Posts tagged with "Manhattan":

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WXY steps up design on one of New York’s long-neglected stair paths

Although step-streets—pedestrian corridors that replace auto-centric streets in hilly neighborhoods—are more often associated with San Francisco, New York City has 94 step-streets of its own. WXY Architecture + Urban Design partnered with AECOM to revamp a full-block step-street in Inwood, Manhattan's northernmost neighborhood. The so-called "step-stair" connects busy Broadway with a residential complex, Park Terrace East. The New York City Department of Design & Construction (DDC) chose Brooklyn–based WXY to rehabilitate the 215th Street right-of-way's crumbling surfaces and worn planted areas. The passage, which officially opens to the public on February 3rd, hews closely to the original design. In addition to improving the stair condition, WXY encircled newly planted trees between the two staircases with cobblestone pavers. Historic lampposts that flank the landings remain intact, though the fixtures are swapped out for more original-looking globes, as in the 1915 photograph below. A bike channel on both sides eases the schlep up and down the 50 foot incline. "The Inwood community deserves a safe stair path," said Claire Weisz, founding principal at WXY, in a statement. "But they also deserve a beautiful public space they can feel proud of, where neighbors can greet one another as they pass on their daily commute." The step-street was on the city's repair radar for years. In April 2012, The Daily News reported that Inwood residents had been petitioning for spruced-up stairs since 1999. The rendering in that piece is identical to the one re-released today, though there's no word on what's held up the project for almost four years.
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The scaffolding comes off Carmel Place, New York’s first modular micro-apartment building

The scaffolding just came off of Carmel Place, the 10-story, 55-unit micro-apartment building designed by Brooklyn-based nARCHITECTS. The project, formerly known as My Micro NY, has diminutive units designed to serve the "small household population." The project sits at One Mount Carmel Place, a looping side street boxed in between 28th Street, First Avenue, 27th Street, and Second Avenue in Kips Bay, Manhattan. The towers are vertically striped in four shades of grey brick (as seen in the renderings below), though in some of Field Condition's photographs the brick takes on a brownish hue. The tower is constructed of 92 modular units, which were themselves built in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The massing somewhat reference's BIG's Two World Trade Center, whose irregularly stacked upper stores are smaller-but-wider to accommodate terraces. The interiors are meant to make the Lilliputian apartments feel as spacious as possible. The ceilings are nine-and-a-half feet tall, and exterior doors slide, rather than swing. Seventy cubic feet of storage spaces over the bathrooms and 70-square-foot kitchens with extra fold-out counter space reduce clutter and allow for full scale movement in the space. Juliet balconies, with a comparatively generous 63 square feet of floor area, allow access to the outdoors. Each of the six different types of units, ranging in size from 273 to 360 square feet, come equipped with interior furnishings. The architects collaborated with New York–based Resource Furniture on the built-ins (like the bed-couch), and other furnishings from Stage 3 Properties through Ollie. Ollie decorates rental apartments, organizes community events in-building, and offers amenities packages that include housekeeping and wifi. Carmel Place offers a standard range of amenities: bike storage, lounge, fitness room, public roof terrace, and community room. 525 square feet of ground-floor retail, plus the glassed-in, street-facing gym, anchors the development to the outside. Here as everywhere, competition for the building's affordable units is intense, with 60,000 applications submitted for the 14 apartments. All tenants could be moving in as early as March 2016.  
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This unit in Vinoly’s 432 Park skyscraper goes for baroque with interior design

Love it or not, Rafael Viñoly's 432 Park makes a statement on the New York City skyline. The 88-story, 1,396-foot-tall skyscraper will be home to some of the world's richest people (and/or their faceless LLCs). One soon-to-be-resident is bringing the public's prying eyes inward by bucking the less-is-more aesthetic of contemporary interior design for a maximalist, marble-on-marble pad designed by Brooklyn–based Atelier & Co. Atelier & Co. went for baroque with the design of a 4,000-square-foot residence on the tower's 40th floor. The building's structural tube design allows for open, no-column layouts, allowing residents to configure the space freely from a standard skyscraper layout. Atelier & Co.'s plan removes the sitting room to create a combined dining and living area, divided only by a bookcase lifted from the set of Downton Abbey. Meanwhile, the size of the master bathroom is doubled, presumably to accommodate the owner's collection of marble busts, vases, or anachronistic glass globes. The colonnaded entryways, ornate wood floors, and coffered ceilings do right by Joan Rivers and Louis XIV. Atelier & Co. notes that the design was influenced by 19th century Prussian architect and painter Karl Friedrich Schinkel as well as Leo von Klenze, the German painter, writer, and architect. The designers do recognize that their creation is inside a supertall, not Versaillies. They claim that the aesthetic draws on Viñoly's geometry, perhaps in the patterning of the living room's coffered ceiling. As this monumental throwback interior takes shape, it's a good time to note that the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the organization in charge of keeping tabs on the world's supertalls, recently recognized 432 Park as the world's 100th supertall. The tower clocks in as the second tallest building completed in 2015, per the organization's numbers. While living in this apartment may cause irreparable damage to your taste, that's not the only danger it poses. A recent study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal suggests that living on a building's upper floors increases the risk of dying from cardiac arrest.
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New York City to receive $176 million in federal funding for East Side coastal resiliency project

New York City will receive $176 million in federal funding for disaster recovery. The funding would be put towards a section of the project extending from the northern portion of Battery Park City to Montgomery Street on the Lower East Side. The money is part of $181 million in funding for recovery projects in New York and New Jersey. The funds came from the National Disaster Resilience Competition, a U.S. Department Housing and Urban Development–sponsored competition to rebuild communities affected by natural disasters, The New York Times reports. The BIG–designed East Side Coastal Resiliency Project (scaled down, but known in former incarnations as the DryLine or the BIG U) calls for sea walls, retractable flood barriers, and grass berms that would double as riverside recreation areas, opening up the waterfront to create a shoreline comparable to the recreation-rich shores of Manhattan's West Side. The East Side Coastal Resiliency Project arose from Rebuild by Design, a 2014 competition to solicit ideas for six large-scale flood protection and resiliency measures in the tristate area. Rebuild by Design awarded New York City $335 million in federal funds for the East 23rd Street to Montgomery Street section. Mayor de Blasio has committed $100 million in capital funding to the project already.
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New York’s enormous Javits Center could grow $1 billion larger with Cuomo’s plan and FXFOWLE’s design

As part of a package of proposals for his 2016 agenda, development on Manhattan's West Side will intensify. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently revealed a $1 billion plan to expand the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The expansion, designed by New York–based FXFOWLE, calls for adding 1.2 million square feet of event and meeting space, as well as a four-story, 480,000-square-foot parking garage to house the 20,000 or so tractor-trailers that bring event supplies to and from the venue each year. The Javits Center, between West 34th and West 40th streets along 11th Avenue, is one of the nation's busiest convention centers. The state estimates that the convention center generated $1.8 billion in economic activity in 2014. Cuomo's proposal would add 1.2 million square feet of space to the 2.1 million-square-foot venue, increasing its size by 50 percent. Upgrades include 500,000 square feet of uninterrupted event space, as well as a 60,000-square-foot ballroom. The parking facility will improve pedestrian safety by diverting trucks from the streets surrounding the Javits Center into a central delivery area with 35 loading docks. The venue is aiming to up its current LEED Silver certification to LEED Platinum with energy-saving upgrades. 2014 renovations added a 6.75 acre green roof, new flooring, and a new facade. A 34,000-square-foot solar energy array, the largest on any public building in New York, will be installed to complement these upgrades. Additionally, a terrace with a 2,500 person capacity will be built to take advantage of sweeping Hudson River views. Construction is expected to begin in late 2016. See the gallery below for more images of the planned renovations.
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Bjarke Ingels’ twin towers along the High Line get a rethink with new twisty renderings

2015 was a big year for for the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), but 2016 may be even BIG-ger. New renderings were revealed this week for 76 Eleventh Avenue, Bjarke Ingels' towers on the High Line in New York City. These new views are quite a lot different than images of the diamond-shaped towers that surfaced last November. At 28 and 38 stories, the towers are the same heights as before. It seems the developers, HFZ Capital, haven't finalized the program. The base will still include 85,000 square feet of retail, but office space may replace the hotel portion included in the project when it was first reported. Whatever arrangement HFZ decides on, it needs to be lucrative enough to recoup the (astonishing) $870 million that the site was purchased for in April 2014. Nevertheless, EB-5 materials received by real estate blog YIMBY indicate that the base will hold 85,000 square feet of retail space, 130 hotel rooms, 100 parking spaces, and 260 apartments on the upper floors. These are not the architect's only twisted towers. Construction on the Grove at Grand Bay, in Coconut Grove, Florida, is well underway. The two, 20-story towers swoop into scoliotic, 38-degree curves to optimize ocean views. Ingels posted a photo of the development's outdoor canopy on Instagram yesterday, pictured below. 2016 will be the year to see how the firm's bumper crop of projects from the past five years come to fruition. AN is on the lookout for updates to the Pittsburgh master plan, the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project, the "courtscraper," the Redskins' new stadium (maybe), and Two World Trade Center, among other projects.
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Ian Schrager’s legacy of high design shines in marketing material for Herzog & de Meuron’s 160 Leroy Street

Property developer Ian Schrager has supported good architecture in New York City like no other developer. He pioneered distinguished hotel design at a time when "hospitality" design was an afterthought for hoteliers. For instance, in New York, Schrager built the Paramount, the Royalton, and the Morgan hotels. Then he heroically proposed to have Rem Koolhaas and Herzog & de Meuron work together to design a hotel at Cooper Square, but that project, not unsurprisingly, did not happen. Schrager has used many other architects for his various projects, but now Herzog & de Meuron seem to have become his go-to design firm. He has said that he asks them “to capture the details of life in the details of the architecture.” The architects have executed this request in projects like 40 Bond and 215 Chrystie. Now the Swiss architects have designed 160 Leroy Street, a building overlooking the Hudson River, and the developer claims it is influenced by Oscar Niemeyer. Not satisfied to promote the building as other less creative developers have, Schrager asked Herzog & de Meuron to create a small, wooden scale model of the curving facade of 160 Leroy, pictured above. If I were thinking of moving into the building, I would request one of these small sculptures in order to help make up my mind. Not sure, though, that they are really needed in this case as nearly 50 percent of the building is already in contract.
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Design worth its salt: Dattner and WXY team up for municipal infrastructure on Manhattan’s West Side

The New York City Department of Sanitation's (DSNY) Soho facilities prove that design for trash need not be rubbish. On a grey December day, five architects gave a tour of two buildings—the Spring Street Salt Shed and Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 Garage—that comprise DSNY's new facilities on Spring Street at the West Side Highway. The five architects leading the tour included WXY principal Claire Weisz, Dattner Architects principals Kirsten A. Sibilia and Paul Bauer, Dattner associate Gia Mainiero and Rick Bell, executive director of the Office of the Chief Architect at the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC). The first stop on the tour was the Spring Street Salt Shed. The structure is a textbook take on "form follows function." Designed to resemble a salt crystal, the cast-in-place concrete shed can hold up to 5,000 tons of road salt. When salt is piled up, Mainiero explained, it assumes an "angle of repose." The roof is slanted to match that angle, with walls ranging from two to six feet thick. While the structure's form embraces salt, the materials were chosen to prevent its corrosive effects: the concrete admixture is self waterproofing and architects applied a hardener to the concrete floor. Trucks drive into the salt shed to pick up their loads, so the lower portion of the walls are plated with steel to prevent errant shovel dings. In New York City, each Community Board (the neighborhood-level governing body) is responsible for its own sanitation. The Spring Street facilities are shared by Community Board 1, 2, and 5, as well as UPS, and a Con Ed substation. The garage can hold 150 sanitation trucks, and contains fueling, washing, and repair stations for vehicles, as well as administrative offices. Though the building is four stories, it feels more like eight, with interior ceilings up to 30 feet high. Citing community concerns about a potentially loud, unsightly sanitation facility in the neighborhood, the DDC and the design team worked closely with area stakeholders to create a facility with curb appeal. Walking from the salt shed to the garage, the architects pointed out the double-skin facade that wraps the 425,000 square foot building. Each floor has a different, but equally cheery, color-code. 2,600, 30 inch wide fins made of perforated, coated aluminum line the exterior. The panels are timed to move with changing position of the sun, though workers can manually override the settings to control light flow. "The color is interesting and subtle from the outside," explains Weisz. "The louvers create a composition and a scrim, yet the facade is very calm." In a nod to surrounding tall luxury developments, the design team treated the roofs of both buildings as facades. A 1.5-acre green roof, planted with 25 different species of succulents and perennials, helps control runoff, cool the building, counts towards the building's (eventual) LEED Gold certification, and could be used as an events space. Party planners take note: there are sweeping views of the Hudson on three sides. Design decisions were made to reduce the overall mass of the garage. At the rear of the building, the roof slants, mirroring the angle of the three lane driveway, one story below.
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Ford Foundation announces renovation of its Kevin Roche–designed headquarters in New York

The Ford Foundation announced today that Gensler will lead a $190 million renovation of its Manhattan headquarters in East Midtown. The renovation will bring the building up to code while preserving the 1967 modernist design by Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo. The renovation will double the square footage available for nonprofits (in part by reducing Ford’s own office footprint) with two floors dedicated to nonprofit organizations, create a new visitor center, art gallery, and event spaces, and open up the existing layout. The foundation is aiming for Gold LEED certification and will be investing in sustainable LED lighting, mechanical and ductwork, and HVAC systems. The building will also be equipped to harvest stormwater and natural daylight. A near-perfect square, the building is distinguished by its 174-foot-high atrium full of fern pines, weeping figs, bougainvillea, and camellia—plantings that will all be replaced with a new design by landscape architect Raymond Jungles. However, the nearly 5,000 pieces of furniture by Warren Platner and Charles and Ray Eames will be reused “as much as possible.” The renovation is expected to be complete summer 2018. Kevin Roche’s original 12-story concrete-and-steel, International Style building was widely praised when it was first built. In The New York Times, Ada Louise Huxtable wrote that the Ford Foundation headquarters is “that rarity, a building aware of its world.” She also quoted Roche on the design, who reportedly said “It will be possible in this building to look across the court and see your fellow man or sit on a bench and discuss the problems of Southeast Asia. There will be a total awareness of the foundation’s activities.” In 1995, the building won the AIA Twenty-Five Year award and in 1997 New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the exterior, atrium glass walls, and garden of the foundation headquarters as an official landmark. This morning, The New York Times reported that the current president of the Ford Foundation, Darren Walker, takes his responsibility of the building very seriously. “We’re not only grant-makers but stewards of a building that Henry Ford II commissioned and was deeply involved with. This building is part of our legacy and was a gift to the city,” Walker said.
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Meet The Green Line: How Perkins Eastman would remake Broadway through Manhattan into a 40-block linear park

By now, the "Bilbao Effect" is metonymy for a culture-led revitalization of a postindustrial city driven by a single institution housed in a starchitect-designed complex. The wild success of Manhattan's High Line generates regional seismic effects—the Lowline, the QueensWay, and the Lowline: Bronx Edition all cite the high queen of linear parks as their inspiration. Upping the ante, Perkins Eastman unfurls the Green Line, a plan to convert one of New York's busiest streets into a park. The Green Line would overtake Broadway for 40 blocks, from Columbus Circle to Union Square, connecting Columbus Circle, Times Square, Herald Square, Madison Square, and Union Square with pedestrian and cyclists' paths. Except for emergency vehicles, automobiles would be banned from the Green Line. The proposal has precedent in Bloomberg-era "rightsizing" of Broadway. Traffic calming measures closed Times Square to cars, increased the number of pedestrian-only spaces, and installed bike lanes along Broadway, reducing vehicular traffic overall. In conversation with Dezeen, Perkins Eastman principal Jonathan Cohn noted that "green public space is at a premium in the city, and proximity to it is perhaps the best single indicator of value in real estate. [The] Green Line proposes a new green recreational space that is totally integrated with the form of the city." Value, moreover, isn't linked exclusively to price per square foot. Replacing two miles of asphalt with bioswales and permeable paving could help regulate stormwater flow for the city's overburdened stormwater management infrastructure. Right now, rain falling to the west of Broadway discharges, untreated, into the Hudson, while east of Broadway, stormwater gushes straight into the Hudson. What do you think: is the Green Line on Broadway feasible, or totally fantastical?    
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100 Fountains will revive New York City’s esteemed public drinking culture

Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink. —Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Though New York has the some of the cleanest municipal tap water, New Yorkers now consume 1.25 billion bottles of water annually. A contributing factor to the rise in bottled water consumption is the decline in the number of public drinking fountains. New York–based Pilot Projects would like to revive the grand tradition of public bubblers through a novel design/build competition. Pilot Project's 100 Fountains competition, launched September of this year, will tap artists and designers to build 100 fountains citywide in 2016. Each participant receives $5,000 to develop his or her team's design. According to the project proposal, the competition area will be divided into 30–40 zones, with two or three fountains per zone. The public judging period starts June 2016 and runs through September 2016. The original fountains will be auctioned off for charity, and ten designs from the pool will be chosen and duplicated for permanent installation at to-be-determined locations citywide. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFq8z96zbQQ In 2012, Pilot Projects hosted a campaign to raise awareness around the lack of drinking fountains. In the video above, passerbys in Union Square traipse over a red carpet to a (pre-existing, functioning) fountain operated by white-gloved servers. Per a 2007 zoning text amendment, the Department of City Planning (DCP) requires a fountain in every newly-built Privately Owned Public Space (POPS). The report suggests that, in lieu of vending machines offering sweetened beverages and bottled water, designers should incorporate public drinking fountains into the POPS. To justify their economic reason-for-being, 100 Fountains points to large-scale public art installations that overtook city streets in the late 1990s and 2000s: Christo and Jeanne-Claude's The Gates, Olafur Eliasson's New York City Waterfalls, and CowParade. The economic impacts of these project were estimated in the tens to hundreds of millions of dollars. 100 Fountains also takes direct inspiration from the Minneapolis Arts Commission. The commission highlighted Minneapolis' connection to surrounding rivers and lakes by installing ten custom fountains to celebrate the city's 150th anniversary. Pilot Projects will partner with the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the Department of Education, Office of the Arts and Special Projects, as well as Yale University’s Environmental Protection Clinic and Parsons The New School For Design to carry out the project. Expect to see fountains on the streets beginning June of next year.  
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New York City’s building trades unions rally at City Hall for higher wages, better working conditions

Today, members of New York's building trades unions marched on City Hall for wages that correspond to the rising cost of living, safer working conditions, more diversity, and strong unions to advocate on behalf of all workers. Middle Class Strong, a grassroots coalition administered through the Building & Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, organized the march and rally. https://twitter.com/LiUNALocal55/status/675041988228620289 Richard Jacobs Jr., business development specialist at D.C. 9 1974 (International Union of Painters & Allied Trades), noted that unions oppose "contractors and businesses that skirt paying a fair wage." The unions, moreover, provide for worker's economic security by ensuring that its members have another job lined up when their current job wraps up. Many protesters held "Middle Class Strong" signs. Middle Class Strong protects the rights of union and nonunion laborers. Coffins in front of the speaker's podium represent lives lost on the job. https://twitter.com/AffordabilityNY/status/675016785406595073 Real Affordability for All (RAFA), a coalition of affordable housing organizations in New York, pledged solidarity with workers protesting for fair wages. RAFA's advocacy underscores the connection between a living wage and housing access. The group's ongoing projects include proposing alternatives to the rezoning of East New York and other low-income neighborhoods. https://twitter.com/ALIGNny/status/675032433448873984 Public Advocate Letitia James, New York State Assembly Representative Francisco Moya, City Council majority leader Jimmy Van Bramer, and others spoke at the rally in support of the union's objectives. Developers, architects, and other builders, what do you think? Are the unions' demands fair? https://twitter.com/RoryLancman/status/675028656146751488 https://twitter.com/TishJames/status/675048530688503809