Posts tagged with "New York City":

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Heatherwick’s Pier 55 gets green light—for now

It looks like Pier 55, a $250 million construction project on the Hudson River, will be moving forward—for now—after receiving the required permit modification approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on June 5. This approval of the design changes is the latest development in this project’s history of lawsuits and controversy. In March, the federal court vacated the permit based on the Clean Water Act, citing concerns that the pier’s construction would impact the river’s estuarine sanctuary. In turn, the Hudson River Park Trust and the Army Corps of Engineers filed an appeal and a modified application addressing those issues. The revised application for the 2.7-acre public park and performance space proposed the use of non-concrete fill for the piles supporting the pier as well as the removal of an adjacent barge. Designed by Thomas Heatherwick and funded by Barry Diller and his wife, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, the project has been advertised as an extension of the Hudson River Park with ample recreation space. The project has prominent supporters, including New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, who applauded the decision to issue a modified permit. “The development of Pier 55 will ensure that the park continues to attract millions of residents, tourists and travelers each year, while showing off the very best that New York has to offer,” he said in a press release. The main opponent of the project, the City Club of New York, has been filing multiple lawsuits against the Trust in an attempt to halt construction. Besides the environmental issues of building on the river, the group argues that the development of the project has been kept out of the public eye. The new army permit contains many deficiencies and still violates the Clean Water Act, according to Richard Emory, the City Club’s lawyer. “You can’t avoid the Clean Water Act by simply not putting fills and piles,” Emory said to The Architect’s Newspaper. “We will continue to pursue opposition,” he said, adding that new litigation is “extremely likely.”
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Carriage Trade gallery exhibit delves into America’s disturbing psyche

New York City's Carriage Trade gallery has had two homes in its short history and both were small spaces that director Peter Scott packed with intelligent, thoughtful exhibits. Scott is an artist who curates exhibitions as part of his practice and they have always had a strong organizing idea, engagement with issues of relevance, and connections to the current generation of New York artists. Now relocated to the Lower East Side, at 277 Grand Street, the gallery’s first show American Interior is a response to the recent Trump election. Theorizing that the U.S. media and psyche have avoided looking honestly into its character and habits that led us to the election of Donald Trump, Scott highlights images that open up to interiors that Americans would rather not highlight. These images take on a recognizable but haunting specter, he writes, because the “media increasingly saturates day-to-day life, [and] politics adopts its techniques, shaping reality to suit its goals.” The exhibit features recognizable but creepy domestic interiors, racism in its uniquely American expressions, and views into the American psyche. Taken on their own, many are striking—even seductive—images but together they raise the specter of a frightening uncomfortable reality we don’t like to see or admit on a daily basis. The exhibition American Interior runs through June 3, 2017. Carriage Trade is located at 277 Grand Street, 2nd Floor, New York, New York, 10002.
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MTA will pay for big new projects instead of subways that run on time

The board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has approved a capital plan that gives money to roads and bridges but not to enhancing service on New York City's beleaguered subways. Out of a five-year, $32.5 billion capital plan, the board gave $3 billion in extra funding to projects that Governor Andrew Cuomo supports, including $1.5 billion for a new LIRR track, $400 million for cashless tolling for bridges and tunnels, and $700 million for phase two of the Second Avenue Subway. Cuomo is in charge of the authority and appoints six of its 14 members, more than any other entity. (In a quirk of home rule, the MTA, a state agency, oversees the subway, which serves New York City only.) Although the new plan adds more funding for these expansion projects, subway spending remained almost flat, the New York Times reported. As almost any commuter could confirm anecdotally, there are more straphangers than ever, with trips—especially during rush hour—marred by frequent delays. Part of the problem is that the MTA relies on an outdated signal system to move cars through the tubes. This new capital plan doesn't provide additional funding for a system that would allow trains to run more efficiently, even with the occasional sick passenger. “Investing in the M.T.A. is a good thing, but these changes won’t address riders’ core concern of the increase in crowding, breakdowns and delays,” John Raskin, executive director of passenger advocacy group the Riders Alliance, told the paper.
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NYCHA’s new guidelines for rehabilitation of public housing push for sustainability and preservation

Who knew the launch of a document about putting new rooftops on old buildings, raising boilers above flood levels, and updating kitchens and bathrooms in municipal housing would be the East Coast elite’s hottest ticket in town? The release of New York City Public Housing Authority’s Design Guidelines for Rehabilitation of Residential Buildings had to turn away dozens of attendees to its January 12th panel packing three stories at the AIA’s Center for Architecture.

Part of the reason for the overflow crowd may be the sheer number of partners, collaborators, and offices involved. Led by the agency’s Office of Design, the Design Guidelines implicated its Capital Projects and Energy & Sustainability divisions, affordable housing developer Enterprise Community Partners (ECP), the AIA’s Design for Aging and Housing Committees, participants in NYCHA’s Design Excellence program, including Andrew Bernheimer, Domingo Gonzalez, and Claire Weisz, and dozens of maintenance staff members and residents.

Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow Jae Shin served as embedded coordinator of many of these conversations within the agency and co-edited the guidelines. “She really helped facilitate a lot of the internal discussions that we had with our various groups at NYCHA as well as external partners,” said Bruce Eisenberg, deputy director of NYCHA’s Office of Design, who spearheaded the project. “We really wanted to make it a very interactive process.”

Produced in collaboration with ECP and supported by a $100,000 grant from Deutsche Bank, the Design Guidelines belong to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s NextGeneration NYCHA, a 10-year agenda to ensure the long-term viability and sustainability of America’s largest and most successful public housing agency.

“This will impact all of our capital projects,” Eisenberg said. “We have a five-year plan of scheduled projects, and so we really wanted to raise the bar of design in how we execute them. This is a roadmap to enable us to do that.” It has implications for a vast and practically unending scope of work. If fully funded, renovation of NYCHA projects, which comprise 2,500 acres in 328 complexes containing 125,000 units and serving more than 400,000 residents, would require $17 billion in current capital costs. Allocations over the next three years amount to $784.4 million from the city’s budget.

In some parts, the Design Guidelines formalize the standards employed in recent capital projects, such as the exterior lighting installed at Castle Hill and Butler Houses in the Bronx, which replaces the dim yellow light of old with nearly 1,000 bright and energy-efficient LED fixtures to improve public safety. In other outdoor areas, the guidelines aim to reduce metal fencing around grass and add amenities to create more active and healthy spaces. They take cues from the guidelines set forth by the Center For Active Design, while encouraging visual sight lines. In-progress projects like KPF and Olin’s landscapes for Red Hook Houses—funded as part of the post-Sandy $3 billion FEMA recovery grant—indicate a High Line–like attention to detail.

“We’re starting to be more aspirational in that area,” Eisenberg said. “We’re looking to make our open spaces more attractive and useful to our residents and the community at large.”

NYCHA’s push toward environmental sustainability nudges projects to install subsurface infiltration systems, sidewalk bioswales, and porous pavers rather than asphalt to limit stormwater overflow and heat sinks. Pilot projects in Bronx River Houses, Hope Gardens, and Seth Low Houses will slow stormwater, while the Edenwald Houses in the Bronx will contain the city’s largest green infrastructure installation. For other areas vulnerable to stormwater rise, the guidelines recommend concrete retaining walls to double as seating, like the floodwalls as wood-clad benches by Nelligan White Architects in Baruch Houses below the Williamsburg Bridge.

At Sotomayor Houses, NYCHA will begin installing the new standards for kitchens and bathrooms later this year, expanding cabinet space and adding accessible grab bars and sinks. That is, after the roofing is done: Mayor de Blasio has dedicated $100 million annually to roofs alone for the next two years, recently supplemented by another $1 billion over 10 years. Upgrading the troublesome low- or no-slope roofs of its modern-era buildings is NYCHA’s biggest capital projects burden.

The Design Guidelines’ release landed on the same day as nomination hearings for Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, adding a collective spirit of defiance to talk of preserving the country’s largest public housing agency. The De Blasio administration vows to press on, regardless of the new administration’s priorities, which appear to involve gutting all federal agencies the President’s cronies cannot use for profiteering.

“We have a 10-year strategic plan NextGeneration NYCHA that’s not a kitchen sink plan; it’s very specific, and we’re moving forward,” said Rasmia Kirmani-Frye, director of NYCHA’s Office for Public/Private Partnerships and president of newly formed Fund for Public Housing nonprofit, which coordinated privatesector grants for the guidelines. “We don’t know what the policy priorities will be, but we know what New Yorkers’ priorities are, so we are moving forward with that plan, because it’s the best investment in public housing in New York City.”

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Wilbur ‘Bill’ Woods, former New York City planner, passes away

Wilbur ‘Bill’ Woods, former Director of City Planning for the boroughs of Staten Island (1974-1977), Brooklyn (1977-1989) and, until 2011, head of the city’s Waterfront and Open Space division, died this past weekend at his home in the Catskill mountains. Woods defined what it meant to be a dedicated civil servant and—in his quiet and thoughtful way—did as much as any person to create a workable vision for the nearly 550-mile waterfront of New York City. He not only helped conceptualize this important city edge but worked with politicians and other decision makers to see it through to implementation, even if in an abbreviated form. Born and raised in Tennessee and Alabama, places that defined his soft vocal cadences, he studied architecture at Cornell and came to New York where he dedicated himself to regional and city planning. Woods was also a teacher at Pratt Institute and Hunter College where he taught planning surveys and a course Planning for the Waterfront to future professionals and architects. He was a planner/architect of the old school of physical planning that worked directly with the city. He created a thorough survey course, nearly from scratch, that taught all the aspects of the profession, from zoning to housing and open space development. Thus two generations of New York–educated architects learned all they knew about planning and how it effected their profession from Woods’s required course. In the late 1990s, Bill attended a family reunion in South Carolina and invited me to join him in Knoxville where we began a week-long tour of Tennessee Valley Authority dams and adjacent landscape and planning developments. It was exciting to see these developments through his eyes and have long discussions about regional planning in America. We had the added benefit of traveling with his sister who, as a liquor salesman, had whiskey samples in the trunk that allowed us to have an evening sip at the end of the day. This past weekend his wife Deborah Freedman reported they spent a blissful weekend in the country and Bill happily worked in his garden and suffered a stroke in his sleep on Sunday night. Wood’s graceful and informed manner in everything he did made an impression on his many colleagues, students, friends, and family. His family is planning a memorial in the near future.
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Bomb squad building, verdant library, and others score NYC design awards

Today officials revealed winners of New York's annual Awards for Excellence in Design, a recognition of the city's best civic projects. Timed to NYCxDESIGN, the city's annual celebration of all things design and architecture, the projects being recognized contribute to the city's public life, preserve its history, and exemplify sustainable approaches to buildings and landscapes. The awards, now in their 35th year, are presented by the Public Design Commission, an 11-member group of designers and representatives from New York's cultural institutions that reviews art, architecture, and landscape architecture on city property. "The best public projects are purposeful and use design to build a sense of community and civic pride," said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, in a prepared statement. "We commend the teams behind these critical and creative projects that will help build a stronger, more equitable city and improve services and recreational activities for every New Yorker." Tonight, the mayor, along with Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, Public Design Commission President Signe Nielsen and Executive Director Justin Moore, will present awards to this year's and last year's honorees at a City Hall ceremony. Get a sneak peek at the eight winners below (unless otherwise noted, all images and project descriptions in quotes are from the Mayor's Office): AWARD WINNERS Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center Marble Fairbanks; SCAPE Landscape Architecture Greenpoint, Brooklyn Brooklyn Public Library "Exceeding LEED Silver goals, the center will become a demonstration project for innovative approaches to sustainable design, and an environmental learning tool for the community." Double Sun Mary Temple Williamsburg, Brooklyn Department of Cultural Affairs’ Percent for Art Program and Department of Parks & Recreation "Gracing the interior of McCarren Park Pool’s dramatic archway entrance, Mary Temple’s paintings create a subtle and elegant visual disturbance." Downtown Far Rockaway Streetscape  W Architecture and Landscape Architecture Far Rockaway, Queens Department of Design and Construction, Department of Transportation, and Department of Parks & Recreation "Incorporating Vision Zero strategies, this comprehensive streetscape design will foster a safer, more inviting, pedestrian experience in this central business district and transportation hub." Bomb Squad Building Rice + Lipka Architects; Liz Farrell Landscape Architecture Pelham Bay Park, Bronx Department of Design and Construction and New York Police Department "The simple and smart design of this resilient office and training facility elevates critical program elements above the floodplain and allows flood waters to flow through without damaging the building." Treetop Adventure Zipline and Nature Trek  Tree-Mendous The Bronx Zoo Department of Cultural Affairs, Department of Parks & Recreation, and Wildlife Conservation Society "Two new adventures provide unique perspectives at the zoo—visitors can zip across the Bronx River and navigate a series of bridges with narrow beams, obstacles, and climbing wiggling surfaces." FIT New Academic Building SHoP Architects; Mathews Nielsen Fashion Institute of Technology Agency: Department of Education and the Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York "The first newly-constructed building on the FIT campus in nearly 50 years has an NEA award-winning design that reflects FIT’s commitment to openness, community engagement, and the robust exchange of ideas across many platforms." Woodside Office, Garage, and Inspection Facility TEN Arquitectos; W Architecture and Landscape Architecture Woodside, Queens Agency: Department of Design and Construction and Taxi and Limousine Commission "Serving as the central inspection location for over 13,500 taxis, this facility will provide a welcoming and dignified experience for drivers, reduce queuing times, and increase inspection capacity by more than 200 cars per day." The Cubes Administration and Education Building LOT-EK Astoria, Queens Agency: Department of Parks & Recreation and Socrates Sculpture Park "Constructed of 18 shipping containers, the Cubes will be Socrates Sculpture Park’s first permanent structure in its thirty-year history and a manifestation of the organization’s emphasis on reclamation and adaptive re-use, as well as a reference to the neighborhood’s industrial roots." SPECIAL RECOGNITIONS: The Department of Environmental Protection, for the agency’s thoughtful design of green infrastructure in the watershed to help protect the city’s water supply. "DEP’s use of green infrastructure in its upstate properties not only results in resilient and innovative designs, but is a critical component of the agency’s ability to maintain the high quality of New York City’s drinking water supply." Conservation and Relocation of three WPA-era murals EverGreene Architectural Arts; Fine Art Conservation Group; Morphosis; Weiss/Manfredi Roosevelt Island, New York Economic Development Corporation and Cornell Tech "Commissioned in the 1940s by the Work Projects Administration (WPA), these murals were painted over and forgotten for decades. As part of the new Cornell Tech campus, the murals were uncovered and conserved and will be integrated into new campus buildings for public enjoyment." Tottenville Shoreline Protection Stantec; RACE Coastal Engineering Staten Island Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, the Department of Parks & Recreation, the Department of Transportation, and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York "In tandem with ReBuild by Design’s Living Breakwaters Project, this shoreline initiative will increase public access by creating an interconnected and seamless waterfront trail, incorporating wetland enhancement, eco-revetments, hardened dune systems, shoreline plantings, maritime forest restorations, and earthen berms."
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NYC arts groups nervous as city hashes out new funding plan

Mayor Bill de Blasio is rethinking the city's cultural funding plan, a move that could impact not just major institutions like the Met and Lincoln Center, but smaller, outer-borough arts organizations, too.

Large organizations, many of them based in Manhattan, are worried about getting less money for their programming, while grassroots groups, especially those working in lower-income neighborhoods, are hoping to get a bigger slice of funding with the Mayor's proposed changes.

The city allocates $178 million annually for its arts budget, so that funding comes from a pretty big pie. Especially in the face of cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts, the city's changes, the New York Times reports, "could be setting the stage for an art-world version of class warfare, with cultural giants and their well-heeled patrons pitted against smaller, less-glamorous institutions that focus chiefly on serving racially and economically diverse local audiences."

Right now, the Metropolitan Museum of Art gets $26 million, the largest single grant at almost 15 percent of the budget, while the Bronx Historical Society gets less than $200,000 from the city. The Cultural Institutions Group, a coalition of 33 arts organizations, gets 63 percent of the budget, and the rest is distributed through grants.

So far, 20,000 residents have weighed in on where the funding should go, and why. Those findings will be released in summary next week, while Mayor de Blasio's team has until July 1 to submit a cultural plan to the City Council for consideration.

“There will be something that says there are parts of New York City that are under-resourced, and that’s going to be something we want to address,” Tom Finkelpearl, the commissioner of cultural affairs, told the Times. "It’s also going to say that there is great recognition on the part of this administration of the value of major cultural institutions. These are very important, not just for tourism—which we do care about—but also to the spirit of the city.”

Some practitioners think it's time to expand the pool, investing more in arts and culture so all institutions, big and small, can sustain themselves and their missions. To that end, the city last year added $10 million to its arts budget and set that money aside for smaller organizations specifically, and gave larger groups a six percent increase.

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Municipal Art Society’s Jane Jacobs tour to be protested

[UPDATE 5/5/17, MAS President Elizabeth Goldstein issued this response to UPROSE, but as one Brooklynite put it, "Jane herself must have intervened by arranging the weather to rain out today's walking tour."]

The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) will host its annual tribute to Jane Jacobs with a series of free guided tours around the city from May 5 to 7.

One of these tours, referred to by the society as "Jane's Walk," will explore the proposed Brooklyn–Queens Connector (BQX) waterfront light rail link. However, that tour is now coming under attack by local residents due to be served by the proposed rail service.

Elizabeth Yeampierre, executive director of Uprose, Brooklyn's oldest Puerto Rican community–based organization, has written an open letter protesting the walk. In the letter, Yeampierre asks: "What would Jane Jacobs do if she were alive today and learned that real estate developers had appropriated the Municipal Arts Society’s 2017 Jane’s Walk to promote a $2.5 billion streetcar that will deliberately gentrify communities for their own benefit?"

Yempierre’s letter is addressed to MAS’s new president, Elizabeth Goldstein, and asks that they rethink this particular tour. Furthermore, Yeampierre asks, "are your board members invested in these developments along this corridor? We hope there is no conflict of interest."

The light rail plan is not a simple one and MAS may be innocent, but its leadership and board has just been through a bruising battle with its own membership, a process that saw the firing of its last president. One wonders who is running the Society. They should not be sponsoring tours like this without first reaching out to the residents of the community in which the take place or pass through.

On MAS's website, a description of the event reads: "All of the MAS-sponsored walks combine the simple act of exploring neighborhoods with personal observations, local history, and civic engagement. A typical walk is 90 minutes and is free and open to the public."

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WantedDesign’s founders on can’t-miss events for architects at this year’s show

WantedDesign 2017 will kick off its seventh year during NYCxDESIGN on May 17. Each year, WantedDesign puts on a series of workshops, launches, conversations, and events to bring together designers of different disciplines and backgrounds. The weeklong event is split between Manhattan and Brooklyn, a move made in 2015 to acknowledge Brooklyn’s growing influence in the design community. To continue growing WantedDesign Brooklyn, a new event was added this year, WANTED Career Day, which will provide young designers opportunities to network with professionals, companies, manufacturers, and brands. WantedDesign Brooklyn will start off the week of festivities at Industry City in Sunset Park on May 17, with WantedDesign Manhattan kicking off on May 20 at the Terminal Stores building in West Chelsea. Both events will conclude on May 23. In anticipation of WantedDesign, The Architect’s Newspaper spoke with its co-founders Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat about what architects can expect at WantedDesign and what they hope the event will do for the design community. The Architect’s Newspaper: WantedDesign focuses a lot on connectivity: designers to manufacturers, students to professionals, U.S. designers to international designers, etc. Are you hoping to forge a long-lasting difference in how different professions in the design world work together? Odile and Claire: Absolutely. We strongly believe that great ideas [and] great projects come from great people from diverse backgrounds working together. We build [on this] year after year…and this is certainly the most interesting part of what we are doing: building solid and long lasting exchanges, resulting in sustainable and long-term collaborations. Speaking of connectivity, how do you see architects and product designers working together in the future and pushing design forward?  Architects and product designers are definitely two different “families,” even if there is more and more crossover and architects going to products and vice versa. There is certainly a specific learning and skills needed for each activity, and one can’t replace the other, but working together is a great thing and for sure pushes design forward. The WANTED Career Day is a new event this year. What led you to start this event? What are you hoping will come out of this for the candidates and recruiters involved? May is the time [that brings into] town all professionals, established names of the industry, as well as freshly graduated students starting their creative career and dreaming about meeting those professionals. We have this mix at WantedDesign of established and young talents and design schools… we are committed to supporting young creatives. All year long, we [had] companies telling us they are looking to hire and are desperate to find good candidates. We thought it was just bon sens to organize this, and also feel that’s part of our responsibility, and part of NYCxDESIGN’s mission to facilitate job opportunities. Our goal is certainly to make good “matches,” and to organize a new Career Day during the year, and certainly in May 2018. How do you see events like WantedDesign influencing the design community and sparking innovation? We offer a platform that is very different from any other design fair or trade shows, offering manufacturers and designers a place for creative and storytelling installations, that very often offer different approaches, visions, or capabilities. We certainly propose a new way to inspire and connect people that is more engaging [and] more exciting. We envision WantedDesign more as a design forum and not just a place to launch products…. Equally, [it’s] a place to share ideas [and] engage meaningful conversations and collaborations. Maybe the way we influence the design community is in emphasizing the quality of the relationships and in building a valuable and rich network. For visitors coming to WantedDesign from an architecture background, what would you say is the most interesting event(s) for them to attend? We will very much [be] focusing and talking about well-being and about [the] responsibility that comes with design and production. [A] few great installations to look at specifically for architects at WantedDesign Manhattan this year: Mohawk Group, Wolf Gordon, and certainly 3M presenting the latest innovative materials/surface collection. The Wanted Interiors /Creative Life Space presented by Sony Life Space UX will be really interesting as well. That’s a new program that we are particularly enthusiastic to launch this year. It reflects our search for [a] new way for our visitors, and in particular architects, to discover products and possible application, interpretation, and transformation. [A] few not to be missed talks at WantedDesign Manhattan for this audience: Saturday, May 20, 2pm-3pm – “Designing for Movement” – Conversation Room at Grimshaw. Moderated by Susan S. Szenasy, Publisher/Editor in Chief, Metropolis Magazine, with Randy Fiser, chief executive officer, American Society of Interior Designers, Joseph White, director of workplace strategy, design, and management, Herman Miller, Anastasia Su, co-founder and creative director of 13&9 and Martin Lesjak, co-founder and creative director of 13&9 and CEO of INNOCAD Architecture. Sunday, May 21, 2pm-3pm – 2017 Color + Design Vision – At Mohawk Gallery. Join Royce Epstein, director of design segment for Mohawk Group, as she presents the 2017 forecast of color and design trends. This inspirational lecture looks at how cultural shifts affect design, and how trends today impact design across multiple disciplines to create a new visual language. One talk to put on the calendar as well at WantedDesign Brooklyn: Thursday, May 18, 6pm-8pm – Adapt & Reuse: New approaches for recycling Urban Fabric. A discussion presented by WantedDesign and New Practice New York AIA NY with David van der Leer, Van Alen Institute, Daniel Pittman, design director, A/D/O, Thomas McKnight, executive vice president, planning, development & transportation, NYC EDC, and Andrew Kimball, CEO, Industry City. Moderated by Carol Loewenson, FAIA, partner at Mitchell | Giurgola Architects, with special guests Stacey Anderson and Karen Zabarsky of MakerPark. For more information about the events going on at WantedDesign or for tickets, visit the WantedDesign website here.
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OFFICE III designs new welcome center for Governors Island

Governors Island is now open for the season, and soon, visitors to the park will be greeted by a brand-new building. The Friends of Governors Island asked an emerging firm to design a Welcome Center—a first for the island—to greet visitors disembarking from the Manhattan ferry. The structure, it said, had to be temporary, made of prefabricated materials, and if need be, the whole had to be designed to be re-erected on a different site. The timeline? Six weeks from concept to completion. "We were designing for that flexibility," said Stephanie Lin, co-founding principal of OFFICE III, a bicoastal architectural collective founded last year by three friends from the Harvard GSD. For this project, Lin, along with principals Ryan Golenberg and Sean Canty, looked to the island's defensive architecture for inspiration. The group was especially taken by the thick-walled Castle Williams, a red sandstone fortification—complete with gun casements—that looms over New York Harbor. Instead of defending itself from intruders, though, OFFICE III's Welcome Center—in keeping with its name—embraces the crowds. "It's almost literally a device for framing and filtering," Lin said. "While the castle keeps people out, the Center is a foil that brings people in." The structure's frank but expressive openness is meant to dialogue with the rolling hills and serpentine paths West 8 designed for Governors Island last year. An information kiosk and a retail cube form the core of the structure, while wood and polycarbonate windows segment a lounge area that provides refuge from the summer sun. With built-in seating, an 800-square-foot wooden deck that unfurls beneath the butterfly roof, and less than a foot of material separating the Welcome Center floor from the lawn below, Lin hopes the kiosk can host events that will flow naturally outside. For all its transparency, the structure isn't light on durability. Last year, more than half a million people visited Governors Island, with an average of 20,000 visitors each weekend. The interior's marine-grade plywood, patterned in radiant diagonals, can withstand wear from tens of thousands of feet, while the exterior panels are finished with resilient cedar decking. The larger panels were fabricated on-site, and the pieces will be reused in upcoming seasons. Formally, a series of two-by-12-inch wood louvers resist vertical loads, while the structural diaphragm (the core) resists lateral loads. In spite of its complexity, the entire building can be disassembled, all panels intact. The team collaborated with Laufs Engineering Design on the structural engineering and enlisted Steffan Elzinga of Wood Mgmt to help with construction. Although Governors Island officially opened yesterday, the Welcome Center will debut later this month. There's another new thing to see on the island, too: Team Aesop, the winner of this year's City of Dreams Pavilion competition, designed a crystalline shade structure from 300,000 melted aluminum cans.
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Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion all set for $14 million revamp

The famous—and famously neglected—New York State Pavilion in Queens is poised for a major revamp. The city last week announced it is giving the pavilion, in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, a $14.25 million redesign. Originally conceived by Philip Johnson and Lev Zetlin for the 1964 World's Fair, the pavilion is a far cry from Johnson's Glass House but became a New York City icon nonetheless. Now, though, the National Register–listed item is largely abandoned, looming over other World's Fair infrastructure that has been successfully incorporated into the park.

The work, however, depends on a successful bid for the project. If all goes well, construction is scheduled to start next spring and wrap in fall 2019.

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New-York Historical Society previews new Gallery of Tiffany Lamps

Yesterday morning, the New-York Historical Society previewed the totally transformed fourth floor of its Upper West Side museum—once a drab archive, it will soon host 100 Tiffany Lamps in a space designed by London- and Prague-based architect Eva Jiřičná. The creation of the Gallery of Tiffany Lamps was spurred by the discovery that Clara Driscoll, one of the “Tiffany Girls” (women who worked for Tiffany Studios and selected the glass fragments that went into the lamps), was a leading creative force and designed many Tiffany lamps herselfNew York City–based PBDW were the architects of record for the 4,800-square-foot, two-story gallery, which features specially-crafted curving glass displays surrounded by a low-light environment and dark blue walls. Jiřičná's firm, who has come to specialize in glass construction, designed the LED-lit stairs with absolutely minimal metal details. In most instances, the stair's glass-to-glass metal connections are encased within the layers of laminated glass panes, making them totally flush and well-hidden. Furthermore, the stair's glass hangs off the nearby wall and works in tension. A small amount of give was engineered into the steps for users' comfort when walking upward. Georgina Papathanasiou, an associate at Eva Jiřičná Architects, said the staircase was "a feat of technology in the 21st-century" to match the technical achievement of Tiffany's 20th-century creations. In addition to telling the history of the Tiffany Girls and Clara Driscoll, visitors can create their own Tiffany lamp through an interactive digital installation (created by Cambridge, Massachusetts–based Small Design firm Inc.) on the second floor. The Gallery of Tiffany Lamps is adjacent to the also-new 1,500-square-foot Joyce B. Cowin’s History Gallery, a space dedicated to exhibitions organized by the New-York Historical Society’s Center for Women’s History. The newly-established Center is the first institution of its kind dedicated to public exhibits on women in American history. (The Joyce B. Cowin’s History Gallery will be inaugurated with Saving Washington, an exhibition on First Lady Dolley Madison, along with items from the archives of Billie Jean King, an interactive multimedia wall, among other artifacts.) Lastly, a new North Gallery will showcase objects from the museum's permanent collection. All the galleries will open to the public on April 29.