Archtober Building of the Day #3 The New School University Center 65 5th Avenue, New York, NY Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), the five-story academic building topped with student housing on the southeast corner of Fifth Avenue and 14th Street aggressively embraces its urban setting wearing a vivid zig zag expression of vertical circulation on its sleeve. The AIA New York Chapter held the most recent FitCity conference in its 800-seat auditorium last May. The site was selected for this annual event that brings public health and design professionals together, partly because stairs are the defining element of the structure. The principles of the NYC Active Design Guidelines, which encourage more physical activity in everyday life, are evident throughout the building, designed by SOM's Roger Duffy for a client team led by the New School's Vice President for Design, Construction & Facilities Lia Gartner. On today's Archtober tour, Duffy and Gartner said that the social spaces created at the intersection of perimeter stairs and activity space defined a sense of connection for the multi-disciplinary institution, founded in 1919 as The New School for Social Research. These connecting spaces bring social theorists together with those involved in more practical design. Philosophers rub elbows with Parsons’ architecture students and flamboyant fashion designers. "The New School believes in interaction and connection, and the building's stairs create needed social spaces,"Gartner said on the tour. Duffy added, "This building is taking the public realm, the sidewalk, and wrapping it up onto the facade, connecting the activity of the sidewalks to the face of the buildings—you see a hive of activity from the street." Take the ferry to Staten Island for tomorrow's Building of the Day tour of the Stapleton Library by Andrew Berman, FAIA.
Posts tagged with "Roger Duffy":
A proposed 57-story residential tower designed by SOM's Roger Duffy at the corner of Manhattan's East 57th Street and 2nd Avenue is seeing new life after laying low through the recession. The Observer reported today that the 250 East 57th project, announced in 2006, will begin construction this year now that developer World Wide Group has filed new construction papers with the city and began clearing the site. AN previously reported how the project is a partnership with the New York City School Construction Authority to extract the air-rights value beneath the city's school properties. In this case, developers of 250 East 57th paid the Department of Education $325 million for a site lease and agreed to rebuild P.S. 59 adjacent to the tower's site, including roof terraces and a large astroturf play area. Roger Duffy told AN at the time, "A lot of school sites in New York remain underdeveloped in terms of FAR (floor-area ratio)." The school opened in September 2012. The 715-foot-tall, 270-unit tower is the latest addition to the 57th Street corridor, which has seen many new skyscraper plans unfold in recent years. To the west, Extell's One57 by Christian de Portzamparc continued construction, and the same developer recently announced that Adrian Smith+Gordon Gill will design a new 1,550-foot-tall tower near Broadway. Additionally, Cetra Ruddy is also designing a skinny skyscraper at 107 West 57th, Rafael Viñoly's supertall 432 Park tower is under construction, and Bjarke Ingels is moving forward with his plans for a pyramid-shaped tower at the Hudson River. While SOM remains the architects for the project, developers told The Observer that an updated design is in the works, which reportedly sheds the towers crisp angles for a more undulating facade. Roger Duffy previously designed the Toren Tower in Downtown Brooklyn.
Cornell University has named 2005 Pritzker Prize winner Thom Mayne as architect for the first building at its Tech Campus on Roosevelt Island called the Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute. The selection should overshadow some sour grapes that were emanating from Stanford in the past few days regarding their losing bid. Mayne bested an all-star list, including Rem Koolhaas of OMA, Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, Steven Holl, and SOM. The choice of Mayne, whose iconic building 41 Cooper Square still jams traffic at Astor Place, hints that Cornell is looking for a traffic stopper of its own on the East River. "It was a nice list; all the usual talent, but I knew we had a good shot," said Mayne, on his way back to his second home base in LA, "because I could speak intelligently to their three main areas of interest: an innovative educational environment; connective urbanism; sustainability. I can walk the walk." Cornell is developing the site with a proposal prepared by SOM, but there was no mention of the that firm in today's press release, though they remain the master planner for the project. Today's announcement was all about the next step, with Cornell’s dean of architecture, art, and planning, Kent Kleinman praising Morphosis: "No firm is better at turning constraints into creative solutions of astonishing power than Thom Mayne and Morphosis.” As AN reported soon after the Mayor announced the winning bid, SOM's ground work tried to establish that the main 150,000 square foot building would not only be a net-zero building, but, in the words of SOM principal Roger Duffy, "not be an object building." Mayne said that the first meetings on plan and program were only now taking place but he said that "nothing is fixed at this point; it needs to be open-ended." The notion of a prescriptive master plan, he noted, went out with Victor Gruen in the 70s. Morphosis will work with Arup as the engineer on the first building, which the team will design to meet a net-zero energy goal; James Corner is on board for landscape. The south end of the island could likely become an architectural playground, with more RFPs soon going out for the other Tech Campus buildings and the soon-to-be completed Four Freedoms Park by Louis Kahn. Saying the project had come along at just the right moment, Mayne enthused about the opportunities ahead: "The old campus was about the yard or the square. This wants a new paradigm, someplace that is both contained and not contained; simultaneously isolated and completely connected. I love those kind of dualities."
The Brooklyn Paper bumped into David Childs last week, during the opening of his SOM colleague Roger Duffy's new Toren condo tower, and the BKP is reporting the surprising news that both could possibly be working on some of the 16 residential towers proposed for Bruce Ratner's nearby Atlantic Yards development.
“First, he brought me in to look at the arena design, which I think is very good now,” Childs said, referring to the current design collaboration between Ellerbe Becket and SHoP Architects. “And then we talked about working together on the residential buildings,” added Childs.A Ratner spokesperson acknowledged Childs' discussions with Ratner to the Paper but called speculation on their future together "premature." While critics still question whether those towers will ever get off the ground, the project, or at least the arena, is closer than ever to reality. A groundbreaking is scheduled for tomorrow, following a court ruling last Monday affirming the state's right to seize land from the project's remaining holdouts, most notably Dan Goldstein of Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn and Freddie's bar. The groundbreaking is to be attended by the likes of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Borough President Marty Markowitz—both long-time supporters of the project—as well as Governor David Paterson and rapper and Nets-part-owner Jay-Z. Goldstein and Freddie's are holding a counter-groundbreaking, where they say they will bury the soul of Brooklyn, along with 3-foot-tall bobbleheads of the aforementioned public figures. Whether this will finally manage to stop the contentious project remains to be seen, but it's bound to make for good street theater. UPDATE 3/11: The Brooklyn Paper is also reporting that the final lawsuit pending against the project, over the state's revisions to the scope of the project, came down in Ratner's favor yesterday. And so the fait accompli has been accomplished.