Pisa Going Plumb? Leaning Tower—Very Slowly—Straightening Up Its Act

International, Newsletter
Friday, August 16, 2013
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Leaning Tower of Pisa. (Eric Meyer / Flickr)

Leaning Tower of Pisa. (Eric Meyer / Flickr)

The Torre di Pisa is straightening up its act, according to scientists who monitor the famous tower’s tilt. There’s no need to worry, though, the Tower of Pisa won’t be standing completely vertical any time soon. The Huffington Post reported this week that the tower has shifted about an inch (2.5 cm) back toward being upright since 2001, when the structure was reopened to the public.

This gravity-defying maneuver was brought about by a restoration to the tower’s foundation that began in 1992 when the building’s foundation were secured, moving the entire structure a whopping 15 feet. Structural interventions included temporarily installing steel cables as an emergency measure followed by excavating stones beneath the tower and replacing them with steel and concrete. The overall effect, according to HuffPo, was to sink the tower slightly into the ground and thereby make it more vertical. Scientists said these restorative measures will make the Leaning Tower safe for two- to three-centuries.

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Zoë Ryan to Curate 2014 Istanbul Design Biennial.  Zoë Ryan to Curate 2014 Istanbul Design Biennial Zoë Ryan, curator of architecture and design at the Art Institute of Chicago, has been selected to curate the second Istanbul Design Biennial, taking place from October 18 through December 14, 2014. Read AN’s report from the previous Istanbul Design Biennial here. Ryan has been working to expand the Art Institute’s architecture and design holdings and teaches at the School of the Art Institute and at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Previously, she worked at New York’s Van Alen Institute and the Museum of Modern Art. (Photo: Courtesy Art Institute of Chicago)

 

Parsons Taps Brian McGrath To Lead Architecture School

East, Shft+Alt+Del
Monday, July 29, 2013
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Brian McGrath. (Courtesy Parsons the New School)

Brian McGrath. (Courtesy Parsons the New School)

Parsons The New School for Design has named Brian McGrath as the new dean of the School of Constructed Environments, the university’s integrated school of architecture, interior design, lighting design, and product design, taking the place of interim dean David Lewis. Educated at Syracuse and Princeton, McGrath is the founder of the urban design consultancy, Urban-Interface, where he explores the role of architecture, design, ecology, and media in cities, and has been an associate professor of urban design at Parsons‘ School of Design Strategies.

“The School of Constructed Environments has a key role to play with respect to contributing research and practical applications of design to address the key issues of our time: rapid urbanization, globalization, social justice and climate change,” said McGrath in a statement. “We have taken an active role in recent post-Sandy discussions, and plan on expanding these efforts so that we can make a important contribution to future dialogues and debates on these topics.”

Snap A Photo And Win A Tour of One World Trade Center

East
Monday, July 29, 2013
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One World Trade Center. (Courtesy Port Authority of New York & New Jersey)

One World Trade Center. (Courtesy Port Authority of New York & New Jersey)

With the rise of Instagram and the proliferation of smart phones and digital cameras, we’re all amateur photographer’s these days. And now’s your chance to snap a photo of One World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan for your chance to win a trip to the top of the tower with two friends! The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is sponsoring the photo competition, calling for cellphone snapshots to be submitted via its Facebook page or with Twitter hashtag #OneWTCBestPhotos through August 25. Snap early and tell your friends, though, as winners will be chosen by the number of popular votes they receive online. For more details, head over here.

Hargreaves Associates To Redesign Philadelphia Waterfront

East
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
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KieranTimberlake / OLIN / Brooklyn Foundry vision for Philly's Delaware Riverfront from the master planning process.

KieranTimberlake / OLIN / Brooklyn Foundry vision for Philly’s Delaware Riverfront from the master planning process.

The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC), the agency overseeing the redevelopment of Philadelphia’s Delaware River waterfront, has hired San Francisco-based Hargreaves Associates to redesign the ailing riverfront. Among the challenges the landscape architects will face is reconnecting the new park space with the surrounding city. Currently, the waterfront is disconnected by the large Interstate 95 and Columbus Boulevard, an expanse that can reach up to 1,200 feet wide, according to Philadelphia Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron. Hargreaves has won accolades for handling waterfronts and highways in Louisville, KY and Chattanooga, TN.

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Atlantic Yards To Develop Along Vanderbilt Avenue In First Phase

East
Thursday, April 4, 2013
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Clockwise from top left: An early model showing buildings along Vanderbilt Avenue designed by Frank Gehry; A massing diagram of buildings along Vanderbilt Avenue; The approved site plan indicating four buildings to be built at Vanderbilt and Dean streets. (Courtesy Forest City Ratner; Courtesy MAS/Jonathan Barkey; Courtesy Forest City Ratner)

Clockwise from top left: An early model showing buildings along Vanderbilt Avenue designed by Frank Gehry; A massing diagram of buildings along Vanderbilt Avenue; The approved site plan indicating four buildings to be built at Vanderbilt Av and Dean St. (Courtesy Forest City Ratner; Courtesy MAS/Jonathan Barkey; Courtesy Forest City Ratner)

While construction has just begun on the first residential tower at Forest City Ratner’s Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn, the developer may be plotting the next construction site. SHoP Architects designed three towers clustered around the Barclays Center arena, but the Atlantic Yards Report blog reported in late March, citing documents from Forest City, that the developer is including a parcel at the southeastern corner of the site at Vanderbilt Avenue and Dean Street in its first phase construction plans. No design exists for the four buildings planned there, but an early site model by Frank Gehry and a massing diagram from the Municipal Art Society based on the approved Gehry site plan show the buildings will not be the tallest in the project.

Critics like AYR-blogger Norman Oder are upset that development atop the railyards at the center and north of the site aren’t being prioritized and have accused Forest City of delaying real investment in the area. The southeast parcel indicated above is the largest remaining terra-firma site at Atlantic Yards and previously was to be among the last developed.

Architects Invited to Reimagine a Future Penn Station

East
Thursday, April 4, 2013
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Inside Penn Station. (Kevin Harber / Flickr)

Inside Penn Station. (Kevin Harber / Flickr)

With its special use permit expired, the push is on to dislodge Madison Square Garden (MSG) from its current location atop Penn Station. The Municipal Art Society (MAS), one group vocally in favor of moving MSG, has asked four leading architects to imagine a future Penn Station unencumbered by the arena. MSG’s owners have asked the city to renew the permit in perpetuity and the city council will issue their decision later this year. Meanwhile, SHoP Architects, Santiago Calatrava, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and SOM have been tasked with creating a dramatic vision that could galvanize New Yorkers in supporting the move.

Continue reading after the jump.

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Opposition to Madison Square Gardens Heating Up

East
Friday, March 29, 2013
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Madison Square Garden. (Thanos Papavasiliou / Flickr)

Madison Square Garden. (Thanos Papavasiliou / Flickr)

Madison Square Garden has been on the move since its inception in 1879 as a 10,000-square-foot boxing, bike racing, and ice hockey venue in an old railroad depot at Madison Avenue and 26th Street. The facility later moved into an ornate Moorish-style building designed by famed Stanford White, architect of the Penn Station, which the arena notoriously replaced at its fourth and current home on 33rd Street in Midtown (after a brief stop on 50th Street). Now, if community boards, civic and planning groups, and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer get their way, the venue will be sent packing once again.

Continue reading after the jump.

New Renderings Detail Kohn Pedersen Fox’s One Hudson Yards

East
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
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rendering of Extell's KPF-designed One Hudson Yards tower. (Courtesy One Hudson Yards)

Rendering of Extell’s KPF-designed One Hudson Yards tower. (Courtesy One Hudson Yards)

With both the Hudson Yards and Manhattan West mega-developments underway on Manhattan’s West Side, several other projects in the area are coming into closer focus. Among them, Extell’s structurally criss-crossed Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed tower across 11th Avenue from Hudson Yards proper taking the name of its larger neighbor: One Hudson Yards. New York YIMBY spotted a bevy of new renderings of the 877-foot-tall diagrid tower posted to a just-launched project website. At 56 floors, the tower, shown with a wavy ledge peeling up the building’s facade at its main entrance, will front the Michael Van Valkenburgh-designed linear park, Hudson Boulevard, where the new Dattner-designed 7 line subway will emerge through glass canopies.

More renderings after the jump.

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Selldorf Architects To Restore Grand Reading Room at Brown University

East
Monday, March 25, 2013
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The John Hay Library at Brown University. (Mr. Ducke / Flickr)

The John Hay Library at Brown University. (Mr. Ducke / Flickr)

While some of the new architecture at Brown University is distinctly modern, Manhattan-based Selldorf Architects has been selected to bring back the historic charm of the circa 1910 English Renaissance John Hay Library. According to the Brown Daily Herald, the project was jumpstarted in February following an anonymous $3 million donation, plus another anonymous $6 million donation for the renovation from 2011. The Hay Library, which houses the university’s rare books collection, archives, and other special collections, will be reconfigured to open up the grand 4,400-square-foot reading room to its original design by Boston architects Shepley Rutan & Coolidge. The room is currently divided into parts to securely store sensitive books. The larger space will allow more access to the public and can play host to larger university-related events.

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New York City Council Approves SHoP-Designed Pier 17 Makeover at the South Street Seaport

East
Monday, March 25, 2013
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Proposed changes to Pier 17. (Courtesy SHoP)

Proposed changes to Pier 17. (Courtesy SHoP)

Last Wednesday, the New York City Council unanimously approved plans to tear down the current Pier 17 in the South Street Seaport and build a new $200 million SHoP Architects-designed mall in its place, marking the end of the long and sometimes contentious ULURP approval process. Crain’s reported that Dallas-based developer Howard Hughes made some concessions to the council including pushing back construction on the project to allow Hurricane Sandy-battered tenants to have an additional summer season, with construction now anticipated to begin on October 1st.

Continue reading after the jump.

Slideshow> Squibb Pedestrian Bridge Bounces Into Brooklyn Bridge Park

East
Monday, March 25, 2013
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The Squibb Pedestrian Bridge in Brooklyn Bridge Park. (Branden Klayko / AN)

The Squibb Pedestrian Bridge in Brooklyn Bridge Park. (Branden Klayko / AN)

HNTB’s Squibb Park Pedestrian Bridge connecting the Brooklyn Heights Promenade with Brooklyn Bridge Park opened to the public last Thursday. The $4.9 million bridge was built using “trail bridge technology” with galvanized steel cables and cylindrical black locust timbers, providing an efficient and lightweight structure that, as a sign at the entrance to the bridge warns, quite literally puts a bounce in visitors’ steps. “The bridge is very light weight. You will feel yourself walking across the bridge,” HNTB’s Chief Engineer Ted Zoli said at a construction tour in December. On AN‘s visit to the bridge Friday morning, traversing the spans did in fact provide a bouncy effect.

More photos after the jump.

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