Posts tagged with "Empire State Building":

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This Saturday, a projection-mapped display will cover the Empire State Building to raise awareness about endangered species

As supertall residential towers reach new heights in Manhattan, the Empire State Building still stands strong in New York City's skyline—especially after dusk. The building's crown is quintessential New York and a sky-high representation of holidays, anniversaries, and the day's news in colorful light. On Saturday night, the Empire State Building will be used for even more. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwxyrLUdcss The New York Times reported that images of endangered species will be projected onto the Art Deco icon to raise awareness about mass extinction. The project comes from the minds of Travis Threlkel, the chief creative officer of Obscura Digital, and Louie Psihoyos, founder of the Oceanic Preservation Society and director of The Cove.  Saturday's event is also a means to bring attention to Racing Extinction (trailer above), Psihoyos' latest documentary. According to the Times, "A snow leopard, a golden lion tamarin and manta rays, along with snakes, birds and various mammals and sea creatures will be projected onto a space 375 feet tall and 186 feet wide covering 33 floors of the southern face of the Empire State Building — and beyond, thanks to cellphones and Internet connections." The project, which will reportedly cost more than $1 million, is being partially covered by a philanthropic foundation founded by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing. The event will of course have an increased potency given the current firestorm surrounding the killing of the beloved Cecil the lion by a Minnesota dentist. The images will be displayed from 9:00p.m. to 12:00a.m.
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Watch the Empire State Building put on a special light show in honor of the Whitney Museum’s grand opening

The Empire State Building put on a special light show on May 1 to herald the official opening of the hotly anticipated Whitney Museum of American Art in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District designed by architect Renzo Piano. Lighting designer Marc Brickman programmed the building's LED tower lights to create a dynamic light show based on 12 iconic works from the museum’s collection, including masterpieces by Andy Warhol, Peter Halley, Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, Barbara Kruger, and more. Starting from 8:00p.m., each of the 12 artworks were shown for 30 minutes, with the light show ending at 2:00 a.m. on May 2. Take a look at the show up above. Many of these works are also on view at the inaugural exhibition, America is Hard to See, which runs from May 1 through September 27, 2015. The new Whitney features a striking asymmetric design staggered gracefully away from the High Line. It contains a 170-seat theater facing the Hudson River, and New York City’s largest column-free exhibition space at 18,000 square feet. Located at 99 Gansevoort Street, it boasts stunning views of the Empire State Building from its four east-facing terraces. That same night, the Whitney held a special viewing and a lighting ceremony for invited guests and media. “We’re thrilled to see these incredible works from the Whitney’s collection interpreted on one of the most iconic buildings in the world—one that has been the subject of many an artist’s work,” said Donna De Salvo, Whitney Chief Curator and Deputy Director of Programs.  
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Bright public art installation to light up New York City’s cold, dark winter

The summer is officially over, folks. The beaches are closed, the sun is switching to its seasonal, part-time schedule, and your coworkers are drinking Pumpkin Spice Lattes again. There is no ignoring an inevitable truth: winter is coming and there is nothing you can do about it. Well, if you live up north that is. You could move to Florida, but beyond that, there is nothing you can do about it. For those of us stuck in New York City this holiday season, it's not all bad news. We will soon be able to feast our frostbitten eyes on a new public art installation in front of the Flatiron Building. Today, the Flatiron Partnership and Van Alen Institute announced that New York Light, an installation by architect and designer INABA, has won their first-ever Flatiron Plaza Holiday Design Competition. INABA’s angled structure, which is made of mirrored panels and steel tubes, will frame the Flatiron Building on the south and open up to the Empire State Building to the north. At night, New York Light, it will be illuminated by LEDs. “The Flatiron Plaza is one of the few places where it’s possible to truly experience the magnificence of Manhattan’s urban plan. And it’s a unique spot in the heart of the city where the sky and skyline can be seen from street level,” said Jeffrey Inaba, the founder of INABA, in a statement. “The installation is meant to be a place to take in these qualities, as well as to appreciate all of the street activity day and night through its many reflective panels.” New York Light will open before Thanksgiving and run for one month. Tillotson Design Associates, Ben Gal Fierro, and Buro Happold collaborated with INABA on the project.
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Bjarke Ingels’ Not-Yet-Built LEGO Museum Commemorated in LEGO Architecture Series

LEGO Architecture has released a new box set—and from the looks of it, this isn't your grandmother’s architectural plaything. The new LEGO set is not the usual plastic-brick model of Rockefeller Center or the Empire State Building. No, this new set is cutting-edge. It goes where no other LEGO box set has gone before: it's a replica of an icon so iconic that it doesn’t even exist yet. It’s a limited-edition replica of the Bjarke Ingels–designed LEGO Museum in the company’s birthplace of Billund, Denmark. Spotted by John Hill at A Daily Dose of Architecture and selling on eBay for well over $100, the set also features what appears to be a shaggy-haired Bjarke Ingels figurine, which would place him in the company of Yoda, the Lone Ranger, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as icons that have also been shrunk to LEGO-sized proportions. Hill described the set as "LEGO imitating architecture imitating LEGO," a reference to BIG's clear inspiration for the LEGO House. A video-rendering of the project (above) might even double as an assembly guide for the LEGO Architecture Series set. The real LEGO House will be a blocky, 82,000-square-foot exhibition space designed to celebrate the toy’s history. BIG's real-life museum isn't projected to open until 2016, so if you buy the set now, you'll probably beat Bjarke to the finish line.
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Huggable high-rises? Chicagoans look to kickstart a line of plush skyscraper replicas

squeeable skylines Skyscrapers are usually admired for their mighty feats of structural engineering. Respect though you might the elegance with which Chicago’s Willis Tower lifts steel and glass 1,451 feet into the sky, you probably wouldn’t want to nuzzle it. squeeable-skyline-willis-tower-and-empire-state-building A Chicago startup wants to make plush toys with the forms of famous skyscrapers, and Willis is one of their first prototypes. Squeezable Skyline launched their Kickstarter campaign this week, asking for $25,000. The toys would retail for $29.99. The 22-inch Willis replica would be accompanied by a 21-inch Empire State Building. If funded, the team’s line of “huggable high-rises” could include 25 skyscrapers from across the U.S. “Our 'Squeezables' are simplified massings of the real buildings and are designed at a relative scale to look great together as you build your collection,” writes the team—Michael Gordon, and brothers Brent, Glenn and Struan Robertson. squeeable skyline
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Lutron Lights up the Empire State Building

When construction was completed on the Empire State Building (ESB) in 1931 it cost $25.6 million—that's just $9.20 per square foot. You can't even build a single floor for that nowadays, much less a 1,454-foot tall skyscraper (adjusting for inflation, the ESB would cost $352 million today). Though the building hosts events and tour groups, most of us only see it from the outside and don't realize that the reason it's known as the World's Most Famous Office Building is because tenants occupy the vast majority of its 102 floors. And like any other office building, lighting consumes the majority of its electrical costs—a whopping 39 percent. In order to meet their stringent return-on-investment requirements, Anthony Malkin, President of Malkin Holdings, which owns the ESB, and Jones Lang LaSalle, an energy and sustainability consultancy, commissioned Lutron to supply pre-built tenant spaces throughout the building with sustainable lighting control solutions as part of the Clinton Climate Initiative Building Retrofit program aimed at improving efficiency and financial performance. The building-wide retrofit is projected to provide a total lighting energy savings of up to 65 percent and a reduced installed payback period of just 2.75 years. Overall, the Lutron system will reduce energy use by 38 percent and energy bills by $4.4 million per year. Moreover, the upgrade will prevent an estimated 105,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the next 15 years. The concept is simple: use less light, less often. Just as automatic faucets solved the problem of people forgetting to turn the water off at the sink, automatic sensors in Lutron's wireless lighting system turn lights off when a room is unoccupied. They also dim the lights according to the amount of daylight in a room so tenant spaces aren't over-lit and only use as much light as is necessary. "It's not about going without," said Lutron's President, Michael Pessina, "it's about not spending for what you don't need." It works like this: An occupancy/vacancy sensor is installed in the ceiling and/or in the corners of the room. In test mode you can check to make sure the sensor can reach the entire room and there aren't any dead spots. The sensors, which track motion and temperature and control both lighting and HVAC systems, offer three levels of sensitivity, from basic body movement to small, isolated actions like typing on a keyboard. The sensors are operated by small remotes and dimmers that can be attached to the wall like a standard light switch or left free to be used at your desk, couch, meeting area, etc. The sensors can be customized to power on and off automatically or to be powered on by the user and powered off automatically with various time-out times. In the Empire State Building, where overall usage is metered, tenants also have the option to install sub-metering units that allow them to monitor their energy consumption in real-time and make adjustments to consume less and, ultimately, pay less on their monthly bills. "It sounds basic," said Lutron's ESB project lead Tom Myers, "but making sure lights are only on when people need them is a big deal in terms of savings." As you would expect, Lutron's Manhattan office is equipped with all the bells and whistles, including a wall-mounted LCD TV where energy consumption is tracked in real time and adjustments can be made with an iPad application. Large windows that offer an impressive view of the city (which, in case you were wonderings, includes the ESB) are fitted with automatic shades programmed to raise and lower according to the amount of daylight in the room. You've probably seen motorized shading systems that aren't completely accurate and, over time, don't line up with one another anymore, but unlike many such systems on the market, Lutron's motor is not only completely silent, it's guaranteed to stop within ⅛" of its programmed level so each shade is always perfectly in line. While the projected energy savings for ESB retrofit are impressive, more impressive still is the ease of installing the wireless set-up. It literally takes just 12 seconds to program a sensor and its corresponding switch. More switches can be synced to the same sensor, adding a mere six seconds apiece to the installation time. Because rewiring is difficult and labor intensive, especially in buildings over eighty years old, Lutron's easy to install wireless system minimizes disturbance in retrofits. Wireless lighting technology streamlines construction on new projects, too, and cuts the cost of materials (no wires or pipes) and labor overall. While Anthony Malkin is in high spirits about the energy savings of Lutron's "state-of-the-art, cost-effective and architecturally beautiful" system in terms of the savings it will bring to his own properties, he seemed genuinely excited about what it could mean for the future of building in general. "If we only succeed at the Empire State Building" he said, "we have failed." See Lutron's collection and find out why their innovative products "save the nation nearly 10 billion kWh of electricity, or approximately $1 billion in utility costs, per year."

Video> Brawling Buildings in NYC and LA

Noting the rivalry between his new home, Los Angeles, and New York while visiting the Big Apple last week, Conan O'Brien launched a new segment , the Fight to the Death Building Battle to settle the cities' differences once and for all. Curbed spotted these epic architectural fights posted online at Team Coco's blog, and we couldn't help but share on this Friday afternoon, 11/11/11. While in New York, Conan pitted the Empire State Building ("weighing in at 365,000 tons of limestone") against LA's Scientology Book Store ("the best building they could come up with.") Of course, the Empire State soundly won. Back in LA, he revoked his New York show as "playing to the New York crowd," and held another match between the Empire and a trio of LA buildings: the Capitol Records Building, a Lady Foot Locker from a Venice Boulevard strip mall, and later Randy's Donuts. Remember, whatever side you choose, as Conan pointed out, "You're booing a building."
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QUICK CLICKS> Prism Problems, LinkedGreen, Boardwalk, Critic Kvetch

Prismatic Schmatic. After the NYPD criticized the security measures at One World Trade back in 2005, David Childs responded by losing the glass on the bottom 20 floors and creating a bunker like base to be hidden behind prismatic glass panels and welded aluminum screens. Now the Times reports that plan has to be scrapped because the Chinese manufacturer can't prevent the prismatic panes from bowing. Childs is back at the drawing board. Green Empire. Sustainable Cities says that LinkedIn signed a 31,000 square foot lease at the Empire State Building because it's too green to pass up. The building is undergoing a $550 million makeover and shooting for LEED Gold. Via Planitzen. Say It Ain't So! Gothamist reports that Coney Island is going concrete, or at least part of the famed boardwalk is. The community board has decided to allow a 12-foot wide concrete path for vehicular traffic to run straight down the middle of the famed wooden way. Critic Shortage. The LA Times' Christopher Hawthorne took to the pages of Architectural Record bemoaning the damage "internet culture" has done to criticism. He takes aim at bloggers in particular, though he allows that Geoff Manaugh's BLDGBLOG is a stand out. But for every BLDGBLOG there are ten whose work is "overlong, prone to self-absorption, and still struggling to get a handle on the it’s/its dilemma — appears to exist only to prove the old adage that it’s the editor who makes the writer." Via Archnews.  
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New York City’s 15 Penn Plaza Catches a Wave

The battle for Midtown Manhattan has taken a new twist.  Radio broadcasters located in the nearby Empire State Building have raised concerns that Vornado Realty Trust's proposed 15 Penn Plaza will swat their signals from the sky. Standing at over 1,200 feet tall, broadcasters worry the Pelli Clark Pelli designed 15 Penn Plaza could reflect or disrupt radio frequencies, causing a phenomenon known as multipath where multiple waves are sent to the same signal. Radio World reports that experts have been watching the proposed tower closely as it was recently given a thumbs up after a contentious approval process in which Empire owner Tony Malkin argued 15 Penn Plaza would diminish from the historic significance of his building. From Radio World:
"Vornado officials have not indicated an interest in building rooftop broadcast facilities atop the new tower, according to observers. "The Empire State Building is home to 19 FM stations and most of the city’s digital television transmitters. Many radio and television broadcasters migrated there after the collapse of the World Trade Center’s twin towers in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 (see sidebar). "Multipath issues are nothing new in the city because of its monstrously tall buildings, but the proximity of the skyscraper to the Empire State Building — approximately a quarter-mile — raises a red flag for some in the broadcast community."
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New York, Here is Your New Skyline

UPDATE: Council Speaker Christine Quinn, in whose district the project is located, gave her strong support for it at a press conference before today's meeting of the City Council. More below. The battle for the soul of New York—or at least for its skyline—was over before it even really began. The City Council Land Use Committee just voted in favor of Vornado's roughly 1,200-foot, Pelli Clarke Pelli-designed 15 Penn Plaza, apparently unswayed by complaints from the owner of the Empire State Building, Anthony Malkin, that it would ruin views of his iconic tower, and thus the city as a whole. In fact, the issue of the skyline barely even came up, and when it did, the council members, who voted 19-1 for the tower, essentially said New York must build to remain great. "I think it's a project the city needs," said Councilman Daniel Holleran, a Staten Island Republican. The bigger issue, by far, than the dueling towers was that of who would build 15 Penn Plaza, namely MWBEs. That's the policy shorthand for women- and minority-owned business enterprises. The council, like the city, is majority minority, and so ensuring employment for minorities, particularly in the notoriously cosseted construction industry is often a high priority. When Vornado showed up at Monday's hearings without a specific plan for how it would ensure a portion of the contractors on the project would be MWBEs, the committee members were displeased. Councilwoman Letitia James Albert Vann asked if the company even had any sort of minority hiring practices, to which the head of the New York Office, David Greenbaum, joked that he was not sure but had had a party recently at which there were many women, and his wife asked which were employs and which were spouses and he said, with a chuckle, that it was more of the former. James was not amused. Vornado proffered a last minute MWBE plan before today's vote, calling for at least 15 percent of all construction work to be done by MWBEs. Whether the project would have been torpedoed without it is hard to say, but it did little to assuage council members complaints at the same time they overwhelmingly voted for the project. James Saunders, one of the council's lions on MWBE issues, made his frustration known. "This is a tepid response to a need, a very tepid response," he said of the new MWBE plan. "We can't go on like this. That we even have to have this discussion shows that there needs to be some real dialogue here." Holleran expressed disappointment that the council does not use its limited leverage over such projects to extract more concessions early on than at the very end, when development projects have essentially reached the stage of fait accompli. Not that it would have mattered if there was any real opposition, as the mayor cast his considerable weight behind the project yesterday, according to the Wall Street Journal [sub. req.].
"I don't understand that. You know, anybody that builds a building in New York City changes its skyline. We don't have to run around to every other owner and apologize," he said. "This is something that's great for this city." "Competition's a wonderful thing. One guy owns a building. He'd like to have it be the only tall building," he added. "I'm sorry that's not the real world, nor should it be."
Malkin was not at today's vote. And perhaps its was with good reason that the council did not take up his position. As our colleague Eliot Brown points out over at the Observer, the skyline fight is not that disimilar to the one over the Ground Zero "Mosque," in that it's a supremely local issue that has been given over to if not irrational than at least emotional pleas for something locals could care less about. After all, we're only ruining the view from Jersey. Yet again, the debate surrounding this project was only nominally about the project at hand. UPDATE: When we asked Speaker Quinn about the merits of such a large, even overbuilt project—it's 42 percent larger than current zoning allows, going from a 12 FAR to an 18 (though mind you the Empire State Building is a whopping 35, so who's dwarfing whom exactly?)—she said she was fine with it. "I think given that this is 34th Street, 33rd Street, and 7th Avenue, one of the most commercial areas in the city of New York, this is an appropriate place for dense development." (The project is actually located between 33rd Street and 32nd Street.) Quinn even went so far as to compare the unbuilt 15 Penn Plaza to many of the city's other iconic office towers, calling it a modern day Rockefeller Center, something the city needs more of. "Our position is about Midtown business district expanding into the 21st Century," Quinn said. "As it is, we're not on par with some of our competitors, say London or Hong Kong. In the middle of this recession, what this say is New York is coming out of this, and coming out on top." Quinn said that she was happy with the MWBE agreement that had been reached with Vornado while also stressing that such matters were not technically under the purvey of the city's land-use review process. When we asked if they should be, Quinn demurred. On a less demure note, Curbed is reporting that the real reason Malkin is so opposed to 15 Penn Plaza is because it's potentially throwing off the feng shui of his tower, killing the "life force" of the Empire State Building and thus a deal with a business from Hong Kong to lease space in the tower. And now we've heard everything.
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Save Our Skyline, Begs Empire State Building

We know hackers and preservationists are staunchly opposed to Vornado's 15 Penn Plaza, because the 1,216-foot Pelli Clarke Pelli-designed tower would replace McKim Mead & White's notable-if-not-renowned Hotel Pennsylvania. Anthony Malkin, president of Malkin Holdings, is also not a fan for the simple reason that Malkin Holdings is holding the Empire State Building. And its views would most likely be compromised by 15 Penn Plaza. Malkin is now speaking out against the project, under the aegis of a group calling itself Friends of the New York City Skyline, a posse which also includes MAS, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Landmarks Conservancy. It may be too little, too late. Amanda Burden and the City Planning Commission already gave their approval in July, calling it "precisely the type of well-designed…office building that New York City needs to stay globally competitive." Still, hoping to head off a vote on Monday at the City Council, Malkin and his Friends have sent around mawkish renderings and a statement (below) about everything that's wrong with this building and how it could ruin the city. Currently 15 Penn Plaza is 42 percent bigger than current zoning allows, with no setbacks, but at the same time, as garish as it looks in these renderings, it also shows the dynamic way in which our iconic skyline is always changing. Just think of the thrill you get looking back at old pictures of the city and comparing them to today. Even monstrosities like the Trump Wold Tower across from the U.N. look half-decent in this context. To build is to survive as a city and it's good to know that, for better or worse, there are no sacred cows. After all, these were some of the same groups who complained when Burden cut Nouvel's MoMA Tower down to size. Significantly, the tower is in Council Speaker Christine Quinn's district, and she is an avowed friend to developers: Tenant or no tenant, building is in the cards. Malkin's statement:
"The Empire State Building is the internationally recognized icon on the skyline of New York City. We are its custodians, and must protect its place. Would a tower be allowed next to the Eiffel Tower or Big Ben’s clock tower? Just as the world will never tolerate a drilling rig next to The Statue of Liberty, why should governmental bonuses and waivers be granted to allow a structure as tall and bulky at 15 Penn Plaza to be built 900 feet away from New York City’s iconic landmark and beacon? We believe that the public approval process to date for the proposed 15 Penn Plaza has failed to address the interests of New Yorkers. The City Charter did not create the ULURP process so as to provide a speedy approval for a speculative office tower for which there is no planned commencement. The Developer’s Environmental Impact Statement at first ignored, and then (by last minute amendment) gratuitously denied, any impact on the largest landmark in New York City from the proposed 1,200 foot tower to rise at some unspecified future date on the present site of the Hotel Pennsylvania. The people of New York City have already made their sentiments clear: Community Board 5 voted down this proposal 36 to 1, so the only hope for protection of this public legacy now sits with the City Council. There may be buildings taller than the Empire State Building. But no building so close to the Empire State Building should be allowed through discretionary official exceptions to be as bulky and tall as 15 Penn Plaza. The height and bulk of 15 Penn Plaza are the result of waivers and bonuses greatly in excess of code. Another waiver granted 15 Penn Plaza the right to build without setbacks. At only 67 stories, 15 Penn Plaza would be as tall as the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building, and would, if built, be as much a scar on the complexion of New York City as the loss of Penn Station. We are working with other New Yorkers and concerned parties who care about this landmark to write and speak to the City Council and its Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises on August 23 in opposition to this effort to mar permanently the iconic signature which creates the world's most famous skyline."