The Brooklyn Navy Yard has emerged as one of those rare, post-industrial-era success stories. The former shipyard, which closed in 1966, is now home to a mix of industries such as construction, cleantech, metal fabrication, film production, design, contracting, and even urban agriculture. The Wall Street Journal reported that the non-profit Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp. will soon announce an $80 million renovation of Building 77, a monolithic concrete former ammunition depot and the largest structure on the 300-acre park. Jack Basch plans on relocating his company, Shiel Medical Laboratory, from one building on the yard into Building 77. He will occupy 240,000-square-feet of space, and then rent out 180,000-square-feet to companies in his industry. Basch expects this move will allow him to add up to 400 jobs. Renovation of the 16-story tower, which has been vacant for half a century, is expected to present unique challenges, including boring through 2-foot-thick concrete walls to add new windows. This continued investment in the Navy Yard might be well worth it. According to a study by the Pratt Center, the “Navy Yard generates $2 billion in economic output and sustains 10,000 jobs and $390 million in earnings each year.”
Posts tagged with "Renovations":
Until recently, the only way to enter Central Park's oldest and largest playground was through a chain-link fence. The great Heckscher Playground, impressive in scale and amenities, did not have an entrance to match, but a recently completed renovation to the building has retuned the structure to it's original use with a contemporary twist blending the building's history with contemporary needs. In 1926, an entrance gateway, similar to many classically-adorned brick breezeways in other New York City parks, was constructed concurrent with Heckscher Playground but did not last long. While Fredrick Law Olmstead's design for Central Park provided huge swaths of public space, there remained a need for maintenance areas, and the original entranceway was enlarged and the transversal passage enclosed. The Heckscher Building, with an arched copper roof and flemish bond brick, sat uninvitingly as a maintenance shed at the top of Heckscher Playground until 2004, when the Central Park Conservancy approached several architecture firms with a commission. The Conservancy wanted to retain the enclosed support space while restoring the breezeway entrance into Heckscher Playground. After consulting with several firms, Salam & Giacalone Architects was selected to design the building's renovation. The design posed several challenges to the architects. The Heckscher Building was designated a Scenic Landmark in 1974 as a part of Central Park. Under New York City Law, the "aggregate landscape features" in the park are under the control of the Landmarks Preservation Commission meaning the building with 1936 renovations was protected as well. Because the original playground gate had been significantly altered before landmark designation, restoration of a portal would need to respect both the original 1926 design and the 1936 enlargement while still addressing contemporary needs of the Conservancy. Another primary challenge for the architects was combining the two programmatic requirements: recreating a"portal for the playground" while preserving much needed space for maintenance staff and equipment. To preserve and renovate the exisiting structure, Salam & Giacalone raised the maintenance space to the second floor, opening space in what was once the original 1926 breezeway. The second story is hidden behind the copper roof and accessible by stairs, requiring a steel frame throughout the building for structural support. The Landmarks Preservation Commission, concerned with the appearance of the "relationship of the building to the historic landscape," prevented installing exterior windows on the second floor. To bring natural light to the new space, the architects created a central light-shaft they refer to as an "oculus," which also lights the passageway below. The interior passageway is decorated with ornamental pilasters, modern abstractions of those on the exterior.
The lower level of the New York Historical Society was lively last Friday morning at the ribbon cutting for the new DiMenna Children’s History Museum and the Barbara K. Lipman Children’s History Library. Young New Yorkers were trying out a number of new, interactive activities in the vibrant 4,000 square-foot vaulted space. Pavilions divide the space into various programs including biographical information on figures such as Alexander Hamilton and James McCune Smith, viewing changing New York sites throughout history. In the library, children will also have access to rare books and maps from the Society’s collection. The Children’s History Museum has been in the works for three to four years as part of the Historical Society’s $65 million renovation. Architects from Lee H. Skolnick Architecture and Design Partnership worked closely with museum curators to design a permanent exhibit dedicated to educating children on history. Lee Skolnick, the principal architect of the firm, has extensive design experience, spanning thirty years, on children’s museums. But here, Peter Hyde, associate and senior exhibit designer, distinguished, “We have done history museums and children’s museums, but never a children’s history museum.” The overall concept of the exhibit presented various challenges for curators as well as the architects: how to convey historical events to children in an exciting and engaging way. The design of the space along with its content intends to relate New York kids to history by exploring famous as well as everyday historical figures as children.
Last week, we took a trip around the block from the AN office to go to an open house at 55 Warren hosted by Legrand, the French systems management company. While we were impressed with all the gizmos and glitzy gadgets, it was OCV Architect's clever renovation of the old cast-iron building that grabbed our attention. That's not to say that Legrand didn't impress. Vantage, a subsidiary of Legrand, came in after the walls were painted and moldings affixed before fitting setting up the control network for everything from the shades to security by using radio and wifi. No plaster was destroyed in the effort. An iPhone app allows owners to adjust their Tribeca lighting while in the Hamptons. The glitz factor came with a presentation of Legrand's latest acquisition, Bticino, the Italian fixture company. Their Swarovski-encrusted light switches are tempered by more tame choices of wenge, granite and marble. But back to the architecture... OCV received the necessary Landmark approvals to scoop out the center of this historic structure to create a courtyard light well. Often, these old industrial buildings are quite dark at the center of the floorplate. While losing 2,050 square feet might make the any developer cringe, OCV replaced square footage by plopping it back on top in the form of a $14 million penthouse that's set back far enough from the facade to appease Landmarks.
Pasadena's Art Center College of Design has always been ambitious about building. But after some pushback, it's toning things down. Most architecture buffs know about the school's iconic black steel hillside campus designed by Craig Ellwood, and its equally ambitious downtown campus designed by Daly Genik, located inside a former Douglas Aircraft wind tunnel. But after its last director, Richard Koshalek, got pushed out largely for his super ambitious $150 million expansion plan, including a $45 million Frank Gehry-designed research center (many thought the school was putting more emphasis on facilities than teaching and students), the school's new expansion plans, confirmed this week, involve renovations and smaller expansions, not big gestures, reports the Pasadena Star News. The college is negotiating to buy a U.S. Post Office-owned building on a 2.4-acre lot at 870 S. Raymond Ave, right next to its downtown campus, and plans to use it as a base for fabrication and design. The plan also includes the expansion of the Ellwood Building, whose winner should be announced in the next couple of months. The overall expansion will cost a much more palatable $45 million, for which the school is now raising funds. And the school has no intention of moving into the city-owned Glenarm Power Plant, on which it holds a 10-year option.
The fabulous Peter Marino has designed a fabulous new store for Chanel in Soho, which opened Friday for Fashion Night Out. It’s so fabulous that Chanel Global Creative Director Peter Phillips created a new makeup line paying homage to Marino’s sleek lines and the sleeker girls who hobble about the cobblestone streets surrounding the store. As for the renovation itself, it was inspired by the artsy spirit of the neighborhood and features an acrylic Chanel No. 5 bottle that stands over 10 feet high and will display video art as well as video of runway shows from Paris. The newly outfitted boutique has a gallery feel to it, complete with commissioned artworks by Peter Belyi, Alan Rath, and Robert Greene. More makeup and makeover after the jump.