Posts tagged with "Lower Manhattan":

Window washers dangling from One World Trade Center rescued

Firetrucks, police cars, and a helicopter surrounded 1 World Trade Center this afternoon to save two window washers who became trapped near the 69th floor on the south side of the building. According to the New York Times, the machine controlling the scaffolding, to which the washers were strapped, malfunctioned. Firefighters were able to reach them by cutting a hole in a nearby window and then bringing them to safety.  An official from the fire department said he believed the cause of the scaffolding failure was a snapped cable.

“They are in a difficult spot,” a fire department spokesman told the Wall Street Journal. “They are feeling the effects of hanging in there.”

Video> Installing James Carpenter’s Sky Reflector-Net at the Fulton Center

Earlier this week, AN went inside the recently completed, $1.4 billion Fulton Center in Lower Manhattan. As we mentioned, the station connects nine subway lines and is centered around a real show-stopper of an oculus. That massive skylight is wrapped in the Sky Reflector-Net, a 4,000-pound, James Carpenter–designed, structure that uses aluminum panels to disperse light throughout the station. Check out the video below to see how the MTA strung-up the high-tech net.

Pictorial> The new Fulton Center opens in Lower Manhattan

When the new Fulton Center opened this weekend—after seven years of delays and cost overruns that lifted the project’s price tag from $750 million to $1.4 billion—New York City got two things: a modern upgrade to its transportation network and an iconic piece of architecture. With new well-lit concourses, pedestrian tunnels, escalators and elevators, and more intuitive transfer points between nine subway lines, Fulton Center will drastically improve the transit experience for the 300,000 people who pass through it every day. But even with these significant improvements, all anyone is talking about is the center's eye-catching glass oculus and its hyperboloid Sky Reflector-Net installation. Step inside the station, and you'll understand why. The 53-foot-diameter structure was commissioned by the MTA Arts & Design program and created by James Carpenter Associates with Grimshaw Architects, Enclos, TriPyramid Structures, and ARUP. It is comprised of 952 aluminum panels, 224 high-strength rods, 112 tension cables, and 10,000 stainless-steel components that work in tandem to fill the station with natural light. The full effect of the design can only be experienced from within the station—standing across the street from Fulton Center, which appears as a steel and glass headhouse, the oculus and Sky Reflector-Net could be mistaken for a massive vent. The upper floors of the rotunda, which are set directly underneath the oculus, will soon be ringed by shops and restaurants. The 66,000 square feet of commercial space is connected to the station through a prominent glass elevator that is wrapped in a spiral staircase. But as dramatic as all of these large gestures are, the center is completed with the MTA's standard-issue, black and gray finishes. The handrails, doors, flooring, and even garbage cans are what you would find at any other station. The station's subdued color scheme, though, is broken up slightly with the light blue glass tiles that clad the station’s below-grade corridors. In these subterranean spaces, the choice of tile, and the decision to set overheard fluorescent bulbs at an angle, shows the impact that designers can have when deviating—however slightly—from the norm. Spread throughout the new Fulton Center are over 50 digital screens that make up the MTA’s “largest state-of-the-art digital signage media program.” When AN visited the Fulton Center, some of those screens were quickly switching between video art and ads for Burberry. And then back again. The completion of the Fulton Center also comes with the $59 million renovation of the adjacent, 125-year-old Corbin Building. The refurbished space, which boasts a stately exterior, is incorporated into the circulation of the center. Exiting through the Corbin Building–side exit, you can see the wings of the nearly $4 billion, Calatrava-designed World Trade Center Transit Hub. When that station opens next year, it will connect to the Fulton Center, and quite likely overshadow it. The bulk of the funding for this project ($847 million) came from a Congressional appropriation which was aimed at rebuilding transit networks in Lower Manhattan after September 11. An additional $423 million came from President Obama's stimulus act. The MTA also provided $130 million in funds.              

Pictorial> One World Trade Center officially opens its doors

After years of delays and nearly $4 billion in costs, One World Trade Center is officially open. Earlier today, about 175 Condé Nast employees walked past a scrum of reporters and into the SOM-designed tower where the media company has leased 24 floors. By early next year, Condé Nast is expected to have all of its 3,400 employees within the building. Still, less than 60 percent of the 1,776-foot-tall tower has been leased. A few hours after the Condé Nast employees arrived for work, AN went down to the World Trade Center site to check out One World Trade's lobby. The multi-story space is clad in white marble, which according to the New York Times, comes from the same quarry that was used when constructing the original Twin Towers. These expansive white walls are partially covered with artwork and colorful columns of light caused by sunlight passing through the lobby's translucent glass fins. The lobby connects to Calatrava's $4 billion Transit Hub through a subterranean passageway, and to the September 11 Memorial through a street-level entrance. One World Trade's observation deck, known as the One World Observatory, is expected to open this spring and will be accessible through a separate entrance on the lobby's western side. That entrance comes with a small public plaza which, as of today, looks like an afterthought as it is just an expanse of concrete and a few trees. The opening of One World Trade comes as the long-delayed, over-budget, 16-acre World Trade Center redevelopment continues to grow and connect into the city grid. The Maki-designed 4 World Trade Center is officially open, the final wings are being welded onto the Transit Hub, and Richard Rogers' stalled 3 World Trade Center is restarting its climb. At the same time, construction shedding is coming down and sidewalks are reopening, making the entire complex feel a little more concrete.

Archtober Building of the Day #25> 4 World Trade Center by Fumihiko Maki

Archtober Building of the Day 4 World Trade Center 150 Greenwich Street Maki and Associates Located along the western edge of Memorial Plaza, 4 World Trade Center by Maki and Associates is part of the Studio Libeskind master plan for the World Trade Center being developed by Silverstein Properties. This weekend, Archtober crowds toured the building. The materials used throughout 4WTC bring the outside in—a black, polished Swedish granite wall brings a reference to the Memorial Plaza into the building’s lobby. The high feldspar content of the granite creates a stippling effect that softens and slightly abstracts this reflection. The glass used in the first-floor lobby is low in iron, rendering it incredibly clear, while the more reflective glass of the stories above emphasizes the building’s connection with the diagonally adjacent One World Trade Center. Sky Memory, a sculpture by the Japanese artist Kozo Nishino, is composed of lightweight titanium arcs that emerge from the black granite wall and, in a trick of the eye, reads as a full circle. Pure white Thassos marble along the north wall of the lobby stands in contrast to the black granite. It reappears in the core of the building, where three lobbies lead to a bank of elevators. These lobbies are clad in wood panels that were all harvested from a single Anigre tree. Coated with six layers of polyester and one of polyurethane, the panels reflect scenes of water, trees, and sky depicted in LED screens at the ends of the lobbies. After a quick, ear-popping elevator ride 57 stories up, we disembarked to breathtaking views. As Osamu Sassa, the project architect, pointed out, the notches that accentuate the corners of the building when viewed from a distance also double the number of coveted corner offices available on each floor. After a few minutes of snapping selfies, we reconvened on the terrace formed by the cutout in the building’s facade. One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the United States, did not seem quite as overwhelming from this vantage point. The Pavilion at Brookfield Place, with its grand lobby that we visited on Archtober 12, appeared diminutive by comparison. Cynthia Kracauer:
My bad. I missed the first hour of the tour led by Osamu Sassa and Mary Dietz. Sassa was the project architect for seven years for the many Maki projects in New York. Dietz represented Silverstein Properties. Archtober minions were out in force, so I will cede my blog space to those who actually enjoyed the presentation. Nonetheless, Benjamin and I had a wonderful post-tour conversation with Sassa. We both noted how much 4 WTC resembles the work of Edward Larrabee Barnes. Sassa had Barnes as a critic at the GSD, and expressed a reverence for him—and shared our sense that his contribution to the tropes of skyscraper design is under-recognized.
Cynthia Phifer Kracauer, AIA, is the Managing Director of the Center for Architecture and the festival director for Archtober:  Architecture and Design Month NYC.  She was previously a partner at Butler Rogers Baskett, and from 1989-2005 at Swanke Hayden Connell.  After graduating from Princeton (AB 1975, M.Arch 1979) she worked for Philip Johnson,  held faculty appointments at the University of Virginia, NJIT, and her alma mater.
 
 Julia Cohen is the Archtober Coordinator at the Center for Architecture.

Meet Fleurt, New York’s most anticipated chair of the fall season

Fleurt, the winning design for the Battery Conservancy America's "Draw Up a Chair" competition, has been described as an “archetypal floral form” and even a “whimsical suggestion of sun-loving flowers floating in a field.” But it is much more than that. Fleurt “announces openness and photogenic warmth” and creates a “memorable, diaphanous landscape.” Fleurt “stretches out” with its “lounging curves.” Fleurt is, yes, fine, technically a chair. Fleurt comes to us from the mind of Canadian designer Andrew Jones who just won New York’s first-ever, open-call competition to create a moveable chair for a city park. The contest, which was launched in 2012 by the New York City Parks Department and the Battery Conservancy, received 679 submissions from across the Americas. From there, a jury selected 50 finalists and then prototypes of five of those designs were fabricated and exhibited to the public. And then, after 4,000 comments were collected, the jury picked Fleurt as the winner. And if it wasn't clear from the above descriptions of said chair, the competition organizers were very, very excited to announce that. Very excited. If you can slice through all the adjectives surrounding Fleurt, it is possible to get a sense of just the basics. The chairs are made of perforated steel and will be fabricated in varying shades of blue. The floral aesthetic is realized through petal-shaped armrests that may or may not be comfortable. “I don’t like the way it forces you to make a decision with your arms,” one  sitter told the New York Times after trying out the Fleurt. To be fair, his wife disagreed with that assessment, saying “I’m not bothered by the arm rests." Soon enough you, too, can weigh-in on the Great Fleurt Armrest Debate of 2014 as the chairs are expected to arrive on the Battery Oval in Lower Manhattan by the end of the year.

From 67 floors above the World Trade Center, a progress report

Earlier this week, AN went up to the 67th floor of the recently-opened 4 World Trade Center to get a progress report on the 16-acre redevelopment taking shape below. Inside the wide-open and raw space, Larry Silverstein, the site’s developer, told reporters that his vision for a new World Trade Center had finally become a reality. “I’ve gotten a bit of a reputation as a wild-eyed optimist,” he said in front of a wall of windows. “But even I have to admit that I didn’t see all this coming.” Noting that it had been 13 years since the attacks, he went on to refer to the anniversary as the site’s “bar mitzvah.” From high up in Fumihiko Maki’s celebrated 4 World Trade it’s easy to see how much has changed at the World Trade Center site over those 13 years—and how much still needs to get done. Looking straight down the tower’s western edge, you can see the pools of the 9/11 Memorial Plaza which opened in 2011 and the adjacent 9/11 Memorial Museum that came on-line three years later. Next to that is Calatrava’s bird-like transportation hub where workers could be seen busily welding on the structure's skeletal wings. That project is scheduled to open in the second half of 2015, years behind schedule and at a cost of nearly $4 billion. A few blocks north of the winged creature is 7 World Trade, the David Childs–designed building that opened in 2006 and is fully leased. Across Vesey Street is another Child's tower—the site’s centerpiece—the 1,776-foot-tall One World Trade. After years of delays, the building is expected to open some time this fall. As of now, the tower is about 60 percent leased. The same can be said for 4 World Trade. "I am both humbled and inspired by the process. It is never an easy process, and why should it be?" asked Daniel Libeskind, who crafted the site's masterplan. "This is New York City, there are so many stakeholders, so much to be done, and so much to think about." But there is obviously so much more to be done still—so many missing pieces in Libeskind's plan. Just this month, the board of the World Trade Center's performing arts center announced it had scrapped Gehry's decade-old design for the project. The board told the New York Times that is currently looking for a new architect to take over. And then there is Calatrava's other project at the site, the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which is still a few years off. While looking straight down from 4 World Trade shows how much has been rebuilt since 9/11, looking straight out reveals how much has not. The Midtown skyline that served as a backdrop for the event's speakers may have been impressive, but it was a blatant reminder of what has not been accomplished since the Twin Towers came crashing down. Because, at this point in the reconstruction process, employees in 4 World Trade Center shouldn’t have an entirely unobstructed view of Midtown—there should be two other glass towers in the way: 3 World Trade by Richard Rogers and 2 World Trade by Norman Foster. Silverstein said that the former should be completed by 2018, but as for 2 World Trade Center, it’s anyone’s guess. In a fact sheet distributed by representatives of Silverstein Properties, the tower's completion date is conspicuously left off.

Design Trust For Public Space Announces Winners of its Public Space Competition

Last night, AN was over at the National Museum of the American Indian in Lower Manhattan, to hear the Design Trust for Public Space announce the winners of  Energetic City: Connectivity in the Public Realm—its open call for proposals to reimagine the city's public space. Out of over 90 submissions that came from individuals, city agencies, and community groups, the jury selected four winning plans that should collectively include programming in all five boroughs. In a statement, the trust said the proposals "will develop new ways of connecting diverse people, systems, and built, natural and digital environment of New York City. Each project, which will receive seed funding to begin immediately, will respond to the needs and aspirations of community users." Here's some information on each project all courtesy of the Design Trust for Public Space: Design Guidelines for Neighborhood Retail (
The New York City Department of Housing, Preservation & Development) The NYC Department of Housing, Preservation & Development needs design guidelines to achieve successful mixed-use developments that include high-performing ground-floor spaces. The resulting manual will generate immediate changes to HPD’s development process for mixed-use projects, but also for other entities focused on creating vibrant local economies through design. FMCP Creative / Reconnect the Park
 (Queens Museum and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation) Queens Museum and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation will investigate new ways of connecting public parks to communities through a pilot study that will analyze Flushing Meadows Corona Park (FMCP). Envisioned as an active learning framework for park users, the project will support community participants in developing proposals to improve FMCP’s connectivity with surrounding neighborhoods, focusing on the park entrances, wayfinding system, and new uses for the World’s Fair infrastructure. Future Culture: Connecting Staten Island’s Waterfront Staten Island Arts (Staten Island Arts) Staten Island Arts seeks to establish a replicable model of inclusive development through public art to link neighborhoods, starting with Staten Island's North Shore. The project will provide planning and policy recommendations to stabilize the cultural assets of neighborhoods. Opening the Edge
 (Jane Greengold with the support of New York City Housing Authority) Brooklyn artist Jane Greengold aims to activate underused public spaces surrounding public housing developments with the residents. The project will develop new ideas and a prototype to transform inaccessible landscapes around NYCHA developments into lively places to gather for residents and visitors alike.

Kohn Pedersen Fox Sprouting Glass Superlatives Around New York City

Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) is racking up an impressive collection of superlatives with a host of new glass towers in New York City. Of course there is Hudson Yards where a glossy KPF-designed building will become the tallest tower at the country's largest private development site, but that is just the start of it. In April, renderings appeared for the firm’s 64-story, cantilevering glass tower in Gramercy. The structure, which has a multi-story masonry facade, reaches 777 feet, making it the tallest residential building between Midtown and Downtown. Unsurprisingly, 45 East 22nd Street is going condo. Moving right along to 101 Tribeca, another all-glass condo building. NY YIMBY reported that this tower, which houses 129 units, rises from a more narrow base and then curves its way up to a pinnacle at 950 feet. At that height, 101 becomes the tallest residential building in Lower Manhattan...for now. Now back to Hudson Yards for a moment. As KPF's 30 Hudson Yards rises to 1,227 feet  and its more modest sibling, 10 Hudson Yards, climbs to a respectable 895, new renderings surfaced for 55 Hudson Yards. This tower, designed by KPF and Kevin Roche, is still glassy, but slightly less so thanks to a metallic grid that frames its 900 feet. According to the developer, Related, the 1.3-million-square-foot structure is inspired by early modernism and Soho commercial buildings. And then there is One Vanderbilt in Midtown. According to NY YIMBY, this glass giant reaches a pinnacle at 1,450 feet making it the second tallest tower in New York. But why stop there? If One Vandy gets approved to go just one foot higher it gains yet another superlative—topping Chicago's Willis Tower. And that, folks, makes it the second tallest tower in the Western Hemisphere. While not officially approved, the building has already become the glossy symbol of Midtown East Rezoning—a plan to upzone the area around Grand Central Terminal. That proposal died under Mayor Bloomberg, but has found new life under his successor. If the controversial rezoning ultimately does move forward, it likely won't take effect until 2016. Fear not One Vanderbilt, the city is expected to give this 1.6-million-square-foot tower a special permit to kick things off ahead of schedule.

Winning Crowdsourced Designs Unveiled for New York City Hotel

It is only fitting that a crowdfunded hotel slated for New York City has a crowdsourced design as well. For its new, extended-stay hotel at 17 John Street, developer Prodigy Network, along with design blog PSFK, launched the Prodigy Design Lab, which allowed designers from around the world to submit plans for the project's interior spaces and digital services. After 70 submissions were received and 10,000 votes cast, three winners have been announced. "The winners of the 17John competition were intuitive to the needs of travelers, creative in the interactive spaces and understood the function of extended stay residences,” Rodrigo Nino, the founder and CEO of Prodigy Network, said in a statement. “This will be one of many design competitions presented to the crowd and we look forward to empowering those with the greatest ideas.” These three plans, which were selected by a jury from the ten finalists, represent three categories: private space, communal space, and digital experience. The winning private space design, "Weco, The Nomad Company" by Vianney Lacotte creates a live-work environment with space for entertaining and storage. For public space, "Hub" creates a wood-paneled reception area, fitness center, rooftop terrace, and communal workspace that looks like just about any startup company. And  the "Deeply Integrated Services for the New Type of Hotel" proposal is an app meant to to better connect a guest with the hotel. Playing up the project's cooperative nature, the developer described this project as the "World’s First Cotel,” which is designed to “to meet the changing needs of the modern business traveler and through its innovative design will foster wellness, connectivity and efficiency.” The $31 million Cotel will transform an existing 1920’s apartment building with a multi-story glass addition designed by Winka Dubbeldam. According to Prodigy's website, "accredited investors can purchase REPs (Real Estate Participation) in 17John and buy into the project’s operating returns and equity appreciation. The REPs are being sold at $50,000 each." The project is expected to open in 2017. Take a look at the winning designs below.

Nine-Story Woolworth Building Penthouse To Be Listed for $110 Million

At this point, the record breaking sales of luxury apartments in Midtown are not really news. As the towers rise higher, so do the prices. This has been the trend for quite some time and it shows no signs of slowing down. With that said, did you hear about the one Downtown? Bloomberg reported that the nine-story penthouse at Cass Gilbert’s Woolworth Building is expected to be listed for $110 million. The top 30 floors of the tower are currently being converted into luxury apartments, but the penthouse is quite literally Woolworth's crown jewel—and it is priced as such. If the penthouse sells anywhere near its asking price, it will essentially double the current sales record for a downtown apartment. That record was set in January by a penthouse in the Walker Tower in Chelsea, which sold for $50.9 million. Obviously, the Woolworth penthouse is exceedingly expensive, but the space is about more than its nine-floors, 8,975-square-feet of living space, 584-square-foot terrace, and its views from some  50 stories up. The unit is about living inside the Woolworth’s iconic copper cupola. According to Bloomberg, "a great room and wine cellar make up the 53rd floor, and the 55th through 58th levels in the cupola include a library or media room and an observation deck at the top, the plan shows.” Despite the penthouse’s uniqueness, $110 million is still an undeniably ambitious price point for a building in Lower Manhattan—iconic or not. For those looking to spend a few million less, they can always pick up a unit a few levels down. CBS Sunday Morning recently got a look inside those under construction apartments (above video), and they don't look too bad either.

Photo of the Day: Final Segment of Calatrava’s NYC Transit Hub Arch Set In Place

A tipster shared with us the above view of Santiago Calatrava's World Trade Center Transit Hub receiving the final piece of its giant steel arch. According to the tipster, "they JUST set the final tooth on the World Trade Center Transit Hub to complete the supporting structural system. Once welding is complete they will proceed with installing the "wings," the cantilevered outriggers that complete the structural form." Looks like this thing is about to soar.