oct. 5 Swiss Institute Architect: Selldorf Architects Oct. 6 TWA Hotel Original Architect: Eero Saarinen; Renovation Architects: Beyer Blinder Belle, Lubrano Ciavarra Architect Oct. 7 BSE Global Architect: TPG Architecture Oct. 8 Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library Architect: Marble Fairbanks Oct. 9 Five Manhattan West Architect: REX Oct. 10 Bronx River Arts Center Architect: Sage and Coombe Architects Oct. 11 277 Fifth Avenue Architect: Rafael Viñoly Architects Oct. 12 The Marcel Breuer Buildings at Bronx Community College Architect: Marcel Breuer Oct. 15 Hayes Theater Architect: Rockwell Group Oct. 16 R & Company Architect: wHY Architecture Oct. 17 Dock 72 Architect: S9 Architecture Oct. 18 Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse Architect: Architecture Research Office (ARO) Oct. 19 Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Shelby White and Leon Levy Water Garden and Water Conservation Project Architect: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc. Oct. 20 100 East 53rd Street Architect: Foster + Partners Oct. 21 Kew Gardens Hills Library Architect: WORKac Oct. 22 Spyscape Museum Architect: Adjaye Associates Oct. 23 Manhattanville Campus Plan: Jerome L. Green Science Center (Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute) and The University Forum Design Architect: Renzo Piano Building Workshop Executive Architect: Davis Brody Bond LLP (Jerome L. Green Science Center) Design Architect: Renzo Piano Building Workshop Executive Architect: Dattner Architects (The Forum) Oct. 24 325 Kent Avenue Architect: SHoP Oct. 25 Sculpture Studio Architect: Andrew Berman Architect Oct. 26 The Shed Architects: Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group Oct. 26 Alice Austen House Original Architect Unknown Oct. 28 Ocean Wonders: Sharks! Architecture, Exhibition Design, Landscape Architecture: Edelman Sultan Knox Wood / Architects (Architect of Record), the Wildlife Conservation Society - Exhibition and Graphic Arts Department, and The Portico Group Oct. 29 African Burial Ground Monument Architects: Rodney Leon / AARRIS Architects Oct. 30 123 Melrose Architect: ODA New York Oct. 31 Hunters Point South Architect: WEISS/MANFREDI View all programming on Archtober.org.
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Archtober Building of the Day: The Noguchi Museum

This story is part of a monthlong series of guests posts by AIA New York that feature Archtober Building of the Day tours. See the full 2017 schedule here. Today, Archtober’s Building of the Day series stopped at the Noguchi Museum in Long Island City, Queens for a tour led by Peter Coombe and Jennifer Sage, principals of Sage and Coombe Architects, who recently completed a far-reaching renovation. Sage and Coombe were joined by George Juergens, facilities manager at The Noguchi Museum and former assistant to Isamu Noguchi. They treated the Archtober group to a fascinating look at the Museum’s transformation from Isamu Noguchi’s small personal project to a fully sustainable and viable enterprise of its own.
Sage and Coombe explained that their central challenge was how to continue Noguchi’s vision while inserting such sorely needed elements as heating and cooling. The building complex consists of a 1920s engraving plant and a small adjacent building Noguchi built with his friend and collaborator, the architect Shoji Sadao, in the 1980s. Noguchi planned the museum to exhibit his work to the public and to continue his legacy after his death. Before the renovation, the museum was a dark, cramped space with no climate control of any kind, which prevented it from being open in the winter and from hosting traveling exhibitions. In the early 2000s, the Museum hired Sage and Coombe to bring the facility up to ADA code. The board then expanded the brief to add climate control and convert the basement into an educational conference space. As Sage and Coombe dug deeper, they discovered that the Museum, which is built on landfill, was supported by untreated wood pilings that were slowly sinking toward the East River. Extensive structural work was clearly necessary. In order to reinforce the complex, Sage and Coombe put in over 900 helical pilings. One element that remains is the unobtrusive side-street entrance, no more than a slender cut in a massive stone wall. Inside is the small lobby, with a window providing a glimpse of the walled garden to the right. Entering the museum from the lobby, the visitor is in the former garage, which is now a roofed exhibition space open on one side to the peaceful garden. The main volume of the museum is to the left, with the temporary collection on the ground floor and rotating exhibitions on the second level. The ground floor, an elegant, concrete-floored industrial space filled with light, was left largely as it was. One exception was the creation of the café and bookshop in a small space off the main gallery. Preserving the room’s steel ceiling panels, which Noguchi loved, was a priority. Since the space had to be gutted, Juergens and his team photographed, numbered, removed and then reinstalled each steel panel. The second floor is the most extensively renovated. Along with installing heating and cooling for comfort throughout, Sage and Coombe completely rebuilt the second floor of the 1980s building to provide a fully climate-controlled space in which the museum could display temporary exhibitions without fear of damaging the artworks. Up a slight ramp, this new space flows seamlessly into the existing gallery. Sage and Coombe also put in an elevator, which allowed the museum to both meet ADA requirements and transport art without using a trapdoor. Our tour ended in the serene garden, a key part of Noguchi’s original vision for the Museum. Sage and Coombe collaborated on the garden with Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects. Sage and Coombe had to “skin” the garden façade of the museum, stripping every brick from it since it was in such poor condition. The garden’s rear wall also had to be rebuilt. It turned out that three kinds of ivy grew on this wall; all of them were documented and replaced. It is this attention to detail that ensures Noguchi’s legacy lives on in a museum that is fully suited to the demands of the contemporary art world. Join us tomorrow as we tour the SeaGlass Carousel!
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AN will bring you a building every day for Archtober 2017

Get ready New York City, the month of Archtober is almost upon us. While October heralds the return of chunky knits and PSLs, New York City's architecture and design community knows that the tenth month of the year is really Archtober, AIA New York's celebration of the built environment. In collaboration with the city's cultural institutions, Archtober (also known as Architecture and Design Month) fosters awareness of architecture's role in everyday life through exhibitions, conferences, films, lectures, and the Building of the Day tours – architect-led visits to the city's best-loved structures and landscapes. The first site this year is the Woolworth Tower Residences, apartments by SLCE Architects in Cass Gilbert's classic neo-Gothic skyscraper. In partnership with AIA New York, The Architect's Newspaper (AN) is pleased to be the one-and-only source for Building of the Day blogs. For all of October, we'll bring you on-the-ground stories and tour highlights, so you can ride on WXY's SeaGlass Carousel, step inside LOT-EK's shipping container Carroll House, or explore Paul Rudolph's Modulightor Building, all without leaving your office. But if you do decide to leave (and you should), tickets for all tours are now available at the Archtober website. Here is the complete schedule:
Oct. 1 The Woolworth Tower Residences Architect: Cass Gilbert (the Woolworth Building's original architect); SLCE Architects (Woolworth Tower Residences architect of record): SLCE Architects; The Office of Thierry W. Despont (interior design) Oct. 2 Empire Stores Architect: S9Architecture Oct. 3 Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm Architect: Bromley Caldari Architects Oct. 4 The Noguchi Museum Architect: Isamu Noguchi and Shoji Sadao (original architects); Sage and Coombe Architects (rneovation architect) Oct. 5 SeaGlass Carousel Architect: WXY architecture + urban design Oct. 6 Modulightor Building Architect: Paul Rudolph Oct. 7 Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning Architect: GLUCK+ Oct. 8 Project Farmhouse Architect: ORE Design Oct. 9 The Residences at PS186 & Boys and Girls Club of Harlem Architect: Dattner Architects Oct. 10 Naval Cemetery Landscape Architect: Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects Oct. 11 Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine Architect: Heins & LaFarge/Cram & Ferguson (1899) Oct. 12 Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House Architect: Cass Gilbert Oct. 13 New Lab, Brooklyn Navy Yard Architect: Marvel Architects Oct. 14 Open House New York Weekend Oct. 15 Open House New York Weekend Oct. 16 iHeartMedia Architect: A+I with Beneville Studios Oct. 17 56 Leonard Street Architect: Herzog & De Meuron Oct. 18 Staten Island Courthouse, St. George Architect: Ennead Architects Oct. 19 Carroll House Architect: LOT-EK Oct. 20 Columbia University – Lenfest Center for the Arts Architect: Renzo Piano Building Workshop (design architect); Davis Brody Bond (executive architect); Body-Lawson Associates (associate architect) Oct. 21 Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) Architect: Maya Lin Studio (Designer); Bialosky + Partners Architects Oct. 22 Freshkills Park Architect: NYC Parks/James Corner Field Operations Oct. 23 The George Washington Bridge Bus Station Architect: STV – Program Architect/Architect of Record/Design Architect for Retail Development; PANYNJ Architectural Unit – Design Architect for Bus Station Oct. 24 Governors Island – The Hills Architect: West 8 Urban Design & Landscape Architecture Oct. 25 Bronx River House Architect: Kiss + Cathcart, Architects Oct. 26 ISSUE Project Room Architect: McKim, Mead & White (original architect); Conversion to ISSUE Project Room: WORKac in collaboration with ARUP (ongoing) Oct. 27 Downtown Brooklyn Cultural District Architect: TEN Arquitectos Oct. 28 Morris Jumel Mansion Architect: Original Architect Unknown Oct. 29 Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center Architect: Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler Oct. 30 Cornell Tech Architect: Handel Architects; Morphosis; WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism Oct. 31 The William Vale Hotel Architect: Albo Liberis
If your number-one-can't-miss tour is sold out, don't despair: There are more than enough events for everyone. Archtober has a new series called Workplace Wednesdays where firms like SHoP, Snøhetta, and others will open up their offices to ticketed members of the public for workshops, presentations, and talks. On October 29, AN Contributing Editor Sam Lubell will give a talk on Never Built New York, the exhibition he co-curated at the Queens Museum.
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Archtober Building of the Day 1> Collaborative Research Center, Rockefeller University

10_1-045_001 (Courtesy Julia Cohen) Archtober Building of the Day #01 Collaborative Research Center, Rockefeller University 1230 York Avenue, Manhattan Mitchell | Giurgola Architects We’re off! Our first Building of the Day in our fifth year is a showplace for understanding the architect as problem solver and the collaborative nature of the profession. The tour was led by Paul Broches, partner at Mitchell | Giurgola, and Jillian Sheedy, senior associate. Carol Loewenson, AIANY 2016 President-elect, joined in as well. Broches told our group of enthusiasts that each of the scientists was individually interviewed to determine the specific requirements for their laboratories. What a challenge to find general solutions to their complex problems—very nicely done—and it received a citation from AIA New York State in 2013. Rockefeller University is an intellectual oasis, home to some 21 Nobel Laureates, in what the AIA Guide to New York calls the “Hospitalia” neighborhood of the far East Side. These scientists work on basic science and translational science, precursors to medicine, according to Zach Veilleux, from the University Office of Public Affairs. The laboratory complex combines a massive renovation of two early 20th century laboratory buildings by Shepley Bulfinch Richardson (the successor firm to H. H. Richardson) and Abbot, one in 1917 and the other in 1930. The historic buildings are handsome brick structures with modest and restrained classical detailing on cornices and brackets. The two buildings were gutted and conjoined by a glass and metal elliptical cone - the bridge. 10_1-071-004 (Courtesy Julia Cohen) The linking building provides space for vertical circulation and a paradigm shift for the scientist occupants. No longer cosseted away in private worlds, they have a swirling centrifuge of space on six levels in which to serendipitously meet, eat, and relax. It works: each level sports unique groupings of casual seating, benches, and café tables most occupied during our lunch-time tour: science rock-stars in a new comfort zone of social interaction. Science for the benefit of humanity wrapped in a wood slat “scroll” that lines the complex elliptical volume. Tomorrow: more science at the New York Hall of Science in Queens
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Archtober Building of the Day Grand Finale

With Archtober fading away with the fall leaves and buckets of Halloween candy, here's one last look at the last three Archtober Buildings of the Day from Halloween weekend! Building of the Day #29: NYC Information Center 810 Seventh Avenue New York, NY Neither snow, nor rain... your intrepid Archtober team made it through the snowy October nor’easter to visit the Official NYC Information Center at the Times Square Alliance, designed by WXY architecture + urban design and Local Projects and run by NYC & Company. Alas, our architect tour guide didn't. In the street level space sneeze guards in the shape of large, suspended three-dimensional lower-case "i”s keep unwanted reflections from obscuring the interactive map tables in the center of the room. Old fashioned brochure racks for paper flyers are on each side wall. One stroke of your iPhone or iPad makes these cumbersome tables with their info pucks look so 2008! (A moment of silence, please, for Steve Jobs.) Still, the organization behind the effort is first rate, and we appreciate all of their help. The NYC Information Center was one of the first stops we made when we were launching our idea of a month-long curated calendar and festival of architecture and design in New York City. Upstairs from the retail area are scores of NYC & Company marketing whizzes and PR geniuses who work hard every day to assist the 50 million tourists who visit each year, and who are so vital to our city's economy. We wanted to do our part, too, to let the world know that design is one of our great exports, and that we are home to 40,000 hard working folks in design and related industries...no other city comes close! So, it’s quite fitting to be rounding the end of our first festival with one of our first stops.   Building of the Day #30: Brooklyn Bridge Park 1 Main Street Brooklyn, NY The snow from Saturday’s October storm did not keep us from enjoying a sunny tour of the Brooklyn Bridge Park for Sunday’s Building of the Day. The closing of “swing valley” was the only sign of the prior day’s storm (note the strange juxtaposition of autumn’s red leaves in the shot of the snowy playground). We walked the one mile span of the park with Ellen Ryan, senior staff member of Brooklyn Bridge Park and Danielle Choi of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, the landscape architecture firm that designed the park. It was not your average walk in the park – starting with Pier 6 and working our way toward Pier 1, we had a sneak preview of the piers that have yet to undergo redevelopment. Wet suits hanging to dry were the sign of the underwater work of highly trained divers who are reinforcing the 1100 piles dating from the 1950s that support a 5 acre pier the size of Bryant Park. Next fall it will open as sports fields. Long walks to reach a game will be offset by the fantastic views of lower Manhattan. Walking from South to North, the selected vegetation for Pier 6 is “wild but calculated,” and by the northern end the park becomes less heavily planted and rugged. Recreation varies from playgrounds to volleyball courts and kayaking in the summer, to even a merry-go-round (enclosed in a glass pavilion designed by Jean Nouvel for year round use). There is no doubt that every effort was made to produce as sustainable a park as possible. Luxurious yellow leaf pine from the former industrial site was transformed into elegant streamlined benches. The tall lighting fixtures, a reference to the former industry, are the first lights in a city park to utilize dimmers. Storm water collected on site is used for irrigation and accounts for 70% of the park’s water needs. A 15 mile greenway that cuts through the park supports sustainable transportation of bikes and pedestrians. The waterfront-lined Brooklyn Bridge Park, even on a cold fall day, is a fantastic public amenity. There is much there to enjoy, and with the strategic vision of the 2005 masterplan in mind, still more coming. Like our weekend visit to the High Line, Brooklyn Bridge Park showed signs of success as a wedding photo backdrop. And it’s worth noting that dogs that stay on the paths are welcome. Building of the Day #31: Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Lawn and Lincoln Ristorante Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts New York, NY Archtober draws to a close today with our last Building of the Day, the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Lawn and Lincoln Ristorante at Lincoln Center. Diller Scofidio + Renfro authored the project in collaboration with FXFOWLE. Our tour today was led by Zoe Small, AIA, LEED AP, of DS+R. An able tour guide, she knew precisely where each duct and sprinkler pipe was tucked in under that tilted, warped platter of slightly soggy grass. The lawn is both high and low. High in concept—a peeling back of the surface of the plinth on which all of the ensemble buildings of the cultural center rest—and low in use…that freak snowstorm has it off limits, yet again. The restaurant interior felt forced. Travertine-colored leather chairs that sat like slabs of stone, travertine inspired carpet in places, Portuguese limestone in others, still more mahogany elsewhere. The large-scale print of the purplish hemicycle banquettes (also pretty stiff in the seat) was re-echoed in a patterned interlayer on glass cheek walls at the lower, formerly a bar, now private dining level. Much ado was made about the cantilevered toilets inset into the mirror wall “floating” off the back walls of the individual bathrooms. Why? I wondered. But that didn’t stop Archtober 11 1/2" Fashion Doll, who made her public debut today. With all due respect to the creators of a similar “I can be” Architect doll, we thought that our gal needed to be a bit tougher to stand up to all of the challenges of such a demanding career. See you next year! Each “Building of the Day” has received a Design Award from the AIA New York Chapter. For the rest of the month—Archtober—we will write here a personal account about the architectural ideas, the urban contexts, programs, clients, technical innovations, and architects that make these buildings noteworthy. Daily posts will track highlights of New York’s new architecture.
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Inside Archtober “Building” of the Day #24: Subway Vent Benches

Even though Hurricane Irene blew through on August 27th without flooding the subways, which were rendered prophylactically still and silent for a day, a pesky summer storm in 2007 dumped so much water onto the M and R lines that they were forced out of service. Governor Spitzer took immediate action to mitigate the problem, and boldly mobilized the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Department of Transportation to do something about it. Solving a range of engineering problems while at the same time providing a streetscape element with some wit and whimsy, Rogers Marvel Architects created banks of raised stainless steel grates that rise up into an undulating wave of slats and hammered speckled side walls. There are three typical grates designed for specific water overflow depths. They can be combined in a left- or right-hand fashion to create the continuous surface over the structural grates below. In case you were wondering, they won’t stop a truck, but happily no Louboutin heels snapped off here! The AIANY Design Awards jury liked it too, giving the project an Honor Award, citing: “This is a really utilitarian solution infused with public art and design innovation.” For the info on the tour of tomorrow’s Building of the Day click here: Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center. Each “Building of the Day” has received a Design Award from the AIA New York Chapter. For the rest of the month—Archtober—we will write here a personal account about the architectural ideas, the urban contexts, programs, clients, technical innovations, and architects that make these buildings noteworthy. Daily posts will track highlights of New York’s new architecture. Read more at www.archtober.org/blog.
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Inside the Archtober Building of the Day #20: 41 Cooper Square

Building of the Day #20: 41 Cooper Square The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art New York, NY Often “stats” and awards are known well before the public appreciates a new building’s urban role. Cooper Union’s 41 Cooper Square, designed by Thom Mayne, FAIA, of Morphosis Architects with Gruzen Samton as Associate Architect, is more than a volume for a multi-disciplinary academic building with a co-generation plant, cooling and heating ceiling panels, low V.O.C. materials, green terraces, and “Fit-City”-worthy vertical circulation. While these stats did help the client claim the first LEED Platinum-certified academic laboratory building, Cooper has also revived a former traffic triangle and extended its identity southwards along the new Bowery. At a time when both NYU and Columbia’s building goals face sharp scrutiny, it pays to have a tough skin. Make that a gritty double skin! The west façade’s projected outer skin is so dynamic in section that I only recently understood (via Mayne on YouTube) that it is also gently convex in plan. An eye-catching event along the city’s grid at the start of Third Avenue also reintroduces us to Peter Cooper Park. After 150 years, the short (south) façade of Frederick A. Peterson’s Foundation Building has a worthy urban partner with which to share this public space and the 1897 Peter Cooper Monument (Augustus Saint-Gaudens with a Stanford White base). The Foundation Building employed innovations such as wrought iron framing, ventilation at the below-grade Great Hall and a round elevator shaft. Mayne’s primary elevators skip stops to encourage use of the central open and luminous stair. This void is the heart of 41 Cooper Square, with its walls inflected by labs and studios. The façade gash opens this “heart” to the city and, in return, the city to it. -Arthur Platt, AIA, is Co-chair of AIA New York’s Architectural Tourism Committee and a partner at Fink & Platt Architects. For the info on the tour of tomorrow's Building of the Day click here: Toni Stabile Student Center, Columbia University. Each “Building of the Day” has received a Design Award from the AIA New York Chapter. For the rest of the month—Archtober—we will write here a personal account about the architectural ideas, the urban contexts, programs, clients, technical innovations, and architects that make these buildings noteworthy. Daily posts will track highlights of New York’s new architecture. Read more at www.archtober.org/blog.
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Inside the Archtober Building of the Day #19: East Harlem School

A rainy day couldn’t dampen the spirits of the fourth graders that we met playing hoops in the brightly lit gym of the East Harlem School. It looks to me that there are two geniuses behind this wonderful building: Peter Gluck, the acerbic and seasoned architect/builder and Ivan M. Hageman, co-founder and Head of School. Gluck led the tour, but Ivan was ever-present—in the cafeteria leading an appreciation of the chef and servers, and in the reception area meeting with parents. He welcomed us into his office, which is perched at the east end of the building with a clear glass open view up 103rd Street to the Public School embedded in the nearby housing project. Jane Jacobs eyes on the street. The East Harlem School is an independent school—think Collegiate School or Dalton. It doesn’t have to play by any rules handed down from political higher ups, construction authorities, or educational commissions, and come to think of it, the East Harlem School seems to play by rules from higher powers. Its mission is to rescue middle schoolers from their context with a nine hour school day and an eleven month school year. Stressing moral integrity, courtesy, academic excellence, and providing the students with an unshakable commitment to their future, this small (130 students) school is having a significant impact on their young lives. Surrounded by high quality materials, nice furniture, well-proportioned lively spaces, good acoustics, and strong discipline, they go on to fancy high schools, and eventually to major colleges. They hope some come back as teachers. The four eighth grade girls I met were poised, comfortable shaking hands, engaged, and eager to hear about the architecture—I mentioned that ladies can be architects, too. The building is Gluck’s manifestation of Hageman’s vision. Its black, white, and grey Trespa façade evokes the diversity of its student body and founders, at the same time as it provides for pedagogical flexibility. The school is supported by a bold-face name board of worthies, who have enabled the construction of the new 27,800 square foot facility, as well as its ongoing support of staff and students. The interior is lively and coherent with accent colors in expensive rubber flooring that was affordable because the building was both designed by Gluck the architect and built by Gluck’s construction arm. Gluck is carving out a space for the master-builder/architect of days gone by—and he’s messianic about it. Just ask him. -Cynthia Phifer Kracauer For the info on the tour of tomorrow's Building of the Day click here: 41 Cooper Square. Each “Building of the Day” has received a Design Award from the AIA New York Chapter. For the rest of the month—Archtober—we will write here a personal account about the architectural ideas, the urban contexts, programs, clients, technical innovations, and architects that make these buildings noteworthy. Daily posts will track highlights of New York’s new architecture. Read more at www.archtober.org/blog.
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Inside the Archtober Building of the Day #18: 200 Fifth Avenue

Building of the Day #18: 200 Fifth Avenue New York, NY Beautiful weather continues to make Archtober the best month ever to enjoy great architecture. Madison Square, where 200 Fifth Avenue is located, is a palimpsest of the northward expansion of commerce and civilization in Manhattan. A public space since 1686, it first became a park in 1847. With the construction of the Fifth Avenue Hotel, (Griffith Thomas with William Washburn Architects, 1859) on the site of the current 200 Fifth, the area became the social, cultural, and political hub of elite New York in the years after the Civil War—think Edith Wharton. And it has the monuments to prove it. The swank hotel gave way in 1909 to a 14-story office building, by architects Maynicke & Franke, designers of more than 100 New York City buildings, many in the nearby Ladies Mile Historic District. It is this structure (formerly the Toy Center) that STUDIOS Architecture addressed in its LEED Gold restoration and renovation. That old Toy Center building cleaned up really well! All of the seediness of the 1990s decline has vanished both in the surrounding buildings and in the park as well. The repositioning miracle has drawn a cadre of high style tenants, and I was lucky today to get a personal tour of the Grey offices, also designed by STUDIOS Architecture and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. The Grey offices are sparkling with light from generous perimeter windows, replaced in the restoration, and from the enormous central courtyard with white reflecting paving and terracotta cladding. It functions as a center around which the hipster creatives can lounge, chat, or spiff up Don Draper style for the next big pitch. For the company that brought us the talking E*Trade baby, I was pleasantly surprised to find none of the Sesame Place silliness of current interiors for other media and information technology companies. There’s good art, good furniture, beautiful Persian rugs, and an atmosphere that is both collaborative and individual at the same time. Plenty of nooks and crannies for quiet creative thinking. Nice open planning and firm-wide assembly areas. No kitsch in their kitchens either. Nice job! -Cynthia Kracauer To take the tour of tomorrow's Building of the Day click here: East Harlem School. Each “Building of the Day” has received a Design Award from the AIA New York Chapter. For the rest of the month—Archtober—we will write here a personal account about the architectural ideas, the urban contexts, programs, clients, technical innovations, and architects that make these buildings noteworthy. Daily posts will track highlights of New York’s new architecture. Read more at www.archtober.org/blog.