Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled his plan to reduceÂ New York Cityâ€™s greenhouse gas emissions by 80Â percent over 2005 levels byÂ 2050. Needless to say, that’s a pretty ambitious target, but this mayor seems to like ambitious targetsâ€”his plan to build or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next decade comes to mind. But back to his latest plan, the climate plan.
Chipakata is small rural Zambian community with no local school so its children have to walk five miles to an overcrowded facility. But Joseph Mizzi, president of Sciame Construction, visited the village last year with New York Cityâ€“based stylist and native-Zambian, Nchimunya Wulf. They both were inspired to start a non-profit to build a new school for the community. The duo launched the 14+ Foundation last June and after a fundraiser that garnered $350,000 for the organization to pit together a group of New Yorkâ€“based design professionals who are building a brand new facility in the heart of Chipakata.
New York Cityâ€™s financially-strapped Department of Education is seeking to cash in on a 99,000 square foot lot on 70th Street just west of Broadway, but a local elementary school and the legacy of one of Americaâ€™s first Modernists stand in the way. If the Department gets its way, the three-story P.S. 199, designed in 1963 by Edward Durell Stone, will be sold to developers and replaced by a 340-foot-tall luxury residential tower in the already crowded Upper West Side neighborhood.
Edgeless School: Design for Learning
Center for Architecture
536 LaGuardia Place
Through January 19, 2013
Edgeless School investigates how technology is changing education and how architecture itself is changing as a result. The exhibition takes a look at 19 newly completed schools throughout the country (eight are in New York City and the majority of the rest are in the Pacific Northwest) and sorts them by their degree of â€œedgelessness.â€ The Ethical Culture Fieldston Middle School in the Bronx, for example, softens the distinction between the built environment and nature by embracing outdoor space and using a connection with nature as an educational tool. The L.B. Landry High School in New Orleans, LA, on the other hand, blurs conventional distinctions between constituencies by encouraging students, educators, parents, and architects to work together to create a building that is designed to further the schoolâ€™s pedagogical goals.
As part of an ongoing relationship with the North College Hill school district in Cincinnati, fellow Cincinnatians SFA Architects helped the district consolidate its many facilities into the space of one city block. The combined Middle-High School building, completed in 2010, last week received LEED Platinum certification, making it the third public education facility in Ohio to earn the green building ranking systemâ€™s top honor.
The landmarked Standard Oil Building at 26 Broadway continues to undergo its transformation from the oil giantâ€™s CarrÃ¨re and Hastings-designed New York headquarters into a bustling school building. Last week, AN got a sneak peek at the third academic institution to be completed there, a 104,000-square-foot space occupying the buildingâ€™s first, mezzanine, and second levels. It will add 677 high school seats to the Broadway Education Campus, which currently includes The Urban Assembly School of Business for Young Women (on the 4th and 5th floors) and Lower Manhattan Community Middle School (on the 6th and 7th floors).
All three schools have been designed by John Ciardullo Associates Architects, who have worked extensively with the SCA over the past several decades. Perhaps that relationship is why Ciardullo was allowed to have a bit of fun with the campus.
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High-performance concrete creates new possibilities for a community college facade.
A new generation of concrete, called Ultra High Performance Concrete (UHPC), is changing the way architects and designers think about the material. Usually composed of cement, fine grain sand, silica fume, optimized admixture, and alkali-resistant glass fiber reinforcement, UHPC offers high ductility, strength, and durability with a fine surface appearance. A new UHPC product called TAKTL, launched last year, shows the many additional applications that are possible with the right material mix, including facade panels available through its sister company VECTR. Recently chosen by Milan-based Wilson Savastano Venezia Architecture Studio for its Dukhan Community College (DCC) project in Qatar, the company is in the research and development phase for perforated and solid panels to clad the schoolâ€™s sculptural facade.
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