The Wharf–a $2 billion new development on a former industrial stretch of the D.C. waterfront–has finally opened. The developers are Madison Marquette and PN Hoffman, and the master architect and planner is Perkins Eastman.
Previously the site was a mile-long stretch of boat storage, industrial space, and some back-door barbecue joints. At its northern end, it also includes the oldest fish market in the United States. Before the Wharf could be built, the existing seawall and promenade were torn up and replaced by an underground, two-story parking garage spanning the length of the development. The garages connect from below into an array of luxury residential structures with ground-level commercial space–restaurants, yoga studios, and other amenities. Last week all of these opened to the public–in total, 1.2 million square feet of mixed-use space including office structures, luxury and affordable residential space, a marina, and waterfront parks. The fish market was the only structure preserved as-is.
The Anthem, a new 6,000-person theatre venue, is a cornerstone development of the Wharf. Designed by New York-based Rockwell Group, the venue is essentially a concrete volume hedged in by two L-shaped residential structures. The Anthem has a warehouse-like interior and two levels of balconies split into smaller, drawer-like extrusions. Massive steel panels flank the stage, laser cut and illuminated with the pattern of two enormous curtains drawn back, resembling the velvet drapery of Baroque theaters.
The space is managed by a 30-year old staple organization in D.C. entertainment–the 9:30 Club–to whom the Wharf reached out in the initial stages. The building’s board-form concrete paneling and industrial facade are intended as a nod to the Club’s famed punk-laden lineups. In the lobby, one can look up through an installation of floating cymbals to four rectangular skylights three floors up. If you look closely, the skylights ripple with water–the underbelly of a pool for a residential structure stacked above.
A key design challenge for the Anthem was its siting between two residential structures. To address the noise issue, Rockwell spent several million dollars designing a multi-layered sound barrier between the structures, which are reportedly so effective that amplified concerts are inaudible from the interiors of apartments less than a hundred feet away. Supposedly, a resident could sleep soundly while Dave Grohl shredded away on opening night.
The Anthem's neighboring structures include designs by FOX Architects, Kohn Pedersen Fox, Perkins Eastman, Parcel 3A, Cunningham Quill Architects, BBG_BBGM, Handel Architects, WDG Architecture, Studio MB, SmithGroup JJR, MTFA Architecture, SK&I, and Moffatt & Nichol.
Only Phase One has opened. Phase Two will add an additional 1.2 million square feet to the overall site footprint, mostly extending south. The roster of new structures will include designs by firms such as SHoP Architects, Rafael Viñoly, Morris Adjmi Architects, Hollwich Kushner (HWKN), ODA, WDG Architecture, and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA). The expansion will include increased office and residential space, an additional pier and marina, as well as increased park space. Phase One is notably without much public greenery. The construction of Phase Two is slated to begin in 2018, with a projected opening of 2021.
COOKFOX, Olson Kundig, Gensler, Kohn Pederson Fox Associates (KPF), and Morris Adjmi Architects, have all been named as some of the nine architects spearheading Water Street Tampa, the $3 billion project that will give the Florida city a skyline.
Spread over nearly 50 acres, 18 buildings comprise the scheme which is being backed by Strategic Property Partners—a consortium between Jeff Vinik, who owns NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, and Bill Gates’s Cascade Investment. Though first announced in early July this year, more details, such as the architects involved, have been released.
Four New York firms are in on the act. COOKFOX will be designing two buildings: an office and a residential block which will sit atop some retail. KPF has been commissioned for a series of apartments and condominiums which will reside above some retail and a grocery store. Morris Adjmi Architects has scooped arguably the largest commission: a 157-key five-star hotel, a range of luxury condos, more apartments, and retail. Gensler, meanwhile, will be behind two office over retail projects.
Seattle firm Olson Kundig is also doing a similar project and Baker Barrios, from Orlando, are to design a central cooling facility. Greenery is coming via Tampa-based Alfonso Architects, who are fronting the redevelopment vision for the city's Channelside with a new public park, waterfront shops, and living units. Another Flordian firm, Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe & Associates from Coral Gables, are designing a 500-key hotel. Finally, New Haven, Connecticut practice Pickard Chilton are behind three projects that will office and residential over retail.
When finished, Water Street Tampa will boast more than two million square feet of offices. In doing so, the scheme will bring the first new office towers Downtown Tampa has seen in almost 25 years. Located on the Garrison Channel and Hillsborough Bay, the project, according to a press release, intends to bridge the city's cultural landmarks, including the Tampa Convention Center, Amalie Arena (where the Tampa Bay Lightning play), Tampa Bay History Center, and Florida Aquarium. This will be achieved via an array of public parks and spaces that lead to the waterfront where the Tampa Riverwalk, and five-mile-long Bayshore path, can be found.
The buildings coming from Adjmi’s firm look nothing like the tall, boxy glass skyscrapers proliferating around the five boroughs. Instead, contextual designs and subtle nods to history lead the way, allowing the buildings to integrate into their surroundings while distinguishing themselves with modern touches.
With projects coming up left and right, here are ten examples of Morris Adjmi’s buildings around New York, ranging from the already built to the up-and-coming.
Sterling Mason, 71 Laight Street, Manhattan
This condominium building in TriBeCa is composed of two joined buildings: one renovated brick warehouse from 1905, and a newly built metallic duplicate immediately adjacent to it.70 Henry, Brooklyn
Located in Brooklyn Heights, Morris Adjmi’s three-story addition to an existing 19th-century masonry structure is distinguishable by its contrasting brick cladding and projecting metal-framed windows.
138 North 10th Street, Brooklyn
One of Morris Adjmi’s more modern buildings, this six-story residential building in Williamsburg has a broad-formed concrete base and a white brick facade punctuated with projecting warehouse windows.
83 Walker, Manhattan
In a nod to the historic architectural style that has shaped New York’s buildings, 83 Walker's concrete facade appears to be imprinted with the image of a traditional cast-iron building.
465 Pacific, Brooklyn
One of the largest condominium developments in Boerum Hill, 465 Pacific uses scale, massing, and materials to balance the site’s location in a historic neighborhood that's also a commercial corridor. The exteriors are clad in red brick with large, deeply-inset windows. The ground floor and two upper stories are finished in dark steel in reference to the Mohawk ironworkers that lived in the neighborhood during the 1940s and 50s.
540 Hudson, Manhattan
This site used to be an old gas station in the West Village but has been left largely vacant; Morris Adjmi’s proposed mixed-use building is expected to bring residential apartments, retail space, and community facility space. The brick facade undulates and has embedded corner turrets and projecting bay windows. The Landmarks Preservation Committee ruled that the design needed revisions; the final design will be slightly different than the image above.
520 West 20th Street, Manhattan
Known as “The Warehouse,” the Carolina Manufacturing Company’s former distribution facility and apparel-manufacturing space right next to the High Line is getting a new three-story, glass and steel addition. There is a fifth-floor “neck,” a wrap-around terrace on top of the original structure, and unnecessary columns have been eliminated to create an open floor plan.
30 East 31st Street, Manhattan2018
This site used to be the Romanesque Revival parish house of the Madison Avenue Baptist Church, but that building was demolished in 2015. This new 40-story tower will reference the church’s Gothic details with six columns whose diagonal grid pattern will resemble barrel vaults.
363 Lafayette, Manhattan
Following a couple of tweaks to gain the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s approval, 363 Lafayette’s design is now approved and the NoHo building is on its way toward construction. The revised design has floor-by-floor setbacks angled towards Bond Street, and terra cotta will be one of the main materials used.
42 West 18th Street and 43 West 17th Street, Manhattan
Two distinct towers comprise this residential complex, which is meant to evoke the history of the Ladies’ Mile Historic District. One building has a translucent screen depicting the image of a traditional facade; the other building (which ) has a masonry facade with a curtain wall.
"How can cast-iron architecture be relevant, but not literal?" This is the question that Morris Adjmi's office asked when approaching the design of 83 Walker Street, a 9-story 19,000-square-foot residential building slated for completion later this year. In response, the architects designed an articulated wall surface of abstracted cast iron elements—posts and beams—that were cast into thickened pre-cast concrete wall panels. This "inverted" effect, the architects said, help to "evoke how cast iron was historically produced and assembled."
Reinforced concrete frame with pre-cast concrete facade
Wood+ Mahogany Landmark Windows and Doors: W+1300 Fixed Windows (Sightline Construction); W+2600 Hopper Windows; W+2800 Tilt Turn Faux Double Hung Windows; W+3600 Awning Windows; 1-5/32" double pane low iron insulating glass with low E coating.
Morris Adjmi, principal at Morris Adjmi Architects (MA), said the lot width—at approximately 25 feet—was a common dimension for cast-iron loft buildings in the district and helped his project team in defining the composition of the facade. Despite a continuous program of residential units throughout the nine-story building, a "base-middle-top" composition strategy was employed to reference historic structures in the neighborhood. This equated to variation at the ground floor, a three-bay window subdivision in the middle floors, and a four-bay subdivision at the upper floor. This bay spacing acted as an organizational grid, informing window heights, proportions, and detailed articulation of the facade.The floor-to-floor pre-cast panels were initially designed as individual window bays but ended up being designed to the full width of the building. This allowed the structural reinforcement of the panels to be more efficient while also reducing the need for vertical joint lines between panels. Large window openings were infilled with mahogany wood units and configured as faux double hung tilt turn windows to satisfy historic appearance concerns. These special windows feature a fixed unit above with an in-swing awning below. Adjmi says he has had extensive experience in working with pre-cast concrete and finds it to be a useful material due to the range of shapes and articulation that can be produced. He says an understanding of waterproofing techniques and the mold-making process of pre-cast panels helps to determine effective panel shapes and detailing strategies. The soft stone finish of the concrete, evocative of adjacent buff limestone facades, was carefully specified after a close collaboration between the architects and concrete panel manufacturer through studying various samples and finishes. The integral colored concrete was sandblasted to produce a subtle variation in texture and color for a more natural appearance. The resulting front elevation, composed of only nine panels, produces enough depth to cast generous shadow lines into deep recesses of the facade, a key feature that Adjmi attributes as one of the most successful features of the project. "The depth of this facade really works well in the streetscape. A lot of our projects try to do this. When you first see the building you don't notice anything, and then the more you look at it the richer it becomes." He concludes, "I think that it is both very modern and respectful of the neighborhood. It doesn't feel like trying to copy the immediately surrounding buildings too literally but at the same time it questions and highlights how these buildings came together."
In the countryside outside of Buffalo, New York, Boston Valley Terra Cotta (BVTC) has an impressive industrial terra-cotta operation—a potter’s studio on steroids, with dust and clay scattered around a relatively calm factory. Since 1996 “Rusty” Raymond Conners has spent his days by the window and among his plants, carving intricate designs in the capitals of columns and the faces of tiles.
BVTC started in 1889 as a flower pot business, and has since morphed into one of the leading-edge facade manufacturers in the world, producing a range of baked-clay cladding products that are being used by everyone from Machado Silvetti to Morris Adjmi to Annabelle Selldorf. How did this transformation take place?
In the last five years, something remarkable has happened. In 2011, Omar Khan, associate professor and chair of the Department of Architecture at the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning (UB/a+p), and Mitchell Bring, a researcher and adjunct professor, realized the potential in Boston Valley’s operation. Bring has been working with some former students of UB/a+p to incorporate the latest in digital documentation, design, and fabrication technologies to help BVTC remain at the forefront of the terra cotta industry. What started as a couple of interns is now a whole team of digital designers and fabricators.
The digital documentation team uses 3D scan data to enhance more traditional techniques of reproducing historic buildings in preservation projects, such as Louis Sullivan’s Guaranty Building, or New York’s Woolworth Building, which the company is working to restore at the moment. In order to make the process the most efficient, designers use CAD to rationalize the component parts that make up any large ceramic assembly. In a small corner of the factory stands a digital fabrication shop, now led by UB/a+p alum Peter Schmidt. They work with mesh editing software, a 5-axis CNC router, and a 5-axis CNC hot wire cutter to make models that are then translated into molds for the traditional methods such as hand pressing, ram pressing, or slip casting.
Some worried that these new tools would cut into the work of the skilled craftspeople, such as the sculptors who hand-finish many of the more intricate pieces. However, once implemented, these artists found that they actually had more time to focus on the part that they really enjoy—sculpture—because many of the mundane tasks were cut out of the process. John Ruskin would be proud.
In addition to making traditional techniques more efficient, BVTC and UB are working together to think about how digital technology can allow more experimentation with clay-based building systems. This was the basis for Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop, a week-long conference at UB/a+p, where architects, engineers, artists, and other leaders in the industry came together to share ideas and discuss what might be the future of clay and terra-cotta. The conference was a collaboration of Alfred State University, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, UB/a+p, and Data Clay, an art collective that is pushing the boundaries of digital craft and ceramics.
Keynote speakers were Jason Oliver Vollen, architect and principal of High-Performance Buildings at AECOM in New York; Willam M. McCarthy, ceramics professor at Alfred State University; and Neil Forrest, ceramic artist and educator at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Canada.
“While many architects design with industrially-produced ceramic components, they may have limited material understanding of clay, and most artists and designers trained in ceramics may have few opportunities to explore the medium at a scale beyond the object,” says Bill Pottle, international sales and marketing manager at Boston Valley Terra Cotta, who helped organize the gathering. “By attending this workshop, they will have the opportunity to collaborate and deepen their understanding of and experience with the potential for terra-cotta in the architectural setting.”
Experiments in Clay
What does clay have to offer? What characteristics are unique of clay, and what can it offer that other materials cannot?
To explore these questions, the group of nearly 20 broke off into three groups, each with a balance of engineers, architects, artists, and researchers. Throughout the week in the top floor of UB/a+p, they combined their broad collective knowledge with computers, 3D printers, clay, and a range of drawing tools to experiment with clay.
On the final day, the four groups presented the findings of their charettes and pin-ups. The first group, led by Adjmi, developed BIO CLAD, a panelized system that used the thermal capacities of terra-cotta to enhance the energy performance in residential applications. Terra-cotta panels—TerraClad by BVTC—would collect heat on the outside and run it through a heat exchanger, which would expel it on the inside via a series of radiant heating tubes. Group two presented “Bundled Baguette,” a set of experiments using the baguette, a basic, ceramic tube that is often used as a louver, could be aggregated in several arrangements including a parallel tumbleweed-like cluster.
The third group set out to try new hybridized methods and constructions. They showed an idea that might use raw and fired clay at the same time, with the raw clay acting as a possible medium for humidity control. In another experiment from the week’s workshop, a classic, two-dimensional extrusion is made, with a 3D-printed form grafted on. This would not only be a new technique that hybridizes these tools, but it also would be the first time that a 3D printer would be used for an actual building component, and not just for prototypes or formwork.
The last group was the most experimental, and they displayed a range of technical and artistic experiments, including a “mono-clay assembly,” or a complete, easy-to-produce wall module that relies only on clay bodies for performance. Another experiment used three different colors of clay to create a psychedelic extrusion.
While these experiments were certainly fruitful, for the most part, they were simply conceptual ideas and the prototypes were almost entirely representational. The research—even when rooted in long-running experiments—is still a ways off. That is probably what makes this workshop so important, however. There were no expectations of the week other than to generated ideas, share research, and introduce these practitioners to the Boston Valley enterprise. The caliber of people was matched by the torrent of ideas, and it is only a positive for the future of ceramics in architecture.
Future of Ceramics
What is next for Buffalo? What are Boston Valley and University of Buffalo School of Architecture cooking up?
To understand what is happening at the nexus of Buffalo’s industrial history, university research, state-of-the-art industry partnerships, and the specified knowledge of ceramics, it is important to start with Governor Cuomo and the Division of Science, Technology, and Innovation (NYSTAR) Centers of Excellence. They have set up eleven of these centers around the state to foster collaboration between the academic research community and the business sector. As part of a larger initiative to make Buffalo a center for manufacturing again, they have established the Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences (CBLS) at the University at Buffalo.
There is an ongoing collaboration as part of the Buffalo Center for Excellence called SMART, or the Sustainable Manufacturing and Advanced Robotic Technologies, which will join forces with the Department of Architecture and the Department of Engineering. There will be a second workshop—supported by Boston Valley—in the late summer of 2017, which will focus less on experimentation and more on advanced manufacturing. Thus the increased number of engineers in the second round, as well as a partnership with a company called BuiltWorld a leader in advanced manufacturing.
“The ceramics world is not yet as advanced as far as the digital fabrication world, but that is where we are trying to push it. And Boston Valley is very supportive of this. They are probably the most important manufacturer in the US working with architectural ceramics.” Khan told AN.
"Last year's workshop was an open forum with all the participants owning their intellectual property. BVTC has the right to use that material for publications and advertisement. Moving forward to this year, intellectual property will be more focused as the teams are more deliberately constructed," Khan explained. "Hence the teams will own the intellectual property with Boston Valley and UB having the rights to publish the work unless otherwise requested by the teams. The University is much more formal. This is why industry collaboration normally happens around sponsored research grants, which have clear intellectual property rules with the University as the major beneficiary."
These partnerships are certainly going to push both the school and the industry to the edges of knowledge, and there will be plenty of money to accomplish whatever they can dream up. As with any intra-disciplinary partnership, it is important to remember what the goals are: to push the boundaries of the profession—in this case, ceramics—and to provide the students and faculty with opportunities for learning. If at any time it becomes too proprietary, it could jeopardize the integrity of the research and the value added for the students, the taxpayer, and the university. So far, so good.
This new 33-unit condominium in New York’s historic Tribeca neighborhood is composed of two buildings, a restored and converted 1905 coffee and tea warehouse on Washington Street and a matching addition on Greenwich Street. The new building produces a “double negative” effect, with identical facade detailing rendered in a matte metallic finish.
Facade InstallerMistral Architectural Metal (base); GEM (middle); GEM/LITSCO (top)
Facade ConsultantsFrank Seta Associates
New York City, NY
Date of Completion
Productscustom CNC-milled aluminum panel in a plasma finish; modular cast GFRC panels; zinc
Wesley Wolfe, director of design at New York City–based Morris Adjmi Architects, said this concept of the direct copy was influenced by both contextual and cultural factors. "Warehouses in the district often were extended as their needs for more space grew. These additions would often mimic the style of the original warehouse." Wolfe said the use of analogous materials is not uncommon, citing the tendency of industrial-era cast iron to replicate stone or brick. The project was also inspired by art and the idea of duplication in the work of pop artists like Andy Warhol.The project team used a combination of laser scanning and hand measurement to capture details in the base, middle, and top of the historic masonry facade. The base of the facade mimics it's neighboring limestone masonry, employing a marine grade aluminum panel with CNC-milled patterns. The material is finished with a plasma flame spray involving a mixture of nickel and stainless steel powder. The cost of this premium material and finish limited its use to the ground floor of the building where it's exposure is maximized to passersby.The upper floors employ a glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) panel with spray on coating with aluminum particles that mimics the look of the plasma finish of the metal panels. The custom cast panels are installed onto the facade as a rain screen assembly using a standard clip and Z-girt system backing up to a stud wall. The facade is panelized with a "modular rationality" coordinated with the composition of the punched windows of the facade. An overlapping tongue detail developed by the project team helps to minimize panel joints.Beyond the facade, a landscaped courtyard cut into the two buildings helps to connect the old with the new. The interior aesthetic parallels the two structures as well, offering rustic exposed finishes in the original warehouse and a more contemporary streamlined finish for the new addition.
A remote beachside stretch of Queens is set to get a fashionable hotel by architect Morris Adjmi.
This week, the New York firm filed plans for a six-story, 61-key hotel at 108-20 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, on the peninsula's main drag near the terminus of the A train.
The 86-foot-tall hotel, to be built on an assemblage of lots, will include 9,000 square feet of residential space. This space will most likely be used for the project's seven extended-stay rooms, where travelers can bunk up for a month or more.
In total, YIMBY reports that the building will have almost 39,000 square feet of hotel and retail. A top floor bar and events space will sandwich the rooms, and a bar-restaurant will occupy the bottom two floors.
While Morris Adjmi Architects' portfolio includes four other hospitality projects, most notably the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg, the firm will have the opportunity to realize its restrained, tasteful style from the ground-up. In keeping with its semi-industrial surroundings, the Wythe was a transformation of an old barrel factory into a 70-key hotel. As AN's March studio visit suggested, the firm will surely be busy through 2017: This summer, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) approved an angled 10-story office building in Noho, and in Philadelphia, Adjmi is set to build a cantilevered rooftop pool at a hotel in the city's Fishtown neighborhood.
Developers Good Company Hospitality Group and JBS Project Management have applied to rezone the lots for commercial use. The proposal is making its way through the municipal land use review process right now.
This is the first in a series of guests posts that feature Archtober Building of the Day tours!
837 Washington Street
New York, NY
Gensler (Interior); Morris Adjmi Architects (Exterior)
And we’re off! Our first Building of the Day tour location was Samsung 837, the brand’s digital playground in the Meatpacking District. We started in the ground floor’s recording studio, where the company hosts local DJs and artists. There, Steve Bitterman, AIA, from Gensler told us about the design process his team employed in designing the interiors for Samsung 837. Everything in the building is completely custom-made—the floors, the chairs, the casework—in order to attract talent. To that effect, the space is designed to be very collaborative.
The first and second floors comprise the experience and event spaces. Bitterman and the Samsung team led us into the Social Galaxy, which has over 300 Samsung screens displaying Instagram posts from different times and places. To add to the social media experience, Samsung also commissioned a three-story screen, the largest interactive social media display in the world, made up of 96 individual screens. Visitors are encouraged to take a selfie, which is then created on the megascreen by thousands of former selfies. Gensler had to carve out three stories of Morris Adjmi’s structure in order to accommodate this display.
We then moved on to VR Tunnel and 4D seats. Through a virtual reality headset and moving seats, I was transported to a thrilling virtual roller coaster ride. From there, we moved to the second floor, more service focused than the experience focused first floor. A mock-up of a living room and kitchen enables visitors to see how different Samsung devices will fit into their homes.
Bitterman then led us to the sixth floor, which houses offices for Samsung personnel. Everything on these upper floors is also custom-made, a creating a unique work experience. The design team wanted the space to evoke the industrial history of the Meatpacking District, evident in the metal beams and manual desk cranks.
Moving down, we were shown additional floors that serve distinct purposes. The trapezoidal pyramid structure of the building means that the floor plates increase in area as you go down, making the third floor large enough to function as an event space. It’s easy to see why so many people would want to come here for everything from seeing a concert to having a meeting.
Tomorrow, we go below ground to the Lowline Lab.
About the author: Jacob Fredi is the Public Programs and Exhibitions Coordinator at the Center for Architecture. When he’s not on Building of the Day tours, you can find him playing board games (Ticket to Ride!) and brewing his own beer.
A ten-story office complex on 363 Lafayette Street in Manhattan's Noho neighborhood has been awarded approval by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC). Designed by local firm Morris Adjmi Architects, the scheme had previously been rejected. Another project, a multi-family residency just round the corner on 22 Bond Street by fellow New York practice BKSK Architects, was also given the go-ahead.
Initially, Adjmi's design had employed double-height windows as part of a slightly angled and staggered facade that included a dash of greenery along its incremental edges. This design was rejected by the LPC in July earlier this year, but Adjmi's subsequent alterations did the trick this time around. The modifications included making sure the street corner doesn't feature the staggered angular fall-back—except for a major recession on the eighth floor)—which was a previous gripe of the LPC in July. These subtle angular increments now occur southwards down Lafayette Street and, unlike before, are in accordance with each level change. Furthermore, new glazing has been placed on the south-side of the building while additional window detailing features around every exposed facade.
According to New York Yimby, in response to the latest iteration, Commissioner Michael Devonshire described the design as “beautiful.” Preservation consultant Elise Quasebarth from New York firm Higgins Quasebarth & Partners, who specialize in the preservation and rehabilitation of historic properties, commented that the architects had “strengthened [the] corner, using it as a pivot” to create “dynamic slicing” and “more graceful proportions." While commissioner Frederick Bland said it was a “terrible thing for a committee to nit pick [an architect’s work] to pieces,” he and the rest of the commissioners were happy with the design voting unanimously for its approval.
Also vying for approval was New York studio BKSK for their multi-family dwelling lot on 22 Bond Street, a stone's throw away from Morris Adjmi's project. The design features minor changes to the front facade as well as a "braille sidewalk" that features cast-iron vault lights which illuminate the entrance area at night.
A third project at 413-435 West 14th Street was also due for hearing but was laid over at the committee meeting. All three projects can be viewed in detail here, here and here (in order of appearance in this article).
A mixed-use complex designed by New York-based Morris Adjmi, in collaboration with Philadelphia-based practice Onion Flats Architecture, was widely praised at a monthly Civic Design Review (CDR) in Philadelphia.
Located on 4300-4326 Ridge Avenue in the East Falls neighborhood, the scheme required CDR approval due to it encompassing more than 100,000 square feet of gross floor area, and more than 100 new dwelling units. Known as "Ridge Flats," the project has been in the works since at least 2011 when the proposal, then originally just by local practice Onion Flats was given the go ahead by authorities.
The complex was due to be built by 2014, but three years ago the CDR committee advised altering the building's primary access point. "By virtue of that we had to redesign it entirely because of the way it affected parking," said David Grosso of Grasso Holdings, the developer behind the project.
Since then Morris Adjmi has has stepped in and plans have been drastically changed to offer a staggered facade and a much larger courtyard. The scheme will be built on a 1.7-acre plot and offer 206 residential units—up from the originally planned 147. A fifth of these will come already furnished meanwhile plans also include 20,188 square feet of commercial space, a rooftop pool area, and a garage that will hold 194 parking spaces.
Totaling 236,084-square-feet, the scheme retreats from Kelly Drive and is orientated southward toward the Schuylkill River. A green wall will be located on this side of the building and is set to a host living art installation as per the Percent for Art Program.
After enjoying success at the CDR, plans will now go to the Zoning Board of Appeals and the City Planning Commission. Despite the praise offered, however, the CDR did make some suggestions.
Nancy Rogo Trainer, the committee chair, spoke out against the "monolithic" north-side elevation that looks onto Ridge Avenue. "It makes the building seem a little relentless. It would be terrific if there was some way of breaking up what could be a very monotonous building," she said.
Other suggestions included integrating the ground level with more public spaces and varying the color scheme with the paneled facades.
On a prime Tribeca corner, Morris Adjmi has transformed an early 19th century coffee and tea warehouse into a fancy condo building—and built a mirror-image replica of the stately structure right next to it. Well, almost.
Instead of repeating a brick and terracotta facade for the new building, Adjmi employs an aluminum skin with a plasma finish that reads like brick. The effect is like if the original building was dipped in silver paint. Or, as Morris Adjmi said on its website, "the new building is like a photographic negative or ghostly reflection of the original."
Development watch-blog Field Condition recently stopped by the so-called Sterling Mansion where work seems pretty close to wrapping up. When completed, the project will house 32 condos, 29 of which have already been sold.
Speculation about the future of Park Slope's local cinema, the Pavilion Theater, is finally giving way to more concrete plans. The Real Dealreported that Hidrock Realty, who bought the Prospect Park West property in 2006 for $16 million, will likely overhaul the neighborhood movie theater and turn it into 24 residential units including 8,000 square feet of commercial space. The developer also owns the adjacent vacant lot.
Architecture Outfit released two possible schemes for the theater back in December, but now real estate blog 6sqft revealed that the architect of record is Morris Adjmi, whose trademark style creating contextual yet modern buildings has made him a favorite with the Landmarks Preservation Commission—think the popular Wythe Hotel he completed in 2012.
As part of the Park Slope Historic District, the exterior of the art deco theater will be preserved, but the interior, which isn't landmarked, could undergo a substantial renovation. A spokesperson for Hidrock told the Real Deal that a "sophisticated and "reasonably sized" theater could possibly replace the Pavilion.
However, the cinema's lease through 2022, which includes the option of a 10-year renewal, could be a not-so-small hiccup in the fruition of Hidrock's plans for park-side, luxury housing.