Posts tagged with "DDG Partners":

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Brooklyn’s Future Green wants to change the way we think about weeds

The Architectural League of New York’s Emerging Voices award and lecture series highlights individuals and firms with distinct design “voices”, singling out those with the potential to go on to even greater heights. 2018 saw two rounds of judging; first by a panel of past Emerging Voices winners, and a second to pick the winners. The first-round jury included Virginia San Fratello, Sebastian Schmaling, Wonne Ickx, Lola Sheppard, Marcelo Spina, Carlos Jimenez, and Marlon Blackwell, as well as members of the second-round jury, Sunil Bald, Lisa Gray, Stella Betts, Jing Liu, Paul Makovsky, Tom Phifer, Chris Reed, and Billie Tsien. AN profiled all of the emerging voices firms in our February print issue. Future Green founder David Seiter will deliver his lecture on March 1, 2018, at the SVA Theatre in Manhattan. For the Brooklyn, New York–based landscape architecture firm Future Green, “spontaneous urban plants” are part of a patchwork ecology that has the potential to transform our cities. Future Green’s work is another part of that ecology. David Seiter founded Future Green in 2008 because he felt disconnected from his work in more traditional offices, applying new landscapes onto a site when he wanted to “draw them out of the place itself.” Now grown to about 25 people, his office features a garden and 6,000-square-foot fabrication facility for prototyping new ideas and new ways of weaving contextual plantings into urban sites. A picturesque quality pervades Future Green designs, particularly architectural collaborations like the Atlantic Plumbing residences in Washington, D.C., with Morris Adjmi Architects, and 41 Bond Street in New York, with DDG. At Atlantic Plumbing, the 300-foot-long planted window boxes contribute to the building’s postindustrial character, while the plants climbing up from 41 Bond’s facade were inspired by a visit to the quarry that provided the building’s stone. Future Green will sometimes maintain these types of projects for years after their completion to learn how the plants respond and evolve. Nowadays, an outdoor venue on a former rubble-strewn industrial site in Queens, New York, takes an informal approach. Stepping into the 18,000-square-foot space almost feels like stepping into a friend’s backyard. It’s cultivated but not too cultivated, organized around three large earth mounds, shaded by a grid of honey locust trees that help remediate the soil, and planted throughout with weeds. “We were able to leave a lot of traditionally weed species on the site,” said Seiter, “and then we seeded in a lot of other species that are, I would say, on the edge of acceptable.” For now, Future Green is advocating for a new understanding of “native landscape” that isn’t driven by climate but by human-created conditions. The firm's largest project to date is Half Street, a mixed-use curbless street in D.C., located near the Washington Nationals stadium. On game days, the retail-lined street closes to automotive traffic and becomes a pedestrian plaza for 30,000 people. Future Green’s design draws from its context and the need for flexibility; it includes a paving pattern inspired by Pierre L’Enfant’s iconic plan for the city, large tree pits paired with bio-swales, and other “soft” infrastructural elements designed to manage both water runoff and pedestrian traffic while creating a distinct sense of place. Future Green’s design for Half Street reflects their belief that streets are “the foundation for good new urban space.” As Seiter said, “If we can actually design our streets and sidewalks to be more effective green spaces and more-actively designed spaces for the public realm, we can create a new garden city.”
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DDG Partners’ development on the Upper East Side continues to raise eyebrows

In late December, Christmas came early for DDG Partners as work started again on its controversial development on Third Avenue and East 88th Street. The project, though, has become embroiled in a zoning furor with neighbors, experts, politicians, and the Department of Buildings (DOB). And the battle, despite workers being back on-site, doesn’t appear to be over.

Local resident group, Carnegie Hill Neighbors (CHN), has been feverishly fighting the development since it was given the go-ahead in summer 2015. In March 2016, CHN enlisted the services of planning expert George M. Janes to help the cause.

After looking at the zoning drawings, Janes said he noticed a “tactic to subdivide the lot” so that DDG’s building would no longer face on to East 88th Street. By avoiding this, the firm escaped further zoning laws triggered by coming up to the street’s edge.

Two months later, councilmember Ben Kallos and Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer penned a letter to the city flagging the issue and calling for construction to be halted. They succeeded and work stopped in May.

The case is complex. Janes’s argument in the zoning challenge outlined the following: If the building did fall flush with East 88th Street, then this portion of the structure—known as the “sliver”—would be limited to 60 feet tall. Along the edges of this sliver running perpendicular to the street, however, no “legal windows” for habitable apartments would be allowed, thus wasting floor space.

“I understand why they did what they did from a design standpoint,” said Janes. “That doesn’t make a difference in terms of the law though.” Janes, in fact, is sure DDG’s updated plans still break the law. “It’s just a matter of whether the DOB will enforce the law,” he said.

In a statement, the DOB said: “The side lot on 88th Street increased in size from 4 by 22 feet into a 10- by 22-foot developable parcel. DOB’s action reduced the size of the new building by 1,200 square feet. The developer will be required to build two means of egress on Third Avenue.”

Interestingly, even though the building’s base does not face East 88th Street, the developer’s listing of condos names the address as “180 East 88th Street” as seen on 180e88.com. The DOB meanwhile, refers to the development as “1558 Third Avenue.”

Janes has submitted another zoning challenge on behalf of CHN, including a letter signed by Kallos, Brewer, New York State Senator Liz Krueger, and Lo van der Valk, president of CHN. The modifications are “really very small,” said Janes. “The lot is still in common ownership, there are still the same issues.”

In the letter obtained by The Architect's Newspaper, the signatories collectively state their objection “to the developer’s absurd efforts to gerrymander its tax and zoning lots to avoid zoning requirements for buildings facing East 88th Street, which the DOB has apparently accepted in approving the project.”

The letter also reads:

The policy implications of this approach for the City are huge. Developers seeking to avoid zoning restrictions that are triggered by street frontage can merely carve off a tiny tax lot, obtain an access easement, and continue to reap all the benefits that the tax lot might offer, other than the tiny amount of floor area these micro-lots produce—a trade-off many developers will embrace given the premium price for height and high-floor apartments.

This was submitted on December 8 and Janes was initially optimistic given the lack of immediate reply that usually comes when a challenge is declined.

Additionally, van der Valk spoke of his desire to curb building heights on the Upper East Side in the wake of the project. “The long-run solution is to impose some building height restrictions in the area,” he said. “This building has some very tall floors, some of the tallest we’ve seen.”

DDG Partners’ tower will rise to 467 feet (excluding mechanicals), using only 32 floors. According to The Real Deal, DDG purchased the site in 2013 for about $70 million and has an estimated sellout of $308 million for the 48 condos on offer.

In a statement, DDG spokesperson Michele de Milly said: “We are pleased that the Stop Work Order was lifted following the Department of Building’s comprehensive audit. Most importantly, hundreds of construction workers can now get back to work on the site in order to meet our completion goal for late 2018.”

The developer also contributed nearly $20,000 to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Campaign for One New York, a nonprofit that supports the mayor’s social initiatives. DDG declined to comment on the donations when asked in May 2016. It said, however, that it “has and will continue to support public officials with a positive economic development platform that allows New York City to remain a beacon and attraction for the rest of the world.” 

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2016 Best of Design Award in Digital Fabrication: XOCO 325 by DDG

The Architect’s Newspaper (AN)’s inaugural 2013 Best of Design Awards featured six categories. Since then, it's grown to 26 exciting categoriesAs in years past, jury members (Erik Verboon, Claire Weisz, Karen Stonely, Christopher Leong, Adrianne Weremchuk, and AN’s Matt Shaw) were picked for their expertise and high regard in the design community. They based their judgments on evidence of innovation, creative use of new technology, sustainability, strength of presentation, and, most importantly, great design. We want to thank everyone for their continued support and eagerness to submit their work to the Best of Design Awards. We are already looking forward to growing next year’s coverage for you. 2016 Best of Design Award in Digital Fabrication: XOCO 325

Architect: DDG Location: New York, NY

Acting as design architect, developer, and general contractor, DDG developed a custom, cast-aluminum screen using 3-D modeling software and state-of-the-art hardware. A burlap texture was hand-applied to the set of 12 repeating components before the sand-cast molds were made and the finished components cast. The resulting sinewy surface creates dialogue with the cast iron historic buildings of the area.

Executive Architect HTO Architect

Structural Engineer Severud Associates Fabricator Walla Walla Foundry RenShape Foundry Pattern & Tooling Board Freeman Manufacturing & Supply Company Aluma Black Birchwood Casey

Honorable Mention, Digital Fabrication: Northeastern University Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex

Architect: Payette Location: Boston, MA

The Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex at Northeastern University is a high-performance research building with a triple-glazed curtain wall and solar veil to help the building exceed 2030 energy savings goals.

Honorable Mention, Digital Fabrication: FilzFelt LINK

Architect: Gensler Location: Los Angeles, CA

Originally created as a one-time solution for Gensler’s Los Angeles office, the company recognized its wider possibilities and partnered with FilzFelt to produce a flexible modular panel system that adds texture and color to an environment while serving as a privacy screen, shade system, room divider, and acoustical element.

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DDG uses a four-foot-wide lot to build (too) tall, enraging residents on Manhattan’s Upper East Side

Do you know the one weird trick that lets developers build tall buildings where they're not supposed to? It's not stilts, DJ booths, or mechanical floors this time. DDG Partners got city approval in 2014 to take a regular, 30-foot-deep lot and slice off a four-foot-wide chunk, then used that buffer to avoid zoning regulations that govern the height and setback of buildings on Manhattan's Upper East Side. The developers are building a 32-story, 521-foot-tall luxury tower whose address is the tiny lot on 88th Street, but whose entrance is on adjacent Third Avenue. The tower is 60 feet taller than those typically allowed in the neighborhood, The New York Times reports. “There’s lots of little lots in Manhattan, some that are five square feet, but they’re relics, or they provide access. This is novel; this is new; this is a very aggressive strategy," planning expert George M. Janes explained to the New York Times. Carnegie Hill Neighbors, a local residents' group that opposes the tower, hired Janes to conduct a site analysis. Janes noted that the developers may be trying to avoid building a larger base for the tower, which would be needed if the lot abutted 88th Street. With the zoning circumvented, the square footage for the base can instead be used to boost the tower's height. Permits were issued in March, and DDG is banking on the tower's height as a major selling point. Councilman Ben Kallos, a Democrat who represents the neighborhood, sent the Buildings Department a letter last week requesting a stop-work order, noting that the building sets a precedent for exploiting "a new and dangerous loophole.” In light of this project, the department is reviewing its earlier rulings. It's worth noting the the developers contributed nearly $20,000 to de Blasio's Campaign for One New York, a nonprofit that supports the mayor's social initiatives. DDG declined to comment on the donations, but did say in a statement that they “have and will continue to support public officials with a positive economic development platform that allows New York City to remain a beacon and attraction for the rest of the world.”

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DDG reinterprets cast iron facades of Soho

“We’re always interested in the intersection between old-fashioned hand craft, and modern machined factory production.”

Located in the Soho Cast Iron Historic district, XOCO325 (pronounced sho/co) is a 9-story, 24-unit condo development. Named after the Catalan word for chocolate, the project involves the renovation of a former Tootsie chocolate factory, and a new structure cloaked in a custom cast aluminum screen. The condos range in size from just over 1,000 sq. ft. to nearly 5,000 sq. ft. and are connected by a central courtyard. The design, development, and construction of the project has all been coordinated by New York-based office DDG who specializes in inclusive project delivery. Peter Guthrie, Chief Creative Officer and Head of Design & Construction of DDG, says from very early on, this “one-stop-shop” approach to development was rooted in the idea of embracing unique material qualities in construction. “At 41 Bond Street – one of our first projects – we were hand carving bluestone pieces on site. One of the ideas we had early on was that by doing this ourselves in house, and controlling everything throughout the process, we could bring back an element of craft that other companies couldn’t afford to do.” The most prominent feature of XOCO325 is a custom cast aluminum screen, carefully developed through an extensive survey of the cast iron district, where roughly 250 cast iron buildings reside. Through this study, the project team began to understand the cast iron facade as an industrialized “kit of parts” approach to architecture where design and construction rely heavily on series of componentry made available through pattern books. Inspiration also came from contemporary catalogs such as McMaster-Carr’s online website, which Guthrie labels as a “bible of industrial parts.” The catalog includes everything from bolts and screws to street lamp posts and furniture.
  • Facade Manufacturer Walla Walla Foundry
  • Architects DDG Partners
  • Facade Installer DDG Partners
  • Facade Consultants DDG Partners
  • Location New York, NY
  • Date of Completion 2016
  • System curtain wall with aluminum screen
  • Products cast aluminum in custom composite formwork, curtainwall system, cast in place concrete sitework
DDG adopted this attitude of mass-produced componentry in their digitally developed forms, arriving at a proportioning system and bay spacing reminiscent of historical buildings in the area. “We’re always interested in the intersection between old-fashioned hand craft, and modern machined factory production,” says Guthrie. “There was an angle here we wanted to explore. Aluminum was light and, in the end, more affordable than replicating cast iron.” The project team developed a repetitive spandrel and column shape, working with a foundry to develop reusable composite forms with a weathered burlap texture. When prototyping versions of the system, the project team prioritized formal adjustments to the massing such as curvature and shadow lines to emphasize a sense of depth found on facades of historic buildings in the district. By “delaminating” the building enclosure system from the cast aluminum screen, a two-foot gap was established allowing the residential units to have a full span curtain wall glazing, while still maintaining some level of security and privacy. “That was our way of getting both: making a modern building without compromising on psychological stability and privacy.” This configuration is celebrated by the project team as having a “robust stability.” Within this space, balconies occupy the courtyard facing units, while a custom planter system comprised of pockets cast into the screen and a series of cables, is incorporated onto the primary street facade. The project is beginning sales, with an anticipated completion in 2016.
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Post-Office Architectes puts its stamp on Tribeca with a luxury takeover on Church Street

Block by block, the line of demarcation between "prime Tribeca" and Tribeca is slowly creeping south. New York– and Paris-based Post-Office Architectes recently unveiled a 12 story, 23 unit luxury residential building at 30 Warren Street. Last October, AN reported on 30 Warren's neighbor, 12 Warren, a DDG-designed residential building less than a block away. While 12 Warren's bluestone-clad facade sets it apart from neighboring buildings, 30 Warren asserts itself with a full block takeover of Church Street, between Warren and Chambers streets. Along the block's busy streetwall, the development includes approximately 9,700 square feet of ground floor retail. "The design of 30 Warren is purposely asymmetrical arranging for an intentional void, staggered floors on the west side, and a southern facade with two setbacks to take full advantage of the views of the Manhattan skyline, the skyscrapers in the Financial District and the river," explained Post-Office Architectes principal Francois Leininger in a statement. "We focused on framing the amazing views and arranged a sequence of large picture windows to capture the grand moments of the city. The framed views were determined from the interior of the units as a way of bringing the city into the residences without overexposing its occupants." Most of the picture windows are single pane, including the 13-foot-long living room window in each unit. To minimize noise, windows on the Chambers Street side are triple-glazed, the New York Times reports. The exterior walls will be coated with reinforced, one-inch-thick concrete, giving the building a semi-industrial feel that dialogues with its grittier neighbors. The one- t0 three-bedroom units range in size from 1,000 to 2,500 square feet. There is not one, but three, floor-through penthouses. (The physics of luxury development defy comprehension.) 30 Warren is expected to be complete by fall 2017.
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12 Warren Condominiums starts to reveal its final form

Tribeca's 12 Warren Condominiums (formerly 12 Warren Street) is finally stripping down with the public now getting a glimpse of the building's distinguished facade. Development and design firm DDG is bucking the trend of the usual glass luxury building that are commonplace all over Manhattan, instead opting for the naturalistic texture of rough stone. A short while ago, AN reported that the DDG building at 12 Warren St. sat "shrouded in canvas-covered scaffolding" with the design hidden from the eyes of the public. Teasing renderings were leaking out, but now we know more as the structure's shroud is peeling away. As the first pieces of scaffolding are removed, the unique bluestone facade, punctuated with a mix of textures and forms, is slowly being revealed. DDG told AN  that the scaffolding will be fully removed within two weeks, with the facade being able to be viewed in all its glory. For now, here's your first glimpse at the structure's unique facade. The stone, which is the dominant feature on facade, is locally sourced from a bluestone quarry in upstate New York. This is not the first time DDG has employed the material throughout one of their buildings. The material can also be seen in action at the already complete DDG project on 41 Bond Street in Noho, a couple miles north. In addition to this the facade, the building will also incorporate exposed brick masonry and board-formed concrete detailing. DDG is aiming for LEED certification on the project. The 13-story structure will have extensive full-floor duplex and triplex dwellings, many of which will offer private outdoor space and direct elevator entry. Occupancy is expected to begin in early 2016
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DDG brings dramatic mountain terrain to its Tribeca condo conversion

DDG, the architecture and development shop in New York City, is known for using natural materials and dressing its buildings with greenery. This has been the case at a slew of its high-end residential projects around the city, such as 41 Bond or 345 Meatpacking. The firm’s latest residential building at 12 Warren Street in Tribeca continues in that tradition—and then some. NY YIMBY got its hands on new renderings of the firm's 12 Warren project, one of which shows off its very dramatic bluestone facade. To further emphasize the building's natural vibe, greenery is planted across the exterior. Classic DDG. The bluestone continues inside the project's condo units which are finished with a mix of natural elements. YIMBY noted that the project is actually a renovation and addition on top of an existing structure that will more than double in size to 12 stories. For now, the construction site sits shrouded in canvas-covered scaffolding, keeping the design hidden from public view. At the street level, DDG is displaying photographs of natural areas where building materials were gathered.The building is expected to be completed in Spring 2016.
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DDG is set to begin construction on this razor-edged, triangular building in Tribeca

Two very narrow parking lots in Manhattan's Tribeca neighborhood will soon be filled in with a pair of very narrow condo buildings designed and developed by DDG. The firm's plan for 100 Franklin Street was approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in early 2014, but only recently made it through the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) which had to grant a zoning variance for the site. Crain's reported that given the tricky nature of the site, the BSA decided to wave a requirement for setbacks on upper floors. The two buildings, one six stories and the other eight, comprise 10 apartments that are set above ground-floor retail that faces 6th Avenue. DDG's non-profit arm has also agreed to convert a narrow pedestrian island across the street into a permanent park. The two buildings both have a red brick facade that appears partially pixellated as DDG has removed individual bricks here and there. At the street level, the building has arched masonry frames and a ribbon of plantings that runs the length of the building, just above the glassy storefront spaces. Taking a cue from the angled site, 100 Franklin forms a point at its northern edge. Construction is slated to start this fall and wrap up in 2017.
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Yayoi Kusama Covers a Meatpacking District Scaffold With Dots

We already knew that DDG Partners could pull together a classy "product," as they say in real estate parlance. But now the group has upped the ante by teaming with Yayoi Kusama, the 83-year-old Japanese show-stopping pop artist. Kusama's blockbuster at the Whitney has already spilled over into cross-marketing at Louis Vuitton with her ubiquitous dots climbing up the facade of their 57th Street Store. Downtown the artist's Yellow Trees will sprawl across protective netting on construction scaffolding at DDGs 345meatpacking, the group's new 14th Street project which could rival their comparatively quiet 41 Bond Street project. 345 promises to make a much splashier entrance, but with a hand laid Danish Kulumba brick facade, it could be Bond Street's equal in craftsmanship. The public won't see the results until September 30th, when the Kusama curtain will fall and the Kulumba will be revealed.
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Sidewalk Shadows by Artist Nobuho Nagasawa

It would seem that the the once humble blue stone, quarried in New York State, is getting some renewed respect. We recently saw it cleverly cladding 41 Bond by the design-build firm DDG Partners, now artist Nobuho Nagasawa it calling attention to it underfoot in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Nagasawa's installation elevates an everyday visual experience to the level of art, namely tree shadows on a Brooklyn blue stone sidewalk. Incorporated into the DOT's reconstruction of Columbia Street, "Timecast" was funded through the Percent for Art Program and its installation was overseen by the Department of Design and Construction (DDC). The installation is a component of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway Initiative which connects the waterfront from Greenpoint to all the way Sunset Park, including Columbia Waterfront District. The blue stone was fabricated and sandblasted by Brooklyn-based Ottavino Stoneworks and DDC made sure to repour the concrete surrounding the blue stone, so as to ensure an undisturbed visual flow. In her artist statement Nagasawa said that by planting native trees and etching the traced shadows onto the New York stone, the project aims to memorialize local history.  As the young trees grow they will become a "fixed marker of change" in the evolving neighborhood and will inspire people "to think about their own presence over time."
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AN Video> DDG’s Bluestone Clad 41 Bond

DDG Partner's latest project uses a material often found under foot and gives it a hard-earned respect long deserved. New York State bluestone clads the entirety of 41 Bond's facade, a condo with four full floor units, a ground floor townhouse, a duplex, and a penthouse duplex. Over the past few months usual Bond Street soundscape of tires rumbling over cobblestone has been interrupted by the clangs of the quarry, as masons fit the stone into place. All of the stone carving was done on site. DDG's CEO Joseph McMillan, Jr. and chief creative officer Peter Guthrie give AN a tour...