The redevelopment of Brooklyn's Domino Sugar Factory has been a long and controversial process, but is showing signs of progress, or at least a slow but steady crawl to the next phase of planning. The Wall Street Journal reported reported that developer Jed Walentas of Two Trees Management wants to make room for office space in addition to residential units long proposed for the site. The Brooklyn-based firm purchased the 11-acre property last October for $185 million from Community Preservation Corporation Resources (CPCR). Two Trees, known for its transformation of DUMBO, hopes to apply its successful mixed-use formula to north Brooklyn, which has been dominated by clusters of residential high rises over the last decade. Several waterfront neighborhoods in Brooklyn, stretching from DUMBO to Greenpoint, have become home to a number of tech companies, including Kickstarter, Etsy, and Indmusic. Walentas would first need to win the approval from City Council and the Department of City Planning to rezone the area to accommodate office and commercial development. But such a change might not be that easy to make. In 2010, when CPCR sought, and later succeeded, in rezoning the area, the community put up a fight. The promise of affordable housing won over government officials, but Two Trees is mum on whether they plan to follow through on that commitment. Within the last few months, Two Trees has hired SHoP Architects to create the master plans for the Domino Sugar Refinery, taking the place of Rafael Viñoly, and has also enlisted the help of landscape architecture firm, James Corner Field Operations. In December, Two Trees issued a RFP for a proposal suggesting a "creative use" of Site E on Kent Avenue between South 3rd and South 4th streets, according to Brownstoner. Several proposals offered recommendations such as a High Line-style parkland, a skating rink, or open markets.
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At Tuesday's groundbreaking of B2, the first 32-story residential tower to be built at Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn, New Yorkers got a sneak peek at how the world’s tallest modular building will be constructed. Just beyond the podium stood what officials call the “chassis,” a steel framed box that makes up an essential structural element of the building. “You don’t need to compromise on design when it comes to modular,” said Developer Bruce Ratner. Located on the corner of Dean Street and Flatbush Avenue, the SHoP Architects-designed tower will rise above the Barclay Center, also designed by SHoP, and offer 363 units split evenly between affordable housing and market rate units. Ratner told the audience that the affordable units at Atlantic Yards will be equipped with the exact same appliances and amenities as the market rate apartments: “You will not know an affordable unit from a market rate unit.” The bulk of the construction of the modular components will happen in a 100,000 square-foot space at the Brooklyn Navy Yard with the help of 125 unionized workers, which MaryAnne Gilmartin, executive vice president of commercial and residential development at Forest City Ratner, said would help in the “reduction of traffic, dust, and waste” and Mayor Bloomberg hailed as “cheaper and less disruptive.” B2 is just the first of more than a dozen residential buildings to come.
On Wednesday, Forest City Ratner made it official: the world's tallest prefabricated building will be coming to Brooklyn with a groundbreaking date set for December 18. As AN outlined in our recent feature on Atlantic Yards, the SHoP Architects-designed B2 Tower will climb, modular unit by modular unit, 32 stories on a slender wedge-shaped parcel adjacent to the new Barclays Center on the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Dean Street. Renderings released with the groundbreaking announcement also revealed design revisions to the B2 Tower since it was unveiled in November 2011, and Chris Sharples, principal at SHoP, told AN what's new. The B2 Tower's massing remains the same as before, conforming to strict guidelines for setbacks mandated by the Empire State Development Corporation, but the facade treatments for each of the three massing types in the building have been refined. "When we first started, we were doing a conventional design," Sharples noted. "We decided to move away from emphasizing the frames or boxes. It doesn't have to look like a modular building." The red mass, nicknamed "the wedge" in SHoP's offices, has been updated to de-emphasize the repetition of modular units. Previously, the facade was comprised of a rigid grid of charcoal-colored rectangles forming deep reveals with red accents."There's still relief, the red L-frames project out from the charcoal," Sharples said. "It's a bit more subtle." The new arrangement creates a series of variegated vertical stripes, helping to create a singular unit rather than a stack of boxes. Similarly on the top-most mass, the grid was softened. "At the top, we emphasized the bevel with pewter gray and silver gray," Sharples noted. The slight color variation helps to emphasize shadow on the facade and unify the mass. ShoP also refined the cladding on the third mass, with a skin of anodized aluminum perforated panels, creating an intricate play of light on the structure. Set back, one final facade—"the glue that brings all three volumes together"—will feature black glass. Sharples noted that prefabrication is a dynamic process. "As we go into production, we'll evolve even further like we did at the arena." Each of the 930 prefabricated modules—called "mods"—will be manufactured at the nearby Brooklyn Navy Yard, part of a collaboration between Forest City and construction company Skanska, where controlled conditions will speed construction times. Each mod will arrive at the construction site fully assembled with all interior finishes and appliances installed. Up to three mods, measuring nearly 400 square feet, will make up each apartment. SHoP has designed the mods with hinged panels on the exterior that can fold down to cover joints during installation. Sharples said these "mate lines" present a unique challenge with prefabricated design and will be some of the only finish work construction to take place on site. On the interior of the units, he noted, walls where two mods are joined will appear slightly thicker than traditional wall construction. When complete, the B2 Tower will house 363 residential units over retail space and will feature roof terraces, indoor bike storage, common areas, and even a yoga studio. Developers are anticipating an opening in 2014.
There was ice under the court all along! Or so visitors learned on the opening day of the SHoP/AECOM-designed Barclays Center. Reviews of the arena, with its distinctive weathered steel facade, have generally been positive. Now Ratner and company, and the borough they are trying to win over, can claim another major success. The New York Islanders hockey team will relocate to the Barclays Center in 2015. They currently play at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale in Nassau County.
It’s probably best to eat before you get to the to the new Barclays Center—a can of Red Bull and a bag of chips will set you back almost $12. But at a recent sneak peek of the arena guests were treated to complimentary hors d’oeuvres, an open bar, and an up-close look at the intricate and oddly sweet-smelling building model—wait, that’s no model, that’s a cake! The confection was a tour de force by Brooklyn-based BCakeNY, who carefully rendered the delicious-looking Core-ten exterior in chocolate and cinnamon, “Your cake looks better than the actual building!” wrote one of BCakeNY’s Facebook fans. Take note architects—a model of devil’s food rather than foam core might be just the thing for your next community board meeting.
With the last digitally fabricated piece of rusty Cor-ten steel in place, crowds have begun to pack the newly opened SHoP-designed Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Last week, AN spotlighted the arena and its adjacent Atlantic Yards mega-project in a three-part feature on the arena's design and public space, a look at the next phase of AY set to break ground by the end of the year, a 32-story residential tower that could be the largest modular construction building in the world, and a look at the complex digital design and fabrication process employed by SHoP Architects to design and build the complex geometry of the structure. While we're waiting for the next phase of construction to begin, take a look back at this time lapse construction view of the arena. [h/t Gothamist.]
Today, thousands of tourists and New Yorkers make a loop on the Staten Island Ferry between the borough and Manhattan, but as soon as 2016, they will also be able to make a vertical loop on the world's tallest Ferris wheel, anchoring a new mixed-use project on the North Shore waterfront in St. George. Mayor Bloomberg today unveiled plans for Harbor Commons, which includes 350,000 square feet of retail space for 100 outlet mall stores, a 200-room, 120,000 square foot hotel, and a massive green-roofed parking structure, but all eyes were on the project's neighbor; the 625-foot-tall New York Wheel will offer stunning views of New York City and its Harbor to an estimated 4.5 million people per year. The Harbor Commons and New York Wheel developments flank the Richmond County Bank Ballpark, home of the minor league Staten Island Yankees, and rise from the site of two large surface parking lots at the ferry landing. SHoP Architects with Lee Weintraub Landscape Architects designed the $230 million mixed-use outlet mall-entertainment-hotel complex at Harbor Commons to relate to the surrounding Staten Island community while still providing a monumental presence on the waterfront and ferry landing. "At SHoP, we like taking typologies traditionally considered suburban or car-dominated and turning them inside out, making them urban in their experience" said Vishaan Chakrabarti, principal at SHoP. "It's not a mall in the traditional sense." A series of undulating ribbon-like green roof structures are arrayed at Harbor Commons to define three open-air pedestrian corridors through the site. Each ribbon is punctuated by grids skylights where north-south passages connect the corridors. "It's about organizing pedestrian corridors," said Chakrabarti. "We looked to create a contemporary version of an Italian hill town. The great hill towns have interesting spines." Floor plates gradually shift as the site negotiates a 25-foot grade change. Facade treatments and materials are still being determined, but will reflect the industrial waterfront site. Chakrabarti said SHoP is exploring a signage and art program that will enliven the waterfront facade. "As day turns to night, the ribbons' presence on the waterfront is elevated as they start to glow." Chakrabarti said. Whatever the final design, however, it "needs to be respectful of the waterfront." The Ferris wheel on the north side of the ballpark will take the world's tallest title, topping the current title holder, the Singapore Flyer, by 84 feet and dwarfing other iconic wheels like the London Eye which stands just over 440 feet tall. The $250 million wheel will contain 36 football-shaped pods carrying 40 passengers each for the 38 minute ride. The NYC Economic Development Corporation estimated that at peak season the wheel will spin up to 30,000 visitors a day. The New York Wheel's resemblance to its London equivalent is more than passing; it's being designed by Starneth, whose team includes members who built the Eye. "This wheel is a game changer for Staten Island," said Staten Island borough president James Molinaro in a statement. "Going forward, Staten Island will be known as the Borough with the largest wheel in the world." Surrounding the New York Wheel, a 100,000 square foot commercial terminal building designed by Perkins Eastman continues the theme of green ribbon roofs, adding an array of wind turbines and solar panels to generate sustainable energy for what's envisioned as a LEED Platinum facility. The structure will include restaurant, retail, theater, and exhibition space over a nearly 1,000-car parking structure. New York Wheel and BFC Partners will sign a 99-year lease for the two development sites, paying the city $2.5 million per year, and plan to begin construction in early 2014 with an anticipated opening in 2016.
The PoMo aficionados were out in force at yesterday’s Landmarks Preservation hearing for the new proposal for South Street Seaport’s Pier 17. It would seem that just as debate on the value of 1970s Brutalism shifts into high gear, the 1980s PoMo crowd is revving its engines. As preservationists and developers whacked it out, some larger questions about context and neighborhood integration arose. The SHoP-designed tectonic glass response to Ben Thompson’s wood-clad gables of the exiting 1985 Pier 17 building is a clear break from the past, both literally and figuratively. SHoP’s Gregg Pasquarelli didn’t mince words when he told the New York Times “We’re taking away the po-mo and making it a real waterfront market building.” But Thompson, who died in 2002, had plenty of defenders on hand yesterday, including a statement from his wife Jane Thompson, who warned that real estate in the new plan “will inevitably rise to premium rates; privatization will intensify, which forces a turn to luxury retail.” Elise Quasebarth, of the preservation consultancy group Higgins Quasebarth, testified on behalf of Howard Hughes Corporation, the developer, that many of the upland elements planned in conjunction with the 1980s "festival marketplace" are still fundamentally robust. The SHoP worked with James Corner Field Operations to further integrate the street grid through a north-south connection to the East River Waterfront Esplanade and east-west connections to Beekman and Fulton streets. But the deal between NYC Economic Development Corporation and Howard Hughes has a distinct cutoff point at the so-called Tin Building. The empty 1907 structure, which formerly housed a market, sits at the river’s edge where the pier juts into the river. Though the plan has the support of Community Board 1, the board did encourage a master plan that carries through the entire South Street Seaport Historic District. Further complicating matters, the district actually cuts through half of Pier 17. The board resolved the districting by extending the boundary to incorporate the north section of the pier as well. The concern was driven home by local wine merchant Marco Pasanella who testified that the uplands should be considered as part and parcel pier plan and that only a “holistic” approach would work, particularly while the pier is under construction. Pasanella said the big picture should ensure that the plan attract similar tenants and “the right sort of visitors." Speaking on behalf of the Howard Hugh’s Corporation, senior executive vice president Chris Curry said the taking the nearby elements into account, particularly the Tin Building, would require a separate ULURP. He added that the company wants to make an immediate investment, though that wouldn't preclude additional investments down the line. For the time being however, the cutoff point leaves a few of Thompson’s gables left at the back of the pier. Pasquarelli said they would be painted a uniform color to visually drop away. The gables would still function as a mask for mechanical equipment. If all goes as planned, a little slice of PoMo might survive after all.
Vishan Chakrabarti joins SHoP Architects as a partner, but will remain director of the Columbia Center for Urban Real Estate, a position he's held since 2009. Peter Schubert becomes a partner at Ennead Architects, where he'll be "enhancing international efforts"; Schubert was most recently at RMJM. Robert Allen Design appoints Kerry Galloway as their new vice president of contract sales. Galloway was formerly vice president, sales and marketing for Contract Décor International. In office expansion news, Aedas announces it plans to double the size of its London office (currently 80 staffers) in the next two years to keep pace with work in Russia and North Africa. Have news on movers and shakers in the architecture & design universe for SHFT+ALT+DEL? Send your tips to email@example.com!
Last night, SHoP's Gregg Pasquarelli presented plans to Community Board 1 for South Street Seaport's Pier 17. Not surprisingly, the reception was positive. The design is a huge departure from the desolate barn-like mall developed by the Rouse Corporation in the 1980s, where to this day nachos and tropical cocktails remain de rigueur. The new owner, the Howard Hughes Corporation, hopes to bring New Yorkers back to one of the most spectacular sites in town, while welcoming tourists and not quarantining them in a thematic trap. Angelica Trevino and Thorsten Kiefer are SHoP’s project managers. In a telephone interview, Trevino parsed the details... The new pier will contain four stories of retail with a green roof that would hold two pavilions, one for music and the other for a restaurant, and the entire structure features an exposed steel frame. The landscape, designed by James Corner Field Operations, includes the rooftop, a large deck to the north overlooking the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, and a plaza to the south. The first two stories of the pier include the ground floor and a mezzanine with two story high glass doors that will slide open vertically. When open, the doors front the glass enclosed second and third stories. Shops on the first two stories set back several feet from the openings. The architects refer to the area as “The Village.” The storefronts in lower the section are a series of shifting volumes clad in wood, textured aluminum and zinc. A large east/west opening runs through the pier forming an extension to the mainland grid, while two diagonal cuts also run through the space so as to open view corridors of the Brooklyn Bridge to the piers. On the East River side of the building, two metal mesh gangplank stairs ascend up from the east/west opening to the glass enclosed third floor. The glass wrapping the third and fourth floors plays with the notion of the pixilation. As support columns are 20 feet apart, five vertical sections, four feet wide, set back a foot and half, then return, set back, and return—lapping to and fro, like East River ripples. A combination of channel glass and vision glass heighten the effect. “We didn’t want it to be a taut glass box,” said Trevino. “We wanted it to have some articulation, to break up the mass and resemble some of the waterfront tectonics.” Inspired by open-air concert hall at Tanglewoood, a rooftop glass enclosure (60’ x120’) will hold and audience of 500 to 600. In warm months, the pavilion doors will open and music will spill onto a rooftop lawn. A smaller pavilion to the east will house a restaurant. To the north of the pier, a plaza by Field Operations called the “North Porch” will provide one of the most iconic views in the city, with Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge in the very near foreground. More pixilated patterns fall underfoot in wood, saw cut cobblestone, and solar pavers that absorb light in the day and give off light at night. On the south side Fulton Plaza will be transformed with wood reclaimed from the old pier.
Vishaan Chakrabarti, director of the Columbia Center for Urban Real Estate since 2009, has been appointed a partner at SHoP Architects effective immediately. The seventh partner (and only the second not related to the firm’s founders by blood or marriage), Chakrabarti will focus on large-scale urban projects, drawing on his years of expertise through such on-going endeavors as Related Companies’ involvement with the Moynihan Station project and development at Hudson Yards. (While he will remain director of the Columbia real estate program, he will forgo his consultancy with Related.) “We are thrilled to have Vishaan join the firm. His background and depth of experience allow SHoP to add expertise to our bench while continuing our firm-wide focus on both planning and building,” said William Sharples, SHoP Partner, in a statement, adding that the firm wants now to pay closer attention to the public realm and the consequences of building “through use of public space, density, sustainability, and innovative construction methods.” The aim, according to the press release is “to reinvent urbansim.” Few design professionals have parlayed their careers and urban interests as expertly as Chakrabarti, who served as head of the Manhattan office of the Department of City Planning from 2002 to 2004—heyday of the Doctoroff pro-development years—then became executive vice president of design and planning for Related in 2008 before joining Columbia. A vocal advocate of urban density and public-private partnerships, Chakrabarti wrote in his Country of Cities column—soon to be a book— for the website Urban Omnibus website on such issues as Tokyo as a model of dense development and the ethical binds implicit in energy development, writing in “Spill, Baby, Spill”: “Do we have the strength to reject the threat that is oil, both foreign and domestic? Do we have the vision to recognize that we have seen the enemy, and it is the suburban house? Do we have the will to embrace high-density living as the only solution, the only land use that limits our energy use, our healthcare costs, our vulnerability to petro-dictators, and our free fall into a sprawling national deficit?” In a recent issue, Metropolis magazine named him a “Game Changer of 2012” Chakrabarti joins SHoP Architects now steeped in a number of large-scale projects with urban impacts, ranging from heralded to controversial, from the East River Waterfront and the redevelopment of South Street Seaport to Atlantic Yards. Local projects in the office are for Google, Goldman Sachs, Columbia and the Fashion Institute of Technology, while the firm has also worked abroad on large-scale projects in Japan, China, Korea, and India. Chakrabarti is quoted in the press release announcement: “It is an honor and a thrill for me to join SHoP Architects, a firm that since its inception has redefined practice, and is now poised to design and build some of the most significant large-scale projects in the world. In the urban age that is upon us, we need the very best practitioners and I have long believed that SHoP offers to New York and the world an unsurpassed 21st Century vision of design and technology.”
On Feburary 17, John D. Cerone and Hashim Sulieman of SHoP Construction will lead Computational Design & 4D Sequencing, a workshop focusing on parametric modeling as part of DAY 2 of COLLABORATION, a conference on facades and fabrication sponsored by The Architect's Newspaper. John is a Virtual Design & Construction Coordinator and a member of the Advanced Technology Group at SHoP Construction; specializing in Building Information Modeling (BIM), he has helped SHoP develop its technology and process, and served as an Adjunct Professor at the Parsons New School for Design teaching BIM and digital representation. John received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the School of Architecture at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio (2002), and his Master of Architecture degree from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University (2008). Hashim is a Virtual Design and Construction Manager at SHoP Construction and a member of the Advanced Technology Group. His work at SHoP has focused on implementation of parametric models, BIM, and direct-to-fabrication technology. Hashim has worked at SOM as a Digital Design Specialist and as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation’s C-BIP project. SHoP Construction is behind the under-construction Barclay’s Center and Atlantic Yards development site in Brooklyn. The stadium is clad in an undulating steel and glass enclosure made up of 12,000 unique steel latticework panels; to facilitate installation, the firm developed a 4D construction sequencing model of the structure and facade that allows the project team to make informed decisions in real-time as the panels are installed. The first session of their COLLABORATION workshop will focus on parametric modeling that allows design variability and tests the limits of form, and the second session will be a step-by-step guide to 4D construction sequence modeling. Software used will include Catia/Digital Project, Rhinoceros, Navisworks® Manage, Microsoft project, and Microsoft Excel. Register here.