After refining their master planÂ over the last several months, Metro, Grimshaw, and Gruen are ready, as Metro Deputy Executive Officer for Countywide Planning Jenna HornstockÂ put it, to “put the pedal to the metal.” They’reÂ asking the Metro Planning and Programming Committee to approve several recommendations (PDF)Â to beginÂ the implementation of their Union Station Master Plan, including the development of a Program Environmental Impact Report. Yesterday they presented to the committee, and a vote is expected at the next gathering on October 15.
The New York City Department of Transportation recently broke ground on the second phase of Fordham Plaza’s reconstruction in the Bronx. The revamped space will have all the standard-issue pieces of a New York City pedestrian plazaâ€”the planters, benches, seating, trees, lights, and kiosksâ€”but, ultimately, the plazaÂ represents a significantÂ investment in existing transportation infrastructure.
Despite ongoing delays, lawsuits, and government holdups, it appears that California’s High Speed RailÂ (HSR) plans (and their associated stations) are ready to move ahead. LastÂ week the United StatesÂ Department of Transportation issued a “Record of Decision”Â for HSR’s initial 114-mile section from Fresno to Bakersfield.
A year ago, Hurricane Sandy swept through the East coastâ€”destroying thousands of homes, shutting down infrastructure, and knocking out substationsâ€”which resulted in $68 billion in damage. Yesterday, a day before the anniversary of the super storm, ten finalists in the Rebuild by Design competition Â unveiled their proposalsÂ to remake a more resilient coastline. The competitionâ€”launched byÂ Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), among other participating organizationsâ€”called on the final teams to provide ideas for making the affected coastal areas more resilient to withstand future storms and climate change.
Grimshaw has released a video in which firm partner Mark Middleton along with several members of the project team take viewers to the construction site of Pulkovo Airport in St. Petersburg, Russia. Appearing in and around the cavernous terminal, which will one day service 17 million passengers per year, the architects break down the cultural and geographic inspirations behind the design (golden onion domes, the city’s islands and rivers) as well as its environmental and structural considerations (low-angle sunlight, expressive steel vaulting). The result is as clear and concise a description of the motivations and preoccupations of contemporary international architecture as can be found anywhere.
Who wouldnâ€™t want buy into an eco-conscious, sustainable, and affordable apartment building whose Grimshaw/Dattner-designed architecture received rave reviews on the front page of the New York Times? With more than 40 of the 75 co-ops still available at Via Verde, the gang at developer Jonathan Rose Co. and Dattner are giving the project the full media push. Jonathan Roseâ€™s Ari Goldstein and Dattnerâ€™s Bill Stein were on New York 1 this morning promoting the design and high living standards. The 151 rental units of this muli-income complex were snapped up right away. But while the co-ops sales arenâ€™t exactly flagging, theyâ€™re not exactly flying off the shelves in this economy.