Posts tagged with "Construction":

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Ismael Leyva Architects’ Skinny Residential Tower Set To Rise in Tribeca

Back in October 2010, ground was broken at 19 Park Place—which also has frontage on Murray Street directly across from AN's office. As Curbed reported nearly three years ago, the 25-foot-wide site was set to be the home of the Tribeca Royale, a futuristic, 21-story condominium tower designed by New York-based Ismael Leyva Architects and developed by ABN Reality. Signage on the construction site and a press release that landed in our mailbox today assure that the project is still going forward as planned, but a peek out of the office window confirms that progress on this Jetsonian tower has been moving at a stone-aged pace. Ismael Leyva Architects' design fits 24 residences into a 292-foot tower on the narrow site. The upper 11 floors contain full-floor units, with duplexes on the 7th and 8th floors. Every unit will feature windows on Park as well as Murray. The 53,000-square-foot project also includes a double height lobby, gym, residents’ lounges, and ample terraces. “Our goal with the Tribeca Royale was to create a state-of-the-art residential building that showcases unique urban design given the constraints of the site, while efficiently maximizing space,” said Ismael Leyva in a statement. “This design offers unique residences in a very desirable downtown location” While AN eagerly awaits its shinny new neighbor, it seams like construction crews have been doing more digging than building over the past few years. A worker on site confirmed that problems with the foundation have been the cause of the delay, but with activity on the site seemingly never ceasing, one can assume that something must be going up soon.  

Grimshaw Releases Video on Construction of Pulkovo Airport in St. Petersburg Russia

Grimshaw has released a video in which firm partner Mark Middleton along with several members of the project team take viewers to the construction site of Pulkovo Airport in St. Petersburg, Russia. Appearing in and around the cavernous terminal, which will one day service 17 million passengers per year, the architects break down the cultural and geographic inspirations behind the design (golden onion domes, the city's islands and rivers) as well as its environmental and structural considerations (low-angle sunlight, expressive steel vaulting). The result is as clear and concise a description of the motivations and preoccupations of contemporary international architecture as can be found anywhere.
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Slideshow> Hollywood Hills Construction Defies Gravity

On Friday we revealed Francois Perrin's precariously-situated house, a sleek stack of glass boxes embedded into the Hollywood Hills on a concrete base. Terrain aside, the project is stunning for its views of the city, for its glassy connection between indoor and outdoor space, and for its minimal lines. Perhaps even more amazing, though, is how the house was built in the first place, requiring crews to literally move mountains and dangle from cables off the side of a ravine. To reveal the process beneath the building, AN compiled a slideshow of the work in action.
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Who Builds Your Architecture?

Who builds your architecture? "Not architects," said Reinhold Martin. "By definition, architects do not build; they make drawings, write contracts, and do all these other things." At New School's Vera List Center on May 3, a roundtable facilitated debate and speculation on the rights of the lesser-discussed "workers" that make architecture happen. Organized by Kadambari Baxi, Mabel Wilson, and Beth Stryker, in collaboration with The New School's Vera List Center for Art and Politics, the discussion focused on Dubai and the Middle East, but the implications of these issues are felt world-wide. Reports of widespread worker abuse in global projects in developing countries are common now, and the panel sought to shed light on these sometimes horrific problems. Reinhold Martin, author of The Organizational Complex: Architecture, Media, and Corporate Space, moderated the panel consisting of sociologist Andrew Ross, architects Peggy Deamer and Fred Levrat as well as Human Rights Watch senior researcher on the Middle East Bill Van Esveld. The problem is that the high cost of architecture is often offset by the low cost of labor. Big name architects often continue practicing despite the possibility of potential human rights abuses. Nicolai Ouroussoff said that Steven Holl Architects' Vanke Center in Shenzhen, China "demonstrates what can happen when talented architects are allowed to practice their craft uninhibited by creative restrictions (or, to be fair, by the high labor costs of most developed societies)." There are reports that workers immigrate from one country to another, are misled into jobs that they did not sign up for—jobs that pay much less than they were told—and they sign contracts that make them essentially indentured servants, as they cannot quit due to immigration and labor laws. What are the responsibilities of the architect in this scenario? Deamer feels that the problem is two-fold. It is a problem of the owners, not the architects. The owner has the power to change how things are done. What architects can do is think of everyone as a designer, from the fabricator to the bricklayer. Then, architects start to see themselves as workers, not as annointed ones. Everyone is equal. Ross agreed. "The creative profession has been degraded...we are no longer in control," he said. His work with the Gulf Labor Coalition has been to pressure NYU, the Guggenheim, and the Abu Dhabi Government into fair labor practices at sites in the Middle East. He said that often architects do not respond to his pleas to cooperate with human rights groups and unions. These are often difficult situations, with clients' interests and authoritarian states making the contracts, making activism more complicated. Schools are implicated, too. Often schools teach students how to subvert union labor, or at least they teach that architects cannot have a say in this debate. Does "Who builds?" come down to criticism? By using the word "starchitect," a term Martin prefers not to use, critics are not only elevating them above the realm of "service" or labor, into "anointed ones," using Deamer's term. These architects often cannot even pay their own employees a fair wage, so how would we expect them to care about workers half-way around the world? The panel raised many initial questions, while searching for answers. Will solutions come from architects, or are they impotent to change anything, given their role within the forces of capital? Will change come from an engaging conversation aimed at clients? Or will this be a student-led movement? From the tenor of the discussion, what is important is that we are finally talking about these issues, and that these abuses are being brought to light.
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On View> Carlo Scarpa: The Architect at Work

Carlo Scarpa: The Architect at Work The Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery The Cooper Union 7 E. 7th Street Through April 21 A collection of hand drawings and photographs of work by renowned postwar Italian architect Carlo Scarpa is on view for the first time in New York.  The exhibition depicts the conception and realization of two major works, the renowned Villa Ottolenghi (Bardolino, Verona, 1974–79) and the Il Palazzetto series of imagined interventions in a 17th-century villa (Monselice, Padua, 1969–78). Scarpa is renowned for his poetic expression of space through the use of materials and ornamentation, and visitors to the gallery will witness the architect’s development of spatial ideas through 22 original hand drawings of Villa Ottolenghi and 11 of Villa Il Palazzetto. Reproductions of historical photos taken of the Villa Ottolenghi before it was completed as well as recent and historical photos of Scarpa’s work at Villa Il Palazzetto are included, along with reproductions of his drawings for the Museo di Castelvecchio and the Museo Nazionale dell Arti del XXI secolo.  
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Quick Clicks> Countenance Cartography, In Situ Study, Old Becomes New, and Venice Vexed

Mapping Visage. Canadian artist Ingrid Dabringer has attracted attention for her unique map paintings, finding countenances in irregular land masses. The artist explained that she draws inspiration from large-scale topography and lines on detailed maps. Dabringer believes that maps hold meaning and by adding her own touches, she seeks a more personal interpretation within a traditional tool. More at Core77. In Situ Study. Recently on Building Design, third-year architecture student Jonathan Brown posed the following question, “Do architecture students today focus too heavily on design theory and practice and consequently, neglect construction skills that cannot be taught in a classroom?” Not alone in his query, the latest RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) “Part of the Picture” campaign permits graduates to credit three months of on-site experience toward their education. Now and then. Technology and the internet have transformed the way we preserve and promote history, particularly our photographs. Trendcentral highlighted three exciting websites: Historypin, where users can upload historic photos and search geo-tagged photos by time, period, and address; Dear Photograph posts reader-submitted photographs of historic photos in context; and the Flickr group, Looking into the Past, includes a diverse range of historic-current photo collages. Troubled Bridge over Water. Conservationists and architects have rejected the Venetian superintendent’s call to replace the historic Ponte del Accademia with a glass and steel substitute, reported Building Design. Although architects Schiavina of Bologna have incorporated an Istrian stone version of the iconic bridge’s gentle arch in their design, prominent art critic Francesco Bonami has dubbed the plans a “bad crash.” Plans remain on hold while the city seeks funding for the €6 million design.
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Quick Clicks> Bike, Walk, Play, but Watch for the River

Bikes First. To protect its cycling tradition and its bikers’ safety, Copenhagen continues to enhance its metropolitan bicycle system.  StreetsBlog reports that 37 percent of the city's urban population bikes to and from work and school on the city’s extensive network of bicycle-only lanes, park paths, and renovated railway tracks. The public transportation system also supports bicycle-travel, while the city has slowly reduced the number of car lanes on streets and auto-routes. Pedestrians, Too. Chicago moves forward this week on its highly anticipated Pedestrian Plan – an attempt to remedy high levels of hit-and-run fatalities and create a safer walking environment. After the tragic death of Martha Gonzalez at the South Halsted Street intersection, the municipal government realized that further safety measures must be taken.  According to the Tribune, the city will host eight public meetings throughout the summer to gather constituent input, the foundation of the Chicago Department of Transportation’s action plan. Construction Sand-Box. While excavating the foundation of his new home in Colorado, Ed Mumm was inspired to develop the Dig This project–a construction equipment playground for adolescents and adults. PSFK reveals that Munn’s second Dig This location recently launched in Las Vegas, where guests can operate a Caterpillar bulldozer or excavator after attending a 30-minute safety briefing. River Craft. BldgBlog brings news that the Dutch art group Observatorium finished Waiting for the River, a 125-foot-long habitable bridge, in 2010. The project is installed on the Emscher River wetlands, a sewer canal contained by dikes that will flood completely within 10 years. Observatorium invites people to wait for the river in the reclaimed-timber cabins; furnished with beds and plumbing.
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Canvassing for Votes With NYC Construction Fence Finalists

If a whole flock of ghostly animals starts appearing in downtown New York this fall, don't panic. It’ll just mean that the public picked Chris Shelley’s design “…of special concern” as a winner in the Buildings and Cultural Affairs Departments' urbancanvas competition, which solicited ideas for decorating the construction fences, sidewalk sheds, scaffolding and cocoons that act as eyesores on seemingly every New York City street. From today through October 1, you can vote for your favorite of the eight finalist designs, whittled down by a professional jury from a starting pool of over 700 entries, with the most popular four selected to appear around the city later this fall. The range of design strategies is broad, with Jen Magathan’s trompe-l'oeuil sky in “My Urban Sky" making buildings disappear, and Mauricio Lopez and Jesse T. Ross’s kaleidoscopic "Color Mesh" making them jump out from the streetscape. Shelley’s design adds an unusual interactive component, pairing the silhouettes of five local endangered species with a bar-code panel on the corner of the screen. When a visitor scans the bar code with her iPhone, it will take her to a website with the full endangered species list. After voting closes, property owners, contractors and businesses will be allowed to select a design from the four winners and print it on any temporary protective structures installed on City-owned property. (They also have the option of printing their construction screens with an image of the project being built, but where’s the fun in that?)
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Manslaughter

Today, the Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has handed out an indictment to two companies, their owner, and a crane mechanic in connection with the 2008 collapse of a tower crane on East 91st St. that killed the crane operator and a worker. New York Crane, J.F. Lomma, James Lomma, and former employee of New York Crane, Tibor Virganyi, face charges of criminally negligent homicide and manslaughter, as well as charges of assault and reckless endangerment. "Today's indictment is an important step not only in holding these defendants accountable for their conduct, but should send a message to the construction industry that that profit cannot be put ahead of safety," said Vance in a statement. New York Crane also owned the tower crane that collapsed on March 15 at the Azure condo on East 51st St. That incident was even more catastrophic, demolishing a building and killing seven people. The two collapses exposed corruption and bribery within the DOB's crane unit, forced the resignation of then-Commissioner Patricia Lancaster, and gave rise to a study of construction oversight and safety.
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Ground Zip, Zero, Zilch

That's how much the Port Authority owes developer Larry Silverstein, after an arbitration panel's ruling yesterday, which Silverstein Properties announced in a press release today. The developer had been seeking monetary damages and reduced rents because, Silverstein argued, the PA had delayed in turning over the sites of Tower 2 and Tower 3, also known as 200 and 175 Greenwich, designed, respectively, by Norman Foster and Richard Rogers. The arbitrators, who Silverstein tapped in July, found this not to be the case, though it is not entirely clear why as their decision has not been publicly released. The fate of those towers, and the financing Silverstein has been all but demanding from the PA, remains an open question, but the one victory the developer did win was a reprieve from a 2014 deadline to finish all three buildings, lest control of them revert to the PA. Now, the two have 45 days to work out a new deadline, which could also take pressure off Silverstein to demand financing for buildings some analysts say there will be no demand for for decades. Given the panel's unfavorable decision for him, the fiery Silverstein was surprisingly conciliatory in his statement. “I greatly appreciate the hard work and professionalism of the members of the arbitration panel. They did a huge amount of work in a very compressed timeframe," he said. In its own release, the PA thanked the arbitrators for "issuing a responsible decision that protects public resources while creating a positive environment in which the visible, daily progress on the site can continue moving forward." UPDATE: Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in his own statement, hits the nail on the head: “As expected, the arbitration has not resulted in a resolution. But one thing is clear from the ruling: there is a deal to be made. This is a critical moment to move forward with the long-term development of the site. The parties cannot let it pass without progress.” And the Times reports that Silverstein was requesting $2.75 billion—yes, that's billion—in damages, an amount that likely would have gone a long way toward drumming up financing for the other towers.
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Gehry Windfall

Yesterday's high winds and rain did more than make life miserable for AN staff members with holes in their shoes. They also brought a stop work order down on Forest City Ratner's Beekman Tower. According to the DOB's complaint, metal and plywood fell from the 72-story Frank Gehry-designed structure in an approximately 2 1/2-block radius around City Hall Park. No injuries were reported, though a metal turnbuckle did collide with a parked car and emergency services shut down streets. These events followed the DOB's issuance of a high wind advisory on Sunday. In a press conference on Monday afternoon, Building Commissioner Robert LiMandri sternly reminded contractors that such advisories must be heeded. The GC at the Beekman Tower is Kreisler Borg Florman.
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The Final Slam Dunk?

There may be a few hoops left to jump through before Bruce Ratner can begin construction of his SHoP- and Ellerbe Becket-designed arena for the Brooklyn, New Jersey, Nets, such as completing a partial sale of the team to a Russian oligarch, prevailing in some outstanding lawsuits, and going ahead with eminent domain against the area's remaining holdouts. But the developer appears to have cleared the final major hurdle standing in his way with the successful sale of $511 million in tax-exempt bonds today for his $900 million arena. (There are still taxed bonds and an equity stake to be taken care of, but they lacked the December 31 deadline.) Yes, those hoops may still present challenges, but none had the same drop-dead, end-of-the-year deadline the bonds did, and they seemed the likeliest chance for the project's opponents to succeed. Instead, they sold briskly in a matter of hours, or, as Ratner put it in a release, "The interest in the arena bond offering was beyond our expectations," expectations that have always been highly optimistic, though also always on the money. Perhaps this is why they are already preparing to divert traffic starting next Monday to make way for construction.