Safdie Architects has officially completed a two-year-long restoration of Moshe Safdie’s personal unit at Habitat 67, a landmark apartment complex designed by a young Safdie himself for Montreal. The project was done in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the seminal structure. Safdie’s light-filled duplex unit is located on the 10th floor of the 238,500-square-foot brutalist building and overlooks the Saint Lawrence River and downtown Montreal. The careful restoration of the prefabricated piece of architecture has been a serious undertaking. Safdie Architects worked to bring the entire facility into the 21st century by upgrading its technical systems to modern sustainability and energy conservation standards. They also stripped the exterior concrete walls that showed severe signs of decades-long water damage in order to repair, insulate, and waterproof the envelope from the harsh Canadian winters. For the interior of Safdie’s apartment, the design team restored the space to its original 1960s condition. They repaired the wood parquet flooring, installed new windows, and restored the sliding patio doors that retract into the concrete walls. The wood-slatted terraces were revamped to include the clear polycarbonate railings found on the original structure. The bathrooms, outfitted with molded fiber glasses, were also rehabilitated, along with the fixtures and fittings. The kitchen was completely restored as well. Now in mint condition, the unit will be dedicated to the public realm as a resource for research and tours as Safdie Architects continues an ongoing restoration of the building’s envelope.
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New York YIMBY revealed this morning that a new development designed by DXA Studio is potentially in the works for Sunset Park. The 240,000-square-foot complex, likely mixed-use with residential and commercial components, will stretch between 7th and 5th Avenues at 6205 7th Avenue in Brooklyn. The upcoming site, spearheaded by New Empire Corp., will feature three mid-rise towers situated atop a platform covering the train tracks. The Hudson Yards-like vision for the project—albeit smaller as YIMBY notes—will bring a much-needed, massive new housing option to the borough’s southwestern industrial neighborhood. Renderings show that the structures will include a terraced design facing west towards the river with rooftop plazas dotted with greenery. On the east side, a lower-level, elongated structure runs two-thirds the length of the development while the taller towers jut out at angles facing south. The facades of each building appear to be clad in muted materials with big, boxy, recessed windows that allow ample light into the interior spaces. Close-up visuals detail the jagged shape the angular towers take on at the edges of the development. The architects told YIMBY that 6205 7th Avenue will house two blocks of retail, office space, restaurants, a gym with a pool, a hotel, community facilities, as well as public park space. Though the initial designs have been released, permits for the site have not yet been filed.
Australian-born artist Cj Hendry has dropped a full-sized house inside of a 22,000-square-foot warehouse in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, as part of a new solo exhibition that probes the relationship between art and interior design. MONOCHROME will run from April 5 through 8, and features seven different rooms, each painted in single color palettes in deference to the art hanging in each. MONOCHROME, Hendry's fifth solo exhibition, is a departure for an artist known for her hyperrealistic black-and-white pen drawings of pop and kitsch items. The show centers around a series of crumpled Pantone swatch painting in each room of a 10,000-square-foot house, from which the surrounding environment draws its singular color scheme. Seven rooms throughout the exhibition, each playing off of a typical housing typology, have each been painted in their own bold color. The kitchen is green, the bedroom is fully yellow, a bathroom has been rendered in purple, the lounge in blue, the office in orange, the dining room in red, and a woman’s bedroom in pink. “People generally buy art as the last item, they find art to match their home,” said Hendry in a statement sent to AN. “I have become close with my collectors over the years and have noticed how differently they live their lives. Art is the first thing they add to a space and they design their entire home around their collection. I have taken this concept to an extreme level. Each room has been designed to emulate the art on the wall. The art is the focus, everything matches the art.” Hendry added that the drawings of crumpled color cards and resultant painting of each room was meant to give color itself a “physicality”. The interplay between familiar forms and unconventional color–an Eames Lounge Chair painted orange, yellow blue jeans–lends the items within a heightened air of artificiality. Monochrome will be open to the public from 10:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. at 276 Greenpoint Avenue in Greenpoint from April 5 through April 8.
Reaching up into the sky in Bishan, Singapore is Moshe Safdie's recently completed development, and aptly named, Sky Habitat. Safdie's design includes walkways that connect the the two structures up to 38 storey's up, offering views across the suburban sprawl of Bishan. Views aren't the only thing offered to residents who take to the bridges at the complex either. As pictured above, a swimming pool spans the majority of the highest bridge (on the 38th floor) complete with palm trees. Below are two more bridges connecting the towers. They provide circulation between the buildings and facilitate airflow through the structures. In fact, ventilation was somewhat of a priority in the context of the Singapore's tropical and climate. As a result, by separating the volumes, Safdie has maximised exposure to each dwelling to combat the humid conditions. That's not to say that they too have been left bereft of vegetation, something which has been a key feature of Safdie's design. The inclusion of such greenery has lead to the bridges being termed as "sky gardens," offering a natural counter to the surrounding urban environment. Bishan, by comparison, is one of Singapore's fastest developing cities. The two volumes of the towers show off a staggered facade that maximizes each dwelling's views and sunlight exposure. Sky Habitat, by name, builds on Safdie's most recognized work, Habitat 67 in Montreal, Canada. Equally hierarchical and arguably more complex, Habitat 67 had its roots in his Master's thesis at McGill University. http://www.skyhabitat.com.sg/assets/video/commercial.mp4
Arquitectonica’s newly opened zig-zagging tower in Miami is meant to reflect the rippling waters of Biscayne Bay
Miami-based Arquitectonica has completed a zig-zagging tower on booming Miami's Biscayne Bay. The 42-story, luxury residence building was developed by the Related Group and has been dubbed the Icon Bay. Icon Bay's distinctive textured facade is created through a playful repetition of the structure's balconies and is said to have been a response to the untamed ripples of the Biscayne's waters as they flutter against the breeze. These elevated terraces provide for sweeping waterfront views. The tower includes its own bayside park, also designed by Arquitectonica. The park's circular walkways move through an outdoor art exhibition space. Icon Bay is but one of the many new construction projects that have recently found its way to Miami's shores.
Thanks to the increasingly sophisticated tastes of clients and consumers, it’s becoming harder to discern a distinct boundary between residential and commercial furnishings. These tables, chairs, benches, and stools attest to the success of such stylistic crossovers. Los Andes Tables Bernhardt Design This collection of beautifully crafted tables takes inspiration from the lush landscapes and natural elements of the Andes Mountain Range. Nature and modern design take shape in the solid walnut Los Andes collection, with the raised rim mimicking the peaks and plateaus of the rugged mountains in Chile. Designed by Ignacia Murtagh. Okura Ligne Roset This curvy, cushiony settee could anchor a cocktail lounge or a living room with equal aplomb. The collection includes a footrest, armchair, and medium and large settees, available with a high or low backrest. The base is offered in chromed or lacquered steel. Designed by Eric Jourdan. Polygon Tables Herman Miller In their expression of pure geometry, the Polygon Table series provides an elegant solution to the need for all manner of surfaces, at home, the office, and elsewhere. The structure of the table’s wire base yields a dual advantage: a symmetry of form that uses minimal material for maximum strength and a logical method for scaling up or down in size and height to accommodate various dimensions of round, triangle, and hexagon tops of painted Formcoat. By unifying the color of base and top—in a choice of black, white, or gray/graphite—a single table has a subtle appearance, and a gathering of tables, nested or stacked, create an organic composition. Each shape is available in three sizes and heights. Designed by Studio 7.5. Roi, Mat, Fou Avenue Road The three stools, each subtly different, feature a French walnut varnished base and a leather seat. Designed by Christophe Delcourt. Press Room Chair Suite NY In 1958, the Dutch government commissioned famed architect and designer Gerrit Rietveld to design a chair for the press room of the new UNESCO building in Paris. Rietveld was part of an elite group of designers who had been tapped to collaborate on the new building, including Hans J. Wegner, Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, and Marcel Breuer. Rietveld's chair was meant as a comfortable lounge chair for the low reading table for journalists. However, due to budget limitations, Rietveld's new chair was never produced—but the original design drawings and scale models were preserved, and the chair has been launched for the first time in 2015 exactly as Rietveld had envisioned it. On the underside of each chair is a poem by Christian Morgenstern entitled "The Aesthete," one that Rietveld sometimes printed underneath his designs, reflecting his opinion that a chair was not meant to rest, so it didn't need the comfort of a bed. With solid oak or walnut armrests. Available in 18 fabric options and 9 leather options. Designed by Gerrit Reitveld. Fawley Bench e15 This new product family consisting of a solid wood table, bench, and stool emphasizes the pure use of material and a clear design language. In addition to European walnut and solid oak in oiled or white pigmented finishes, the collection is also offered in black, highlighting the elegant silhouette. Designed by David Chipperfield.
A white elephant in Indiana's capital city may see new life after decades of decay—with a little help from modern art. When it opened in 1909, Indianapolis' old city hall building inspired the mayor, Charles A. Bookwalter, to remark: “I believe that in all the years to come no citizen, man, woman, or child, will pass this corner and read that motto without feeling responsibility for good citizenship in this city of ours.” By 1962 city and county government had outgrown the neoclassical building, designed by architects Rubush & Hunter, and it has served as temporary exhibition space ever since. Now the Louisville-based developers 21c Museum Hotels plans to redevelop Old City Hall along with an adjacent lot, pumping $55 million into a mixed-use development centered on a new museum of contemporary art. According to the project announcement, the property will feature “a boutique hotel with approximately 150 rooms, guest suites with private terraces on the rooftop, art-filled meeting and event spaces and a unique chef-driven food and beverage concept showcasing local and regional farmers and producers.” City Hall itself appears destined for an art museum that will feature rotating exhibitions and remain open to the public, free of charge. “Arts-related tenants” will occupy the second, third and fourth floors of Old City Hall. 21c has signed on frequent collaborator, New York City–based Deborah Berke Partners to design the project. Berke is also signed on to design a new building for Cummins in Indianapolis, proposing a glassy, bending form and extensively landscaped public spaces for the fuel systems manufacturer. A bit less than half of the project financing will be loans from the federal government and local officials, as well as historic tax credits, if the developers get their way. If that happens, city officials will be fulfilling a promise to redevelop the municipal building, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 and factors into Indianapolis' City 2020 masterplan. “When I became the director I felt a certain pull to do something,” said Adam Thies, Indy's director of metropolitan development. “Letting it sit vacant was akin to letting it slip away from the memory of civic consciousness,” Thies made the remarks in a video about the project for The Bicentennial Plan for Indianapolis. https://vimeo.com/98892394
Developers Related completed its resurrection of 111 West Wacker Drive earlier this year, opening a luxury rental tower on the Chicago River where for years stood a ghostly concrete frame left over from a previous owner's attempt to build. The site was originally intended to house the first Shangri-La Hotel in the U.S. Four years after the recession halted construction with just 28 stories of structural skeleton complete, Related broke "ground" again, this time planning about 60 stories and about 500 luxury apartments. That redevelopment finished up this summer, opening in July. About 60 percent of the units have since been rented, said Related spokeswoman Tricia Van Horn. Renting is the only option for the 504 units, which range from 575-square-foot studios to three-bedroom, three-bath residences of 2,400 square feet. They cost anywhere from $2,395 to $11,500 a month for one of the four penthouses. OneEleven's segmented construction led to some interesting design adaptations. Having scaled back from pre-recession ambitions, the new owners stacked a smaller building on top of the 28-story base, bifurcating the floorplate and creating some interesting outdoor spaces where the Shangri-La plan juts out at the 28th floor. A recessed zig-zag in the facade references datum lines of nearby buildings and alludes to the unusual construction history while shielding the transition between its disjointed floorplans. Views from outdoor “Club OneEleven” down Clark Street are spectacular, if marred a bit by the building's neighbor to the south. But rather than cram lower south-facing floors with low-light apartments, Related conceded that space to back-of-house, building systems and some amenities. The luxury rentals are targeted to “people who are really interested in having an urban life,” Van Horn said, underscoring the building's singular position in this section of the Loop not typically known for residential developments. Take a look inside OneEleven with these photos by Scott Frances.
Our friends at On the Road, a yearlong series of LA-centric architecture, art, and design programs taking place throughout the city, are at it again. Last weekend they took their talents to the residential realm, encouraging a series of designers to respond to eight single-family houses on the city's west side through postcards placed inside the homes' mailboxes. Architecture/muses included Frank Gehry's Norton House, Rudolph Schindler's Kings Road House, and Lorcan O'Herlihy's Vertical House. Highly varied postcards, pointed out OTR co-organizer Jonathan Louie, Assistant Professor of Architecture at Syracuse, directed their attention on homes' insides, outsides, and contexts. Among other things, they displayed abstracted and inverted plans, historical and typological studies, and even (sort of) private self-addressed letters. Some, like those by Clark Thenhaus and Jessica Colangelo, even framed views of the homes themselves. See more intriguing results of architecture inspiring art below, and for a glipmse at the event in progress visit #otr on Twitter.
When it comes to waterfront development in New York City, there’s always a battle to be waged, and this time, it is over 22 acres near Newtown Creek in north Greenpoint, Brooklyn where developers, Park Tower Group, plan to break ground in the summer of 2013 to build Greenpoint Landing. Curbed reported on Election Day last week that someone circulated a flyer protesting the development’s ten 30-to-40-story luxury residential towers to be designed by Handel Architects. This protester’s main gripe is the scale and density of the project, which the flyers state is much larger than “most of the buildings average 5 stories” and doesn’t allow for much “green space.” But the plans for Greenpoint Landing are well on its way, and could include a pedestrian bridge by Santiago Calatrava. Click on a thumbnail to launch the slideshow.
New York City's nouveau-tall skyscrapers, like the Christian de Portzamparc-designed One57 which recently topped out at 1,004 feet, have been wooing the world's richest residential buyers with unimaginable amenities and floor-to-ceiling glass. But if you interested in an address that redefined tall—one hundred years ago—your options are more limited. Now, developers Alchemy Properties have acquired the top 30 floors of the iconic Woolworth Building in Lower Manhattan, the world's tallest structure when it opened in 1913, with plans to build 40 super-luxury residential units in the sky. The Cass Gilbert-designed Woolworth, dubbed the "Cathedral of Commerce," held the world's tallest designation at 792 feet for a whopping 17 years from 1913 to 1930 when the Chrysler Building took the reigns, and it still holds its own on skyline of Lower Manhattan. The New York Times reports that the first new condos will begin at 350 feet above Broadway and a five-story penthouse in the building's copper-clad crown—once a public observation area—will bring new meaning to majestic living. But then again, the only downside of living in the Woolworth Building might be not having a view of the Woolworth Building. With 40 units distributed over 30 floors, the project may not be increasing the city's density by any appreciable level considering a single luxury residence could hold quite a few micro-apartments currently in discussion for Manhattan's east side. (In fact, AN has estimated that in the same 30 floors, one could likely fit over 600 efficient 250-square foot micro-apartments.) Telescoping floors range in size from 8,000 to 3,500 square feet as the tower rises, but the height won't be the only soaring aspect of the building. According to the Times, unit prices will top $2,000 per square foot, up from a neighborhood average of $1,250 per foot last quarter. If this news is an indicator that the economy of Lower Manhattan has finally, once-and-for-all rebounded, it might not be long until another luxury building rises next door to the Woolworth in a pit slated for an even-taller Robert A.M. Stern-designed hotel and condo tower. Between 1977 and 1981, the Woolworth Building's glazed terra cotta facade underwent a restoration by the Ehrenkrantz Group, when 26,000 damaged pieces of terra cotta were replaced with architectural precast concrete and nearly 40 percent of the entire facade was touched up. While putting together a slideshow of the building past and present, AN uncovered this photo of two steeplejacks precariously clinging to one of the building's four turrets, which reminded us that those turrets have been covered over today. Take a look at more photos of the Woolworth Building in the slideshow below.
With bright colors, rich patterns, and futuristic forms that would make Verner Panton drool, Italian homewear company MissoniHome has recently completed their first fully-branded residential tower, the 52-story Acqua Livingstone in Manila, Philippines. The project is the fourth tower of six in the $315.9 million Acqua Private Residences project, developed in the Philippine capital by Century Properties Group. MissoniHome is the home goods branch of Missoni, the fashion line whose colorful patterns and prints attempt to elevate knitwear to artform. Set in the lush tropical environment of the Phillipines, the tower is a "lifestyle experience," and features not only vibrant interior design and arresting furniture, but also a skydeck, called "The Canopy." The Canopy’s lower level includes a business center, an indoor and outdoor gym, Jacuzzi, a library and spa. The upper level is a social and entertainment space with an amphitheatre, lounge, DJ booth and dance floor, pool with swim up bar, and barbecue facilities. Click on a thumbnail to launch the slideshow.