Posts tagged with "Manhattan":
Hidden away on West 117th Street in Harlem, the Bridge Golf Foundation is setting local schoolboys on the straight and narrow—and down the fairway. Packed into 2,400 square feet, the facility boasts three state-of-the-art golf simulators, a putting green, a 3-D printer, and space for a kitchen, an office, a bathroom, and teaching areas.
On weekdays from three until six, an after-school program brings students from the Eagle Academy for Young Men of Harlem to the foundation’s “Learning Center.” Upon arrival, the boys receive a healthy snack and then go off to engage in either golf or STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) classes.
Tasked with coalescing the plethora of programs within the (relatively) diminutive space was Gordon Kipping, principal of New York studio G TECTS. “We wanted the space to be able to accommodate many things either simultaneously or consecutively,” he said. “I was looking at the programming in visits to the Harlem YMCA where it was already underway. [While the location on West 117th Street was being constructed, the foundation used a YMCA to host programming in its initial months of operation.] I saw the kids taking instruction in golf and in the classroom. I projected how that might take place in the space where we were working. We had considerably less space to work with, so the space is open, flexible, and tailored for the multitude of functions that are taking place in it. It actually works better than a big gym.”
Chairman, cofounder, and principal owner of the Bridge, Robert Rubin, spoke of the “architectural challenge” of making the space a place the boys “would be proud of, and that told the story of the foundation to people that come in off the street, but also something that was attractive to New York City golfers.”
TrackMan golf simulators, capable of compiling 27 different parameters relating to your golf swing (or in this author’s case, 27 things wrong), makes the facility a viable venue for professional golf classes. Being the only facility of its kind north of 42nd Street, the Bridge faces little local competition.
Golf also works its way into the curriculum. Data sent in from the TrackMan can be translated into a means of STEM learning. To cater to the other programs that take place on site, netting that divides the golf ranges can be pulled back to create a much more open feel.
Here, the Bridge can double as a venue for parties, though the primary use is for teaching. Using a collection of Node chairs from seating manufacturer Steelcase (who worked withan educational consultant company to conceive this particular chair), boys can work in a more traditional class layout or in small groups.
Colors found in the Bridge’s logo (G TECTS designed a full identity package for the foundation) also correspond to different areas within the facility, such as the simulator, teaching kitchen, and office spaces.
“The response has been very positive,” said Kipping. “A lot of the golfers who rent out the bays are pleasantly surprised because they are not accustomed to seeing an integrated space designed for golf. The kids love the space and have been making full use of it.”
“One of the beauties of Manhattan, particularly in spring or fall, is that the grid is about 30 degrees off true North,” said New York–based architect and shadow consultant Michael Kwartler in the New York Times. “That means the intersections tend to be very bright because the sun is going diagonally across them at lunchtime.” Speaking of these intersections, Kwartler added that they “tend to be brighter than the streets in between, so it creates this really fabulous rhythm in Midtown of light-dark, light-dark.”
Yesterday the New York City Council approved a massive Manhattan air right transfer that allows the controversial St. John's Terminal–Pier 40 development to move forward.The development of St. John's Terminal, which occupies a three-block area along the West Side Highway across from Hudson River Park, is made possible by the transfer of air rights from the park's stewards to the developers, Westbrook Partners and the Atlas Capital Group. The firms will pay the Hudson River Park Trust $100 million for 200,000 square feet of air rights; in return, they can build five buildings to replace the aging terminal. The exchange allows the Trust, which is self-funding, to repair the pier, which hosts a parking garage, much-needed playing fields, and offices. City Councilmember Corey Johnson, whose district includes the project area, has been negotiating the quid-pro-quo for three years. Despite weaker allowances for affordable housing, many elected officials, preservationists, and residents say they already see its benefits. Part of the deal included a bid to designate the Sullivan-Thompson Historic District (also called the South Village Historic District), a 40-block zone in Soho bounded by five other lower Manhattan historic districts. The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) approved the district two days before the City Council's vote. At that public hearing prior to the LPC's vote, preservationists and South Village citizens testified to the “spirit of the neighborhood”: “safe and clean,” “neighbors know each other,” and its “wonderful lifestyle and cityscape.” Besides protecting the social and cultural history of the neighborhood, the designation of the 160-building area will prevent outsize construction within its mostly low-rise boundaries. Preservation advocacy group the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) spearheaded the decade-plus campaign to landmark a downtown area that includes over 1,250 structures. The two-million-square-foot St. John's project includes 500 units (30 percent of the total) of housing that will be offered to qualifying households at a range of below-market rates, but the rates are not as low they should be under current law. Typically, projects like St. John's Terminal that benefit from upzonings must comply with the city's Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program, which says at least 30 percent of a development's units must go to households making 80 percent of the area median income. This time, though, Johnson, Borough President Gale Brewer, and the community board okayed the upzoning because of the millions going to park upgrades. On Thursday, two council members voted no on the plan, with one abstention, to protest its lowered affordability requirements. Despite the size and ambition of the approved development, the community bargained for provisions that try to keep its character. The deal includes a restriction on future air rights transfers from Hudson River Park within Community Board 2, as well as a ban on big box (most stores over 10,000 square feet) and destination retail to prevent an odious amount of traffic.
At a presentation last night to Manhattan Community Board 1 (CB 1), the Philadelphia-based firm and its client, the Hudson River Park Trust, debuted their conceptual pier plans before an eager audience. Extending almost 800 feet from shore, renderings depict a Pier 26 shaped by an angular, elevated walkway that draws visitors above the waterline to take in views up and down the shore, sit quietly among native scrub, or galavant on an abstracted play-forest—a special habitat for New York children.
Based on meetings last year with Tribeca and lower Manhattan neighbors, OLIN teased out a need for open recreational space and native habitat but combined those wants with an even stronger desire for contemplative, relaxing outdoor spaces, into what the firm hopes will be an “iconic destination,” explained partner Lucinda Sanders. “We really tried to think of a place for you, not for tourists.” The pier, which sits south of Canal Street between Hubert and North Moore streets, juts almost 800 feet into the Hudson, a canvas of possibility on a blank concrete slab.
The plans hope to fill gaps in the offerings on other west side piers. In addition to standard-issue ballfields around the pier’s midsection, OLIN proposed a netscape—a pliable mesh surface that sags and bounces as people get on but brings everyone as close as possible—or legally feasible—to the water’s edge. Farther out, stadium-style seating could double as outdoor classrooms, while closer to shore, a large lawn could hold movie nights for 750-plus people. Migrating birds would have an exclusive, biped-free resting spot at the pier’s tip, while recreational boats could dock alongside the structure.
“There’s a whole hell of a lot of programming—but it’s fantastic,” said CB 1 member Bruce Ehrmann, echoing the room’s appreciative oohs and aaahs.
Wind turbines could power the pier’s estuarium (to be designed by New York’s Rafael Viñoly Architects) or other functions, but there was unexpectedly strong pushback from the assembled on the turbine’s potential noise and bird-killing capabilities. The board also worried about the cellphone-gobbling potential of the mesh nets. Sanders noted the firm is looking at ways to mitigate the loss of phones and keys, perhaps with a sub-net.
All told, the Trust estimates Pier 26 will cost $30.7 million. All of the funds are secured. There’s no plan for the foreseeable to transfer air rights to facilitate nearby development, a la Pier 40, so the area’s spaciousness will be preserved.