Posts tagged with "Robert A.M. Stern":

The Architecture of Literacy in the Bronx

Join the Municipal Art Society for an exploration of literacy-related architecture in the Fordham and University Heights sections of the Bronx. We’ll look at public schools designed by Charles B. J. Snyder, and the campus designed for New York University in the 1890s by Stanford White (now Bronx Community College), with the early-20th-century tourist attraction, the Hall of Fame. Modern buildings include ones by Marcel Breuer and Robert A. M. Stern.
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A fresh look at RAMSA’s Upper West Side luxury condos

Developer Alchemy Properties has revealed Robert A.M. Stern Architects' (RAMSA) interiors for the firm's latest building at 250 West 81st Street in Manhattan. The Zabar's-adjacent building is close to topping out, and below are renderings of the 18-story building's insides: The living room render above was released last October, Curbed reported. This is the kitchen, complete with custom millwork cabinets, marble counters and backsplashes, with Gaggenau appliances. That space is a collaboration between RAMSA and the U.K.'s Smallbone of Devizes. And here's the bathroom, which is also bedecked with marble: If a soak in the tub isn't your style, some units come with terraces: And here's the entrance... ...that leads to a marble-clad lobby with a 14-foot-high, domed ceiling. These days, what would a luxury building be without amenities? There's a gym:
And a basketball court! The website for 250 West 81st Street features more images and information about the project.
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Thomas Heatherwick unveils High Line towers with bulging window facades

Thomas Heatherwick and developer Related Companies have teamed up yet again, this time for a double-pronged condo tower that wraps around a section of Manhattan’s High Line. As first reported by CityRealty, marketing materials for the Heatherwick-designed 515 West 18th Street, and the nearby 555 West 22nd Street, designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects (RAMSA), are available via an EB-5 investor website. (EB-5 is a federal program designed to spur international investment by promising green cards in exchange for financing, or through the creation of 10 or more permanent jobs.) The two 18th street towers will straddle the High Line while remaining a single, connected building under the elevated rail park. The east tower will be 10 stories tall, while the west tower will be 22 stories, likely an attempt to maximize views of the neighboring Hudson River. The 425,000-square-foot development will contain 181 condos split across both towers, as well as 17,000-square feet of gallery and retail space. The most defining feature of the project are the barrel-shaped windows, which seem to balloon from within against a constraining brick frame. According to a Related official, the design is a “modern interpretation of the bay window.” As expected of a pricey development along the High Line, the Heatherwick's twin towers will be amenity-heavy and hold a fitness center, spa, entertainment lounges, and 175 on-site parking spots. The video walkthrough of the project seen below, including a look at the high-end interiors and amenity spaces, can also be found on the EB-5 site. Much less is known about the second project on West 22nd Street. The boxy, brick tower designed by RAMSA will likely contain 141 condo units and many of the same amenities as its cousin on 18th Street, but Related has released fewer details on this second building. Together, both projects will form a development tentatively titled the Hudson Residences. Related expects both projects to finish in mid-2020, though neither have fully cleared the city’s approval process. As such, the renderings and information released thus far are still subject to change. Heatherwick and Related have most recently worked together on the massive Vessel sculpture in Hudson Yards, and this collaboration makes sense as Related continues to develop projects along Manhattan’s west side, including the Zaha Hadid’s 520 West 28th. AN has reached out to Related Companies for a comment on the Hudson Residences, and will update this article with more information when it becomes available.
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Catching up with Bob Stern on life after Yale

In an exit interview with the Yale University School of Architecture student newspaper Paprika!, former dean Robert A.M. Stern said, “Once I became the dean, I stopped going on any kind of a regular basis to live theater in New York, which I used to be quite an habitué of… I was usually so exhausted that at the end of the day I would go and sit in my one hundred dollar seat and have the most expensive snooze ever known to man… I’m looking forward to catching a few plays after June 30.” AN Senior Editor Matt Shaw caught up with Mr. Stern to talk about his life after deanship, his new office, and what else he has been up to in his newfound free time. Matt Shaw: This is my first visit to the new office. It has a similar feeling to the old one. Robert A.M. Stern: Well I don’t like too much change. The new office here on One Park Avenue is a reflection of the previous office on West 34th Street, which was a reflection of its predecessor on West 61st. Also, after being in an office for roughly 20 years, people forgot to throw things away, so the cleansing experience of coming over here—archiving things and so forth—has been great. But we kept the library. I remember that drawing. When we moved here, we just moved the drawing. The clients in Aspen have been friends of mine for a long time, and so I keep it there. I have a sentimental side, which people don’t actually know. They think I’m a man of steel and I’m really Clark Kent at heart. Well, congratulations on the move. So, what are you up to now that you are finished being dean at Yale? You must have lots of free time. Well, that’s not true. To begin with, I’m on sabbatical. I am preparing a new seminar that I will give this coming academic year. For a long time at Yale, I’ve given one seminar called “Parallel Moderns,” which says that what is commonly called “modern architecture”—in cocktail party chatter—is really only the International Style of the modern movement. However, there were many different kinds of modern architecture that ran parallel in the 20th century. I’m also working with Jake Tilove and David Fishman on my New York 2020 book, which I swore I would never do, but here I am. I was hoping to talk about what you do outside the office. What do you enjoy doing in the city? Do have more time to see shows at the theater now that you aren’t back and forth from New Haven? I had a kind of orgy of shows. The last one I saw was the one with Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole, War Paint. I saw Dear Evan Hansen—I actually saw that before it opened. I knew it was going to be amazing and it was amazing. I saw Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, and the Kevin Kline thing, Present Laughter. I love musicals, as you can tell. There is a series at the City Center where they revive old shows. I saw The Golden Apple and it went in one ear and out the other. What are some of your favorite restaurants? Oh, you sound like a client who’s come in from Oshkosh. I used to love going to the Four Seasons and now… I don’t know, it’s not the same. They kind of sexed it up in a way. We’ll see what happens when it reopens in the fall. But, for me, the Four Seasons was very special. I had many lunches with Philip Johnson in the Grill Room and I kept going there afterward, once or twice a year. I still think it’s a beautiful experience to be there. What about public spaces? Where do you like to take a walk? Obviously from my books, I’m a complete enthusiast for New York. There’s no greater enclosed space in New York—or maybe the world—than the great hall of Grand Central. Central Park is another of the great rooms—and it is a room. There’s a difference between Central Park and Prospect Park. Prospect Park is not a room. You go in there and you get lost, whereas Central Park is a completely defined rectangle with walls of buildings on all four sides, so it’s a great room and I love that. I find Times Square amazing. They’re all kind of clichés because they’re so great. Everybody will say, ‘Oh, doesn’t he know some surprising place?’ No.
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Robert A.M. Stern and Norman Foster talk Yale and martinis at the Glass House

"The Brits thought we Americans didn’t know about culture and we thought the Brits didn’t know how to draw," is how Robert A.M. Stern describes his impression of the first (pre-Beatles) British invasion. In 1962, Norman Foster, along with Richard Rogers and their respective partners, moved to New Haven for a year to study at Yale. Stern spoke about these years last week at a dinner with Foster on the luxurious grounds of Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut. The event allowed attendees to walk around the grounds of the estate in all of its fall beauty before the dinner talk. Foster took advantage of this by sprinting with his family through several of the Johnson pavilions. Stern, with his foot in a brace, preferred to lounge in the house with a martini and talk to Peter Eisenman. The conversation, moderated by Johnson scholar and Glass House Chief Curator Hilary Lewis, also covered the two architects' relationship with Philip and his "startling" Glass House, as well as Paul Rudolph and the Yale faculty. They both remembered Rudolph’s demanding studios, particularly his juries that might include the likes of Serge Chermayeff and Vincent Scully who all had a "powerful presence on the campus." Stern described a studio design by Foster and Rogers that apparently did not impress the jury. The scheme was for a science center, on the edge of New Haven that featured a central pedestrian spine with "ziggurat-like "laboratory clusters spilling down hillside." Rudolph, Stern said, “did not like the project, and Johnson snapped off one of the towers and said, 'these will have to go.'" Stern was at his quotable best all evening and claimed that Foster "has not gotten better, because he was perfect as a student." Foster was particularly impressed with Scully who, he said, "brought history alive for me for the first time." Today's visit to the Glass House, he concluded, made him realize that the New Canaan residence owed its siting to Wright who, Scully claimed, wanted houses "to disappear into the landscape." (Stern claimed that Wright once asked Johnson, derisively, if he was "still building little boxes on the landscape," but Wright nevertheless came to the Glass House to drink martinis.) Foster realized that in fact the Glass House was "not a little house on and above the land, but in fact disappears into the landscape," an observation made clear by the tranquil twilight talk. Stern and Foster agreed that today, it’s hard to describe how shockingly new the Glass House was to their generation. "I was one of the first students to visit the house," Stern said. "I did not know Philip Johnson, but I called him on the telephone, and he said, 'bring the boys down!' And I showed up with seven women..." The conversation ended on a more serious note as Foster promoted the goals of his private foundation in Madrid that address issues like climate change and the fact that a quarter of the world's population has no access to electricity, difficult topics he thinks the profession of architecture avoids. He finished by stating that, for most of the world's citizens, infrastructure is more important than architecture. Stern agreed with Foster’s assessment of the architecture profession and claimed that most of today's star architecture "is about individual ego and not context, [not] a continuation of the street or the history of the city." Stern sent the audience off to dinner with one of his quotable bon mots: "I like New Canaan but I wouldn’t want to live here." Stern and Foster were sent home with an official snow globes from the design store of the house to remember the evening.
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Robert A.M. Stern discusses his first Chicago tower with AN

Robert A.M. Stern took a moment to speak with AN Midwest Editor Matthew Messner about One Bennett Park, Stern’s first tower in Chicago. In part thanks to a long, trusting relationship with the developer Related Midwest, Stern’s office, Robert A.M. Stern Architects, was tasked with designing both exterior and interiors for the project. Design partner Daniel Lobitz is leading a team to design a tower that Stern hopes will capture some of the glamour of old Chicago.

The Architect’s Newspaper: What do you see as some of the advantages of being able to control so much of the design?

Robert A.M. Stern: I think an architect who has a strong sense of design can create almost anything, and certainly should be able to, and should be encouraged to, carry the design ideas into the interior. Certainly the public areas—lobby, elevators, cabs, and public halls—on any floor in a residential building. We have done that in many buildings and for many of our buildings for Related in New York, including the Chatham, the Brompton, the Harrison, Tribeca Park, Tribeca Green, and most recently, 261 Hudson Street. Can you imagine a Mies van der Rohe building, whether his apartments on the Lake Shore or his office buildings, not being designed by Mies on the inside? I can’t. If you don’t trust an architect to design the inside of the building, why trust them to design the outside of the building?

Are there references or motifs that informed the design of One Bennett Park?

I think precedent is a very important factor in the design of this building, but it’s a very important factor in the design of any building we undertake. I would say precedent is not necessarily historic. Precedent also can, and should, incorporate local traditions, local vernaculars of local buildings. This tower is our first tower built in Chicago, and only the second time we have built anything in Chicago. (Except for the bus shelters, and I guess there are 2,200 of them, so that must count for something.) I’ve been visiting Chicago as an archi-tourist for virtually all my life, so I know the great buildings are especially relevant to our work. Some of those buildings include the Marshall Field and Company Building in the Loop, and the Palmolive Building on North Michigan Avenue. A fantastic body of buildings—not only in Chicago, but all across the Midwest and other places as well—that inspired us as we began to think about how to shape the tower. Too many tall buildings are just extensions from the bottom up to the top. They may be structurally encased, like the John Hancock, but it’s fundamentally an extrusion. I prefer—among the modernist buildings in Chicago in relationship to this discussion—what in my mind will always be the Sears Tower; I don’t know what it is called this week. It steps up in the most amazing way according to a structural idea of Fazlur Rahman Khan.

What are some of the interior features of One Bennett Park that you feel make it exceptional?

There is a glamour about some of Chicago’s interiors, residential and not. For example, the lobbies of the Marshall Field Building are wonderful. So, we wanted to capture some of that Chicago glamour in our lobbies. We have two separate lobbies, one for the rental portion of the building, and another for the condominiums. Each has its own design statement. The condominium lobby, which has wood paneling, is traditional, as wood paneling is traditional, but it’s really very stylishly modern as well. There is a visual interest that one associates with buildings of the ’20s and ’30s, and that is sometimes not associated with the buildings of the late 20th century on the whole. We were looking at a lot of Frances Adler Elkins’s work (she was David Adler’s sister).

Has there been any particular advantages, or challenges, about building a major project in Chicago?

Nothing out of the ordinary. I think we are perhaps entering into a new territory of elegance and detail, and all of that costs money. I hope Chicagoans are getting ready to dip into their deep pockets for our building. The truth of the matter is the cost of habitation in Chicago is substantially lower than in New York. To get this much quality, and to really break out of a rather “businesses as usual” mode, is a compliment to our clients, Related Midwest, to stick their necks out. I just hope we don’t get chopped off.

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Robert A.M. Stern says New York 2020 is happening

In a recent interview with AN Interior, the magazine by The Architect’s Newspaper (AN), former Yale dean Robert A.M. Stern gave us a glimpse into his new life post–New Haven. While we were looking for tips on what shows and exhibitions to see around New York, he surprised us with a little tidbit: Despite swearing that he would never do it, the prolific author confirmed with AN that he is, in fact, working on New York 2020, the sixth in the series. More details to follow.
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RAMSA opens in-office gallery

There are architecture offices that celebrate digital architecture and parametric design and others that use these digital tools to simply achieve their design goals. Robert A.M. Stern Architects (RAMSA) clearly falls into this second group and has always celebrated architectural tradition as the firm's starting point and a generator of its designs. Now RAMSA is celebrating architectural hand drawing by its staff in a new gallery it has opened in its 34th street space. The gallery’s first show Drawing from Experience focuses on the tradition of travel sketching, historically a fundamental component of an architect’s lifelong education. Thirty-six members of the office have 151 travel sketches displayed salon-style in the gallery; RAMSA claims the work “internalizes an impression of the built environment in a way that can never be replicated through snapshot photography, developing a way of seeing that is simultaneously analysis, art, and autobiography.” The in-house gallery initiative is one that that more firms should embrace as a way of developing a more supportive and creative office culture.
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Chicago tops pre-recession tower crane count

With the installation of a tower crane at the Robert A.M. Stern-designed One Bennett Park, Chicago has set a post-recession record for the number of tower cranes in the city. With the 29 tower cranes currently operating in Chicago, with seven more approved and pending installation, One Bennett Park’s crane is the 48th tower crane to operate in the city in 2016. That is a full 31 more than were used in 2011. Along with the tower cranes going up, the Department of Buildings has issued 39,815 building permits in 2016, a five-year record. To do so the city has had to hire eight new inspectors and two new structural engineers thus far, with 11 more inspectors expected to be hired by the end of the year. Part of the increase in issued permits has to do with recent reforms by the building department to speed up the process. These reforms include the issuance of Code Memorandums in order to deal with new technologies and modernizations yet to be addressed in the building code, expansion of certified corrections and self-certification, and the in-house review of all foundation permits. The time it takes to be issued a building permit has been cut down by as much as eight weeks in some cases. The 67-story One Bennett Park, being developed by Related Midwest, will be the tallest completely residential tower in Chicago at 836 feet tall. Located near East of Michigan Avenue in the affluent Streeterville neighborhood, the tower will include a 1.7-acre public park designed by famed landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh. “The tower cranes seen across Chicago’s skyline mean one thing—economic opportunities that reach neighborhoods across the city,” Chicago Mayor Emanuel said at a site visit to One Bennet Park earlier this week. “As Chicago’s economy continues to gain strength, City Hall will continue to partner with all businesses, big and small, to keep the progress going.”
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Robert A.M. Stern recounts a heated confrontation between Denise Scott Brown and Paul Rudolph

In an interview with Yale School of Architecture’s Paprika! magazine, former dean Robert A.M. Stern recounts a 1969 party in which “I had to peel Denise Scott Brown away from fighting with Paul Rudolph in my apartment over the subject of the way Denise and Bob Venturi had treated Rudolph’s Crawford Manor.” Scott Brown and Venturi had “savaged” the building in Learning From Las Vegas. Stern describes architect Ulrich Franzen telling him: “Bob you better go into the library, Denise is about to kill Paul Rudolph.”

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Sony Tower will now be turned into offices instead of luxury apartments

Rising to 647 feet on Madison Avenue between 55th and 56th Streets, the Sony Tower (formerly the AT&T Building) has been a long standing icon of the Postmodernist movement.

Designed by Phillip Johnson in the early 1980s, developer Joseph Chetrit last year hired Robert A. M. Stern to transform 22 floors in the 37-story tower into 96 luxury apartments. Units were set to start at $11 million. In 2015, The Real Deal reported that a $150 million penthouse, complete with a marble staircase and spanning three floors was in the making. Covering floors 33 through 35, the space was previously a corporate boardroom. Additionally, eight floors would be home to a five star hotel under the Oetker Collection. Holding 170 rooms, the hotel was also set to be designed by Stern.

Now, however, it seems such plans have been drastically curtailed.

After purchasing the Sony building for $1.1 billion in 2013, Chetrit this week agreed to sell the tower for $1.4 billion to the Olayan Group and Chelsfield. According to the New York Times, both firms have said that the building will now become an office building.

Sony, then it seems, appears to have cashed in at the right time three years ago when the upper echelons of the real estate market were in high demand. Chetrit's sale is indicative of the market slowdown. The "one percenters" looking for luxury in the city have dropped off the radar of late, as plans for a "superluxury tower" by Central Park South have also been abandoned. Meanwhile, another who had proposed a similar project on York Avenue and East 76th Street is reportedly in bankruptcy court.

“Even breaking even is a win,” said luxury condo consultant Nancy Packes speaking of Chetrit's selling of the Sony building adding that “The appetite of that group of investors has dimmed,” and the market has gone from “mush to ice.”

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On View> 100 Years of Architecture Education at Yale

Any fan of architecture is familiar with the rich history of the Yale School of Architecture (YSoA). If they aren't they are likely familiar with some of the projects that have resulted from the school's influential concrete halls. From Paul Rudolph's heroic brutalism to Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown's "Learning From" series—and the productive friction between the two—the school has had an impact on much of the history of 20th and 21st century century architecture. A new exhibition, “Pedagogy and Place," organized by YSoA dean Robert A.M. Stern and curator (and AN contributor) Jimmy Stamp with Alfie Koetter, presents a range of student work that tracks the history of Yale architecture, and in parallel, the history of American architecture alongside political change in the U.S. The show is located in the YSoA Gallery in Rudolph Hall and is free and open to the public. With the bush-hammered concrete walls enveloping visitors, the show unfolds as a series of eight "eras" in Yale's history, including its beginnings as the American Beaux-Arts, to the beginnings of Modernism, to the high-flying Heroics of Rudolph and company, to the radical experiments of John Johansen and Charles Moore. The material in the exhibition is all student work, labeled as such with student names and their professors credited as well. It reads like the old issues of Domus or Progressive Architecture, but with student work illustrating each period and line of thinking. Education and the academy plays a serious role in the pursuit of intellectual innovation in architecture, and Yale is one of the leaders. A related publication, “Pedagogy and Place: 100 Years of Architecture Education at Yale,” will be published in April 2016 by Yale Press. A symposium, “Learning/Doing/Thinking: Educating Architects,” will be held April 14–16 in New Haven. All of this coincides with the changing of the guard as Stern moves on and Deborah Berke, architect and founder of the New York-based design firm Deborah Berke Partners, assumes deanship July 1. Pedagogy and Place YSoA Gallery in Rudolph Hall 180 York Street Monday–Friday 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.