Posts tagged with "Harlem":

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Van Alen Institute’s spring festival focuses on getting around New York City

New York City subways and buses serve eight million riders per weekday. However, the transit system that many New Yorkers rely on encounters frequent delays and suspensions. As a response, New York-based Van Alen Institute will bring together city planners and participants to imagine new approaches towards seeing, navigating, and moving through the urban environment, with a series of events ranging from bus and bike tours to a flash design competition, from June 17 to June 23. The Van Alen-organized spring festival, "FLOW! Getting Around the Changing City" seeks to rethink the consequences of the 15-month-long L-train shutdown, among other transit issues in New York City. They will host “The Williamsburg Challenge,” where participants will test out what it’s like to travel from Union Square to Williamsburg without using the L train. The institute has also invited professional teams to propose creative solutions to solve the over-ground congestion created by the L train shutdown, in a one-night-only design competition. On June 20, AN’s very own Assistant Editor Jonathan Hilburg will moderate the talk, “Mind the Gap: Improving Urban Mobility through Science and Design." Participants include author Susan Magsamen, Perkins + Wills Associate Principal Gerald Tierney, Gehl Studio Associate Julia Day, and Multimer Strategy Associate Taylor Nakagawa. Other events include an East Village-to-Harlem bus tour led by sociologist and author Garnette Cadogan, a four-hour Brooklyn bicycle tour, a screening of the William Holly Whyte-produced The Social Life of Small Urban Space, and an interactive Urban Mobility Variety Show at Figment NYC featuring dance, music and other performances. Check out this link for a full schedule and tickets.
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Studio Museum ventures into Marcus Garvey Park with new Maren Hassinger sculptures

This June, The Studio Museum in Harlem will be unveiling a new series of sculptures in Marcus Garvey Park by multidisciplinary artist and Harlem resident Maren Hassinger. Maren Hassinger: Monuments, which was organized by The Studio Museum in partnership with the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance and NYC Parks, will present eight site-specific public sculptures that will be on view for nearly a year. The eight sculptures will use branches bent and shaped into mounds, rings, cubes, and other shapes that respond to the park landscape and its existing forms. Not merely installed in Hassinger’s own neighborhood, the sculptures will also be made with the help of her neighbors, including local volunteers and participants from the Studio Museum’s Teen Leadership Council and Expanding the Walls program. Monuments will be a project made in Harlem, for Harlem. This is part of the museum’s broader inHarlem initiative which, since 2016, focuses on collaborations, exhibitions, conversations, workshops, and more offsite in the museum’s neighborhood As Hallie Ringle, who is the exhibition’s organizer and Assistant Curator at The Studio Museum, explained, “We’re reaching across the generations, and across both indoor and outdoor space, to present these projects...These new inHarlem exhibitions touch on themes of community, creative energy, respect for the earth, and histories both told and untold.” Hassinger, who is also the Director of the Rinehart School of Sculpture at Maryland Institute College of Art, rose to prominence in the 1970s for sculptures that draw from her background in fiber arts, dance, and performance, and that blend natural and industrial materials and forms. She is also renowned for her performances and videos and many early collaborations with artist Senga Nengudi. Maren Hassinger: Monuments Marcus Garvey Park, New York, NY June 16, 2018–June 10, 2019
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NYC Landmarks Commission designates a new historic district in central Harlem

On Tuesday, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) designated a stretch of Harlem between Lenox and Seventh Avenues the “Central Harlem –West 130th -132nd Streets Historic District.” The historic district consists of approximately 164 buildings, most of which are row houses, which were cheap and fast to build in the late 19th century. The houses, most of which are intact, reflect the late 19th century preference for the neo-Grec, Queen Anne, Renaissance Revival and Romanesque Revival styles, featuring uniform materials of brick and brownstone. Some of the district’s most prolific architects include Cleverdon & Putzel, William H. Boylan, Anthony McReynolds, and Charles Baxter. The district consists largely of residential buildings, but they serve as much more. The LPC notes that as many Harlem residents during the Harlem Renaissance and through the 1960s could not afford to make clubs and institutional buildings, they adapted many of their homes to accommodate “a variety of cultural, religious, civic and political uses.” Thus, besides the built architecture, the historic district designation is intended to mark the social and cultural history of the area and its many social institutions. In the late 19th century, Central Harlem was predominantly occupied by a middle and upper middle class population, who viewed Harlem as a new suburb of New York City. In the first decade of the 20th century, quickly following the collapse of real estate market in Harlem, African American realty companies started to sell houses to African American families. By 1930, African Americans made up 70 percent of Harlem’s population, compared to around 10 percent in 1910. The district has since flourished as one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in New York City. Besides arts and culture, it has also been the base of the civil rights movement during the 20th century, with landmarks such as the National Headquarters for the March on Washington. These and other histories can be found on the interactive story map that the LPC has launched alongside the designation. Users can explore the history and culture of the district alongside archival images, photos, videos and 3D maps here.
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Remembering historian Christiane Collins, who fought Columbia University to preserve Harlem’s parks

Christiane Crasemann Collins was born in Hamburg Germany, and immigrated first to Chile and then to the United States. She obtained a Master's degree in History of Art and later in Library Science from Columbia University, but her marriage to the late George R. Collins brought her closer to architecture. They both were prolific contributors to the architectural field in the United States. While George was known for many interests, he was most associated with the work of Antonio Gaudi. Christiane was proud of the avant-garde in Germany that she was born into, and, together, she and George published a path-breaking two-volume book on Camillo Sitte (1843-1903) and the Birth of City Planning—translating many German-language texts into English and putting Sitte into a historical context for English speakers. Their other major translation from German into English was The Architecture of Fantasy; Utopian Building and Planning in Modern Times (1962). This was initially authored by Ulrich Conrad and Hans G. Sperlich, and was the Collins's attempt to forge an end to the functionalism that proliferated after WWII and inspiring an appreciation of Expressionism. Her other feats in major architectural publications consisted of books on Werner Hegemann and the history of defeating Columbia University's plans for building a campus gym. She taught at Columbia University and Cornell University, where she started by substituting for architectural historian Christian Otto. Christiane not only honored her familial ties to the heritage of German culture but also to her Spanish roots in Chile, where her family had moved to avoid the horrors of WWII. She became an important contributor to avant-garde circles in Chile and other Latin American countries where she had many friends. Although she traveled extensively, she resided mostly in New York City and in Falmouth, MA. The grounds of her Falmouth house she oversaw studiously, and it is there, in her beloved house, that she cataloged the sizable library she and George had helped to accrue.
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African Burial Ground memorial and mixed-use development approved for Harlem

While completing work on the Willis Avenue Bridge in East Harlem in the early 2000s, an unexpected discovery was made. A building adjacent to the bridge – a bus depot operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) – seemed to have been built on top of a colonial-era African burial ground. In 2011, the MTA hired a consultant to complete a formal archaeological study (Phase 1A), which found that the depot grounds had indeed been an active burial site from the late 1660s to at least 1856. In 2015, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) completed a Phase 1B archaeological assessment and the depot was shut down, its operations relocated offsite. The nearby Elmendorf Reformed Church – a descendant church of the burial ground – were involved in the extraction of more than 140 bone fragments from the site, which will be preserved and reinterred within a memorial. As the MTA and NYCEDC discovered, the site had been the cemetery for descendants of Africans in the colonial era when the neighborhood was a Dutch settlement called Nieuw Haarlem. An adjacent cemetery for white parishioners was relocated to the Bronx when its attendant church moved, but the ground holding the Africans' remains was repeatedly resold and developed over, its history obscured and desecrated. Yesterday New York City Council approved a zoning application giving developers the go-ahead to construct a memorial at the historic burial ground, as well as a mixed-use housing and commercial complex including about 730 residential units, 80 percent of which will be made affordable. Before development begins, additional archaeological work will be conducted by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPS), supervised by the Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force (HABGTF), which has advocated for the site's formal recognition since 2009. The development, intended to be about two-thirds residential and one-third commercial, will center itself around the outdoor burial ground memorial and include up to 15,000 square feet of indoor memorial or cultural center space. The memorial itself will be allocated about 18,000 square feet, a wedge-shaped area near First Avenue. The overall site will span the entire city block. In the HABGTF's original design proposals for the memorial, the names of the deceased are carved into walls of black granite surrounding a reflecting pool with its ripples illuminated onto the ceiling by internal light fixtures. Reverend Doctor Patricia A. Singletary of the Elmendorf Reformed Church managed to find the names in the church's records. The promenade, also etched with quotes from black luminaries like Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King, Jr., can double as a presentation space for guest lectures "pertinent to the site's history and larger issues concerning the legacy of slavery and colonization." The memorial corridor, lined with bronze sculptural reliefs depicting scenes of slavery and Native Americans, extends out onto an open, public lawn dotted with fiber optic lights that illuminate the grasses at night. The NYCEDC plans to issue an RFP for development proposals for the site in 2018, with the final team selected in late 2018 or early 2019. The site is scheduled for construction on a tentative timeline from 2020 to 2023.
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Frank Lloyd Wright and NYC’s first public housing development together in new exhibit

  This Friday, September 8, the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University's Manhattanville campus will open a new exhibition, Living in America: Frank Lloyd Wright, Harlem, & Modern Housing. Developed by Columbia GSAPP's Temple Hoyne Buell Center, the Wallach Art Gallery, and the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, the exhibition is presented in tandem with MoMA's current show Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive. This exhibit, however, will center two parallel narratives: Wright's vision for Broadacre City, an exurban solution to questions around housing as an alternative to dense urban environments, and the simultaneous development of Harlem's first public housing for working-class African Americans. Presenting a range of drawings, archival photographs and other paraphernalia from the late 1920s to the late 1950s, the show aims to present conflicts around what inclusive housing can and should look like, and the particular problems this question posed in an era of trenchant segregation and economic inequality. Tracing Broadacre's inception in 1935 and its afterlife in much of Wright's later work alongside the 1936 groundbreaking of the Harlem River Houses under Roosevelt's New Deal, Living in America abuts not just questions about housing but its social consequences, from the structure of the nuclear family to debates about the privatization of public space. The show's title is drawn from an inscription on panels accompanying the physical Broadacre City model – now iconic and highly disputed among planners, architects and landscape architects alike. In addition to the exhibit, The Buell Center will host a symposium on September 28 and 29 as part of its longer-term research project, Power: Infrastructure in America, which has previously presented programs with the likes of Forensic Architecture's Eyal Weizman and author Kim Stanley Robinson.
Location:
Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Gallery, Columbia University
Lenfest Center for the Arts
615 W. 129th Street
Opening reception:
September 8 from 6 – 8 p.m.
On view:
September 9, 2017 – December 17, 2017
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The untold story of Harlem’s gentrification and growth

Architecture should never be excused from conversations on gentrification, but building design often takes a back seat when we consider the various forces behind neighborhood change. Ultimately gentrification engages so many issues—of city planning and policy, of income and racial inequality, of housing discrimination—that it’s impossible to tackle one without bringing in the others. Through this lens, architecture becomes part of a much larger conversation about our cities, and also a powerful tool in efforts to make rapidly changing neighborhoods more equitable.

A gentrification story that lends itself easily to study and dissection can be found in Harlem, an Upper Manhattan enclave that emerged as the best-known African American neighborhood in America following the Great Migration of the early 1900s. One hundred years later, the neighborhood—still a stronghold for New York’s African American community—is also home to multimillion dollar townhouses, big-box retail, a soon-to-open Whole Foods, and a dramatic uptick in white residents. What happened? The latest author to tackle the subject is Brian D. Goldstein, an assistant professor of architecture at the University of New Mexico. His book, The Roots of Urban Renaissance: Gentrification and the Struggle over Harlem, takes a multipronged approach to tackling that loaded question.

In his book, Goldstein explains how Harlem became a sort of testing ground for government-backed redevelopment throughout the 20th century—an often-hostile effort that sowed the seeds for more grassroots, community-led development. This push and pull between the government’s ambitions and community-based organizations persisted through the decades before the neighborhood essentially become a case study for “New York City Gentrification 101.” But the most fascinating question posed again and again by Harlem residents, and echoed throughout Goldstein’s book, is what the streets of Harlem should look like, who should design them, and who gets to inhabit them.

It would be a disservice to the book to boil down the many factors at play between Harlemites and the city government to decide that fate of the neighborhood. Goldstein makes the argument that Harlem’s recent wave of gentrification is a result of effective community-led developers who brought new mixed-income housing, supermarkets, and shopping malls to the neighborhood—which in turn brought a growing middle-class, and then upper-class, population. His point, essentially, is to debunk the idea that the gentrification of Harlem was solely imposed by outside developers and investors.

Goldstein makes a convincing argument to prove this—he traces the strength of these community organizations to ARCH, a radically innovative community developer founded in the mid-1960s, then details the proliferation of community development corporations (CDCs) in the following decades. It’s worth noting, however, that if these organizations are to be “blamed” for the gentrification of Harlem, they were founded in response to a city government with Robert Moses–like tendencies to bulldoze communities and replace them with “towers in the sky,” or to ignore the needs of the neighborhood altogether. Harlem always has been a radical neighborhood in that it has flourished even as the city government treated it with disregard—and it has hardly lost that energy today.

Goldstein, an architecture professor, is sure to point out cases of innovative and notable architecture and architectural practices, of which there are many. Not all are considered successes. In 1966, when the city opened Intermediate School 201, designed as a “showcase” for modernist architecture and curricular innovations, parents protested. As Goldstein explains, “Initially, the city had touted the intermediate schools as models of racial integration, but little in the initial planning of I.S. 201 in the early 1960s suggested that administrators were pursuing that objective with conviction.” The same year, at a vacant lot known as Reclamation Site #1, a proposal for a modernist state-office-building complex designed by the African American–led firm Ifill Johnson and Hanchard caused controversy. Local activists considered the block-long project a threat to Harlem’s identity, as well as their aspirations for community control—a flyer released in 1969 asked, “What’s to be built on Reclamation Site #1? Something for black people or a state office building for white people?” Both projects illustrate that architecture in Harlem has often gone beyond simple building design—the process has long engaged questions of race, inclusion, and community needs.

So it’s a welcome history lesson that the book highlights the work of J. Max Bond Jr., an architect and the first African American director of ARCH, who pushed forward a vision “of an alternative urban future centered on [Harlem residents’] daily lives.” Bond celebrated the “black aesthetic” in architecture, integrating the language of Black Power into ARCH’s work. It’s around this time that the concept of “activist architects and planners” took hold—professionals and amateurs who saw their work as deeply integrated with radical forms of participatory democracy. In that vein, Bond established a program in 1968 to help bring African American and Latino talent into the hardly diverse world of architecture.

The strength of ARCH highlights how things shift when community-centered organizations have agency over neighborhood development. Goldstein puts it this way: “[The] concern was with representation, with the resonance between those who made decisions about the shape of New York and those impacted by such decisions.… [It] was the idea that a designer’s race or ethnicity mattered, that people of color—whether professionals or amateur activists—were particularly attuned to the needs of neighborhoods like Harlem, and that they could thus uniquely plan their future.”

But as anyone familiar with the world of New York real estate knows, much development with public interest is the result of a number of compromises. Harlem’s community development corporations, for example, were still highly reliant on outside partners and city funds, often threatening activists’ dreams of local self-determination. With ample public funding, some CDCs were able to spur large-scale, profit-oriented projects along 125th Street, Harlem’s main drag, but the projects lacked the community engagement once prioritized. The arrival of these new projects also coincided with a rush of newcomers to New York, who pushed gentrification to its limit not only uptown but in Brooklyn and Queens.

But the practice of architecture and planning engaged with matters of race, equality, and empowerment persisted, and even offered a blueprint to other African American neighborhoods like West Oakland in California and Bronzeville in Chicago. In the conclusion of the book, Goldstein recounts a 2001 event in which J. Max Bond Jr., no longer with ARCH, asked, “In what image will Harlem be re-created?” It’s a question New Yorkers will never stop asking of their neighborhoods. But Goldstein illustrates well how Harlemites not only asked, but thoroughly engaged. Although the results were mixed, it’s impossible to deny how the neighborhood was radically shaped by the opinions, persistence, and ingenuity of the people who actually lived there.

The Roots of Urban Renaissance: Gentrification and the Struggle over Harlem Brian D. Goldstein, Harvard University Press $39.95

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What is happening to these landmarked fences in a Harlem park?

The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) this week approved a Parks Department plan to renovate a historic park, but proposed replacement of tall art moderne fencing with a shorter new fence—in keeping with an initiative to make parks more welcoming—was vigorously debated by commissioners and members of the public. At Tuesday's hearing, the Parks Department presented an expansive proposal to spruce up Jackie Robinson Park in West Harlem. The 13-acre greensward, once called Colonial Park, hugs Bradhurst and Edgecombe avenues between West 145th Street and West 153rd streets. Its rolling hills host a swimming pool and bathhouse at its southern end, one of the city's 11 WPA-era pool complexes and the only one built in a minority neighborhood. Designed by Aymar Embury II and Henry Ahrens, architects who worked under then-Parks Commissioner Robert Moses, the Jackie Robinson Play Center, built between 1935 and 1937, is art moderne through-and-through, with its simple brick massing anticipating the work of Louis Kahn. The pool and park perimeter are encircled by fencing; the most distinctive barriers are thin steel posts set between brick piers that match the bathhouse facade. The Parks Department would like to replace those landmarked fences with shorter ones, in keeping with Parks Without Borders, a new program to make parks more open and visually appealing. That program launched in 2015 with eight parks in the five boroughs selected for improvement the following year: Communities nominated parks for facelifts that could include lowering tall perimeter fences or removing them entirely, opening up narrow entrances, and building curb appeal in park-adjacent spaces. At various points in her presentation to Landmarks, a Parks Department representative called the entrances "unwelcoming" and referred to the fences as "giant," "heavy," "fortress-like," and "harsh," but acknowledged that the piers' brickwork matches the bathhouse. The Parks Department wants to remove the eight-foot-high perimeter fence at the southern border, which is bent and broken in places, and replace it with a four-foot-high barrier whose decorative elements borrow from fences elsewhere in the park of an earlier vintage. The agency also raised the possibility, based on its own research, that the southern fences were added at a later date (though the LPC designation report ties their to the construction of the pool and bathhouse). This project would come out of the almost $5 million in capital funds the city has allocated to carry out planned repairs, but that funding is not yet secured. Manhattan Community Board 1o reviewed the plans and supports the proposed changes. The fences were the subject of intense debate at the hearing, with members of the public and some commissioners voicing concern that the proposed fencing just doesn't harmonize with the surroundings. "This would be like replacing moderne windows with Victorian windows in an art deco building," said Patrick Waldo, reading a statement from preservation group Historic Districts Council (HDC). Reducing the height of the piers without reducing their width, HDC argued, would look strange and not dialogue appropriately with the monumentality of the pool complex. The group's statement noted that the wrought iron fence, which borrows from another park fence of a different era, is "stylistically inappropriate," adding that the complex is akin to a total development like Rockefeller Center; changing the details by stretching or shrinking them would compromise the overall design. In his testimony, landscape architect and preservation consultant Michael Gotkin called the fence replacement an "empty gesture." Gotkin, a longtime resident of the Upper West Side and West Harlem, believes that instead of the Parks Department addressing issues like inequality and disinvestment that prevent access to parks, the fences are being lowered for symbolic reasons. By the same logic, his testimony doubted whether the agency would lower Central Park's imposing Vanderbilt Gate or the tall wrought iron fence around the East Village's Stuyvesant Square. "We deserve as much preservation as rich neighborhoods," he said. After the hearing, historian and Harlem resident Michael Henry Adams highlighted a subtext to the planned changes in a historically black and rapidly gentrifying neighborhood where the median annual income hovers around $36,000. "It's just nutty to be talking about these airy-fairy things of making the park more welcoming for affluent white people when to do that, you are diminishing and altering an individual landmark. I think that's wrong." Adams has chronicled Harlem in two books and to works to preserve its history with Save Harlem Now!, a group he co-founded. The Landmarks commissioners, too, had conflicting perspectives on the fence replacement plan. Like every other commissioner, Adi Shamir-Baron favored the removal of chain link fences but called the removal of the larger piers a "strange thing to do." Formally, they dialogue with the monumentality of the building, but for her raised larger questions about their contemporary perception. "There's another discussion here: our new understanding of the heroic language of public work. We are uncomfortable with it. The tension around that is important to think about: What means what to whom?" Commissioner Diane Chapin noted that ideas around how the perimeters of parks should look are always in flux, she was not convinced on the appropriateness of a more ornate fence. Her colleague Michael Goldblum asked if there were other options: Could the piers stay and the fences be lowered? Lower most of the pillars but leave the ones near the entrance intact? "It's within preservation ideology and philosophy to make some changes along the perimeter and not be [a] slave to every possible historic aspect," said LPC Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan, a statement with which Commissioner Frederick Bland agreed. Sybil Young, a Parks preservationist, requested approval from the Commission in light of the fact the project's funding remained undecided. Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan assented and the commission agreed it could approve the work, among other requested changes. If and when the Parks Department has the capital funding for the new fences, it can go back to the LPC for discussion. An LPC spokesperson said that if there is significant new information the commission may hold an additional public meeting. A Parks Department spokesperson said that right now, except for work at the two southern entrances, the agency does not have funding or LPC approval for a new southern border fence or money to reduce the height of the piers. The agency is not actively seeking funding for the southern border portion of the project.
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Ground breaks on Bjarke Ingels Group’s Gotham East 126th Residential in Harlem

Yesterday saw the ground break on Bjarke Ingels Group's (BIG) Gotham East 126th Residential, a collection of rental units in east Harlem. At the event, Bjarke Ingels, founding partner of BIG, was on hand to speak about the building which features a checkerboard-like, curvaceous facade. The project is backed by developer Edward Blumenfeld's firm, Blumenfeld Development Group (BDG) and will offer 233 units for rent. At the groundbreaking ceremony, Blumenfeld remarked how lucky he was to nip Ingels in the bud early on, going on to say, "If we tried to hire him now, I don't think we would be so lucky!" BDG's development is set to comprise a combination of one- and two-bedroom apartments of which 20 percent will be set at affordable rates. "Here we are in the heart of a very lively and transforming neighborhood," said the Danish architect. "We had to think differently. We came up with this idea of gently draping the facade between the two neighbors, leaning back to allow sunlight and air to reach the street and also to fulfill the set-back requirements." By leaning back in such a manner, Ingels said the building "almost moves from 125th to 126th street." Gotham East 126th Residential also "peeks over the hedge" of a commercial building on 125th Street. This, in Ingels' eyes, allows occupants to make the most of the space that has been left unbuilt over the offices below by providing views downtown. On this part of the building, "an amazing roof garden for the inhabitants" is on offer, supplying wide-spanning "views over the developing neighborhood." Inside, these units will be filled with what Ingels described as "explosions of color," something which he drew on his experiences from working in and traveling to the Caribbean and Puerto Rico. In practice, this will see the entrance lobby and mailboxes splashed with "Caribbean colors." However, Ingels also spoke of caution when using such a vibrant color palette, pointing out how its use in architecture—and indeed dwellings—can be "incredibly personal." "Architects rarely play with color but here we felt that we had the context to do it," he said, going on to add how residents will have the opportunity to fill their apartments with "their own color." In addition to the living spaces, a lobby will act as a space for local artists to exhibit work. The building will also include a roof garden, game room, and fitness center. Previous renderings of Gotham East 126th Residential had depicted the building clad in cor-ten steel. This, though, has now changed. Speaking to The Architect's Newspaper, Ingels explained, "We looked at cor-ten which was the idea of trying to match the red brick with a material that wasn't brick," he said. Now renderings show a black concave facade. "It's blackened stainless steel," Ingels explained. "We wanted something that could express the three-dimensionality of a drape, to have a very soft facade framed by the two buildings either side. The building is also our first in-fill in New York so we wanted to express the idea of spanning between two sides." Ingels continued: "[The stainless steel] is smooth on its surface which means that it will reflect better than cor-ten. On the south side where you have a lot of direct light a bright material would emphasize the shape. But on the north side, where you have light from the sky, then actually a dark material where you can have the sky reflected... emphasizes the three-dimensionality."
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New York state unveils new pedestrian and cyclist bridge now under construction in Upper Manhattan

New York State Department of Transportation (NYDOT) Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll has revealed a $24.4 million bicycle and pedestrian bridge at 151st Street in Manhattan. Crossing the Henry Hudson Parkway and the adjacent Amtrak line, the new bridge will connect West Harlem with the Hudson River Greenway. For cyclists, the bridge will be a welcome addition to the area as it is set to provide stair-free access between the greenway and the intersection of 151st Street and Riverside Drive. The development is the second piece of positive news for bikers in the area. According to Streetsblog, earlier this year, New York City's DOT (NYC DOT) installed a "two-way bike lane on 158th Street as part of a larger package of bikeway improvements linking the Hudson River Greenway to the High Bridge." The historic High Bridge reopened to cyclists and pedestrians this past June. Spanning 270 feet, the new bridge will feature ADA-compliant ramps on both sides and a dramatic archway overhead. This is the second and final installment from the NYDOT within the 71st Assembly District to improve access to the Hudson River waterfront, the first of which came in 2006 with the $2 million ramp and stairway at 158th street. Driscoll in the announcement said the project will cost $24.4million of which some will also go toward new landscaping and lighting within the area.
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Here’s your first look at what Bjarke Ingels has planned for Harlem

Since setting up shop in New York, the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has quickly become one of the most visible architecture firms in the city. It all started with the tetrahedron-shaped residential "courtscraper," first called W57 and now dubbed Via, that is now nearing completion on 57th Street. And then there is BIG's viewing platform at Brooklyn Bridge Park that has been likened to a Tostito. (That nickname has stuck, but the project's funding has not.) Across the East River from the park, over on the Lower East Side, BIG is also in the planning stages for the Dryline, a flood protection system of landscaped berms and parkland that was awarded $335 million in the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Rebuild By Design competition. And then of course there is the recently-unveiled Two World Trade Center that may or may not be a staircase for King Kong. As these projects have been unveiled one after the other, anticipation has been building over BIG's planned residential building in Harlem. Now, thanks to some early renderings obtained by NY YIMBY we have a sense of New York City's next BIG thing. The residential building on 126th street would make a serious statement with an undulating, concave facade of glass and what appears to be concrete or metal panels. (The design is actually quite similar to BIG's 1200 Intrepid at Philadelphia's Navy Yard.) The T-shaped structure would cantilever over Gotham Plaza, a retail building on 125th street that is owned by Blumenfeld which is developing the BIG project with Extell. YIMBY reported that the building contains 233 apartments, most of which are studios and one-bedrooms. (Twenty percent of the building—47 units—will be priced below market-rate.) As the site also noted, the building's design appears to remain in flux as its facade has been rendered in both black and red.
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David Adjaye’s new Studio Museum in Harlem includes an “inverted stoop” to welcome in the neighborhood

David Adjaye is bringing another significant project to Upper Manhattan. Thirty blocks south of his $80 million affordable housing project in Sugar Hill, another notable building by the architect will rise: the new, 71,000-square-foot Studio Museum in Harlem. The conceptual design for the five-story building boosts gallery space by 50 percent over the museum's current 101-year-old structure which it will replace. The museum said the new building—with its mix of exhibition and archive space, artist-in-residency programs, and public programming—is intended to be a "living room" for Harlem. The building even has an "inverted stoop"—a clever name for a community-facing, multi-use performance space. Adjaye has also created exhibition spaces within the museum that are visible from the street. “This project is about pushing the museum typology to a new place and thinking about the display and reception of art in innovative ways," Adjaye said in a statement. "It is also about a powerful urban resonance—drawing on the architectural tropes of Harlem and celebrating the history and culture of this extraordinary neighborhood with a building that will be a beacon for a growing local, national and international audience.” The total cost of the project is $122 million, which is being partially covered by $35.3 million in appropriations from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Office, the City Council, and the Office of the Manhattan Borough President. The museum intends to present Adjaye's conceptual design to the Public Design Commission on July 14, and construction is currently scheduled to start in 2017.