With his "court-scraper" nearing completion on Manhattan's 57th Street, Bjarke Ingels is doubling down on Manhattan. The Real Deal has reported that the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has filed an application to build an 11-story, mixed-use residential project in Harlem. While we don't know exactly what to expect from BIG just yet, the New York Post reported that the structure could cantilever over Gotham Plaza. No matter what the firm brings to the site, it's a safe bet that it won't look like the standard-issue residential buildings rising in New York City.
Posts tagged with "Harlem":
Something BIG is coming to Harlem. According to the New York Post, Long Island–based Blumenfeld Development has hired the Bjarke Ingels Group to design a proposed residential project on East 125th street. The Danish and American architects have reportedly signed on to build a 200,000 square-foot apartment building on a site between Lexington and Third avenues, known as Gotham Plaza, which currently contains a decade-old DMV building. While renderings have yet to be unleashed, judging from Bjarke’s incoming West 57 project, we can surely expect something exciting from the 200-unit apartment building, 20 percent of which will be affordable.
Earlier this week, Manhattan Borough President and City Controller candidate Scott Stringer announced his $1 million pledge to restore a historic Harlem fire watchtower at the heart of Marcus Garvey Park. In the 19th century, the 47-foot tower served as a lookout point and the bell was raised in case of imminent danger. Today, the tower no longer protects the community but threatens it, showing substantial signs of decay and neglect. Running a tight race against Eliot Spitzer, Stringer lags behind the former governor in terms of African American votes and is thus seeking to salvage one of the community’s most valued landmarks. The past few days, he has generated good publicity from his ability and desire to fund this restoration project.The $1 million provided by Stringer, along with the $1.75 million contributed by Councilmember Inez Dickens and $1.25 million by Mayor Bloomberg will be used to preserve the tower. The project includes a full restoration of the tower’s cast-iron structure, the removal of deficient parts, and the additional construction of a stainless steel support system. As the 157-year-old tower continues to deteriorate, with parts of it falling from its structure each day, Stringer assures that the restoration project will contribute to a safer environment for Harlem inhabitants. Stringer plans on working collaboratively with the Mayor’s Office, the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance, and the Mount Morris Community Improvement Association in order to protect a historic component of Harlem’s culture and history. The fire tower is the only surviving one of eleven cast-iron watchtowers placed throughout New York City since the 1850s. The project will ensure the preservation of one of the city’s most treasured historical remnants and will ultimately lead to a safer environment within the Harlem community.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, architects have been called to arms to both engage in the immediate recovery efforts and to come up with design solutions that will make New York City's buildings more resilient and sustainable in the long-term. The latest in a flood of new Sandy-inspired design initiatives was launched yesterday by New York Restoration Project (NYRP), dubbed "EDGE/ucation Pavillion Design Competition," asking a group of hand-picked, up-and-coming architecture firms to create a storm-resistant pavilion in Sherman Creek Park right on the Harlem River. The structure, located on a former illegal garbage dumping site, would serve as a boating facility and outdoor classroom for a number of activities such as wetland exploration and oyster gardening. The NYRP undertook a major clean-up of the polluted 5-acre area in 1996 and has since transformed it into a healthy and verdant public space for recreation and boating. The project is expected to cost $900,000. With the help of Susanna Sirefman of Dovetail Design Strategists, the NYRP selected eight Manhattan and Brooklyn-based firms, that include: Bade Stageberg Cox, Desai/Chia Architecture, HOLLER Architecture, KNE Studio, Lang Architecture, Taylor and Miller Architecture + Design, Urban Data & Design, and WORKac. The firms will submit their proposals on September 16th, and the following month, a Technical Advisory Group made up of leaders in the field—such as Adrian Benepe, Director of City Park Development for Trust of a Public Land and Thomas Christoffersen of BIG—will select the five finalists. A new jury—including NYRP founder Bette Midler, James Polshek of Ennead Architects, and Christopher Sharples of SHoP Architects—will then look over the submissions. A winning proposal will be announced in late November 2013.
This Saturday evening, July 20, EZUFF, the Elvis Zapp Urban Projection Project, a mini-film festival, will have its inaugural run at the Mayles Cinema in Harlem. Its goal is to explore “art and city public life” using short experimental film to “make a link between contemporary urban forms of expression/representation and the political imagination for the city of today. It is about oblique ways to dig into present day urban cultures and imagine alternatives for the cities of tomorrow." EZUFF is masterminded by co-founders architect Andrew Macnair and multi-media artist and Mamoru Kobayakawa, along with Robert Bowen, Joke Post, David Kessler, and Kim Steele. In these moving-image explorations you can see the workings out of architectural ideas, the capturing of a moment, of visual connections, poetic explorations, and visual textures. Themes and approaches emerge such as the performative, where we experience the spaces where events take place but don’t necessarily see the event (Scala Zero [La Scala opera house], Yankees Game, Bronx); dystopia, ranging from contagion (Quarantena), waste, or a sinister hypnotic tower (Truth Tower); and music videos (I Came Home Haunted: Nine Inch Nails by David Lynch). A few flip the video images on their side 90 degrees for a vertical format (Towers, Parametric Play) solving the problem of how to show tall structures within a horizontal frame. Here are a few titles to watch for. Prop for All/if then: Arakawa+Gins - Bioscleave House, East Hampton by Robert Bowen centers on this unusual structure in East Hampton by Arakawa and Madelin Gins, a perceptual experiment that thrusts the body into architectural space. The building features an undulating, mottled floor that keeps visitors completely off kilter, a central green recessed warren, and walls of various bright colors inside and out. The film language echoes the intent of the creators: using the idea of a propeller (to literally propel the body forward), the camera spins in continuous tracking shots—right side up, upside down, sideway, interior and exterior—taking in the entire house at once, to the sounds of a chopper’s blades rotating. A second clip from this 18-minute film will also be shown where the house grows up from the ground, then disintegrates into a cloud colored dust. Patrik Shumacher, partner at Zaha Hadid Architects, made the video Parametricism, which is also the term he uses for the style of architecture based on advanced computational design techniques. In a manifesto, he has advocated for the term’s use to describe a style, as one would Baroque or Modernism. This video plays with different black and white visualizations: one linear, the others in 3D—in liquid-like black forms, in white Chicklets, another in white Lego-like chunks on an undulating surface. Forces ply the shapes into shifting elastic contours and you can imagine the firm’s architectural ideas coming to life. Gigdem Talu’s Heteroscapes focuses on the distinctive sounds of a place. Here, the “soundmarks” of Manhattan, Carroll Gardens, and Red Hook are profiled with black and white video (giving more emphasis to sound than picture) that show the “reciprocal relationship with urban morphologies by creating patterns.” Enhancing footage of life on the street, the words “sound diffusion” “street rhythm” and “sound dissipation” accompany diagrams that show urban patterns, sections , and density. Close you eyes to see if you can identify the neighborhood. Ineke Liesting’s Rotating Rietveld: Schroder-Schrader House, Utrecht illustrates the harmony of composition by rotating the image of this De Stijl-style house. The composition is perfectly balanced in any direction. (Footage is very low tech, taken with a cellphone camera.) Chairarch, Australia by Glue Society is a delightful whimsy that takes colorful chairs into a blinding white snowscape by men clad in white spacesuits, which they stack and raise into an arched rainbow “because we can.” July 20, 7:00 pm Maysles Cinema 343 Malcolm X Blvd /Lenox Ave between 127 & 128 streets (212)537-6843 Future showings: September 17, 7:00 pm Spectrum Space, 121 Ludlow St., 2nd Floor, New York 10002
After much speculation, New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) has officially announced its plan to lease parcels of land right in the middle of eight public housing developments in Manhattan to private developers. For several months, NYCHA officials have held meetings at the proposed sites, but the plans have been met with criticism from residents and local government representatives. Chairman John B. Rhea told members of the State Assembly last Friday that the over-extended agency must “ find innovative ways to chart our own path” and make up for its significant loss of state and federal funding. Rhea told the Committee that the agency has lost over 2.3 billion in the last decade and now is “met with 6 billion dollars in unmet capital needs.” NYCHA would lease a total of 14 parcels of lands to developers who would then be responsible for constructing and operating the buildings. The income, estimated to be between $30 and $50 million, from these new developments would then be invested back into public housing improvements. It is a lucrative deal for developers who will land a 99-year ground lease plus tax breaks. NYCHA will soon issue an Request for Proposal (RFP) this Spring for the development of these 14 parcels located throughout the city from Lower Eastside up to Harlem.
Changes are brewing in East Harlem. DNAinfo reported this week that Community Board 11 just approved a new rezoning plan for a 60-block stretch that runs along Madison, Park, and Lexington avenues between East 115th and East 132nd streets. The proposal is a collaborative effort between Community Board 11’s Land Use Committee, the planning firm George M. Janes & Associates, and Civitas, a local advocacy group. Instead of recommending uniform changes, the proposal addresses the needs and character of each specific area in East Harlem whether it be residential, light industrial, mixed-use, or commercial. According to DNAinfo, taller buildings will be permitted “in exchange for permanently affordable housing units.” The proposal also looks at possible solutions for the foreboding Metro-North viaduct that extends over Park Avenue.
Officials broke ground today on the long anticipated restoration of New York's High Bridge connecting the Bronx with Manhattan. Built in 1848 and today the city's oldest bridge, the 1,200-foot-long span had long been a popular strolling bridge, even making an appearance in Edith Wharton's 1913 novel Custom of the Country. The landmarked bridge was closed to the public in the 1970s, but after construction wraps up on the $61 million rehabilitation, strolling New Yorkers and bicyclists can once again cross high above the Harlem River—116 feet—and connect with the city's growing waterfront Greenway. (See also: Photos of High Bridge before renovation.) Improvements include pedestrian safety measures like accessibility ramps, viewing platforms, and new lighting. An eight-foot-tall cable mesh fence to prevent jumpers and throwing trash will also line each side, a point that drew criticism from some in the community who believe it's unnecessary and will spoil views. In a statement released at the groundbreaking ceremony, Mayor Michael Bloomberg called High Bridge "one of our city's great treasures." He continued, "It will bring people here from all over the five boroughs, and even all over the world, to see some of the most spectacular views in the city."
Last night was a night of tough decisions. ArchNewsNow threw its tenth anniversary party at the Center for Architecture and DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan gave the Mumford Lecture at City College—on opposite ends of town at the same time. Impossible to do both, our Publisher Diana Darling partied down with ArchNewsNow and we headed for the Mumford Lecture, sending hearty congratulations to ArchNews editor Kristen Richards. Despite missing the party, the trip Uptown was well worth it... The event got off to a slightly late start. City College's urban design director, Professor Michael Sorkin couldn’t resist announcing that the transportation commissioner was stuck in traffic. Like so many Sadik-Khan events, high-ranking officials, like City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden, sat alongside bike-helmet-in-hand supporters. “She has reimagined our streets as places rather than appliances,” Sorkin said by way of introduction. At the podium Sadik-Khan was her usual irreverent and direct self, giving more of a presentation than a hard-core academic lecture. She tossed off casual tidbits of advice to students (practicing judo with your boss is a good way to release inter-office tension—she practiced with a former boss, not her current one). At another point when an audience member asked about the city’s plans for public restrooms she deadpanned, “Starbucks.” But on the subject of safety she was dead serious. She said that until the current administration, “Our streets were looked at through a 1950s ethos” of a car-centric culture. “We’re one of the premier walking cities but it's often dangerous to walk," she said. The commissioner quoted Mumford who called car accidents a “ritual sacrifice in worship of speed.” Though fatalities in the city are at their lowest level in 40 years, she still sees a need for more “retrofits" of the streetscape. To that end the DOT is developing wayfinding signage for pedestrians that will be launched next year. The commissioner concluded by pegging sustainability to safety: “We can't get people on bikes unless they feel safe.”
A rainy day couldn’t dampen the spirits of the fourth graders that we met playing hoops in the brightly lit gym of the East Harlem School. It looks to me that there are two geniuses behind this wonderful building: Peter Gluck, the acerbic and seasoned architect/builder and Ivan M. Hageman, co-founder and Head of School. Gluck led the tour, but Ivan was ever-present—in the cafeteria leading an appreciation of the chef and servers, and in the reception area meeting with parents. He welcomed us into his office, which is perched at the east end of the building with a clear glass open view up 103rd Street to the Public School embedded in the nearby housing project. Jane Jacobs eyes on the street. The East Harlem School is an independent school—think Collegiate School or Dalton. It doesn’t have to play by any rules handed down from political higher ups, construction authorities, or educational commissions, and come to think of it, the East Harlem School seems to play by rules from higher powers. Its mission is to rescue middle schoolers from their context with a nine hour school day and an eleven month school year. Stressing moral integrity, courtesy, academic excellence, and providing the students with an unshakable commitment to their future, this small (130 students) school is having a significant impact on their young lives. Surrounded by high quality materials, nice furniture, well-proportioned lively spaces, good acoustics, and strong discipline, they go on to fancy high schools, and eventually to major colleges. They hope some come back as teachers. The four eighth grade girls I met were poised, comfortable shaking hands, engaged, and eager to hear about the architecture—I mentioned that ladies can be architects, too. The building is Gluck’s manifestation of Hageman’s vision. Its black, white, and grey Trespa façade evokes the diversity of its student body and founders, at the same time as it provides for pedagogical flexibility. The school is supported by a bold-face name board of worthies, who have enabled the construction of the new 27,800 square foot facility, as well as its ongoing support of staff and students. The interior is lively and coherent with accent colors in expensive rubber flooring that was affordable because the building was both designed by Gluck the architect and built by Gluck’s construction arm. Gluck is carving out a space for the master-builder/architect of days gone by—and he’s messianic about it. Just ask him. -Cynthia Phifer Kracauer For the info on the tour of tomorrow's Building of the Day click here: 41 Cooper Square. Each “Building of the Day” has received a Design Award from the AIA New York Chapter. For the rest of the month—Archtober—we will write here a personal account about the architectural ideas, the urban contexts, programs, clients, technical innovations, and architects that make these buildings noteworthy. Daily posts will track highlights of New York’s new architecture. Read more at www.archtober.org/blog.
The New York City Economic Development Corporation announced Wednesday that the former Taystee Bakery site in Harlem will be redeveloped into a green, mixed-use structure featuring light manufacturing, artists and not-for-profit spaces, a local bank, an ice skating rink, and a local brewery. Project developers Janus Partners and Monadnock Construction asked LevenBetts Architecture to create a design that merges the eclectic program to create an economic and social center for the neighborhood. Called the CREATE @ Harlem Green, the new building will incorporate the masonry walls of the Taystee Bakery facility and add a new modern structure hovering atop the historic buildings. "We're rethinking the industrial building," said David Leven, partner at LevenBetts and director of graduate studies at Parsons. "What's left are big, heavy, dark buildings that have been abandoned or disused for some time. We're preserving what's left but opening the facades up to the street." Plans call for 100,000 square feet of new manufacturing space, 90,000 square feet of office space, 40,000 square feet of retail space, and 10,000 of community facility space, in total estimated to cost $100 million. Renderings revealed by LevenBetts may change as plans for the site are further developed, but Leven told AN that they represent a "well developed concept." The new structure, clad in perforated metal panels, mediates the scales of surrounding buildings, stepping down its height along 126th Street. Leven said the neighborhood expressed support for the massing of the new structure. A continuous band expressing a structural truss and its sawtooth rhythm was originally conceived as a mechanism for hanging lower floors above the historic facades. While the expression will likely remain, its may not have a structural component. "We must think realistically about the budget," Leven said. Green roofs and walls abound throughout the new building, including a wall along 125th Street covered in hops to be used by the Harlem Brewing Company which will operate a brewery in the new building. Harlem Brewing will offer tours of their new facility and run a tap room and gift shop. More traditional green roofs including a landscaped courtyard for Carver Federal Savings Bank, the nation's largest African-American-operated bank, can be found on the larger building. Councilman Robert Jackson praised CREATE @ Harlem Green in a statement, “I am thrilled that this development, which is consistent with the vision of the community for this neighborhood, is moving forward. It will re-activate an important site in our community, and bring hundreds of good jobs to the people of Harlem.” Before construction can begin, the project must move through public review. Developers must also complete assembling their team and evaluating conditions on the site to help with foundation design.
Manhattanville's Piano. While tallying who is the biggest landlord in New York (it's still the church by a hair), The Observer uncovered a few new views of Renzo Piano's Jerome L. Green Science Center at Columbia's Manhattanville campus, seen here next to a train viaduct. Pedestrianizing New York. The remaking of New York's public spaces continues its forward march. Brownstoner has details on the planned pedestrian plaza on Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn and StreetsBlog highlights DOT's plans to create a permanent block-long Plaza de las Americas in Washington Heights. Archi-babble. Witold Rybczynski talkes issue with architecture's professional jargon in Slate, including a beginner's guide to commonly used words from assemblage to gesamtkunstwerk. What's your favorite word from the language of architecture? Subway Squeeze. We're not talking about your crowded commute, but New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposal to trim $100 million from transit. Transportation Nation and StreetsBlog have the details and implications for getting around New York.