The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission has given its blessing to ODA‘s jewel-like faceted facade for a factory-to-condo conversion on the Dumbo waterfront. The firm first presented its plans for 10 Jay Street last month, and while it was well received, commissioners didn’t think the dramatic, glassy design was a perfect fit for the historic neighborhood.
The first exhibition of art at this institution originally and primarily devoted to craft consists of photorealist paintings spanning 50 years by one of the most accomplished masters of the style. And in the dispassionate way typical of this artist and the genre, they show some subtle changes that have taken place in the cityscape.
Battery Park high-rises, New York City. (Anthony Quintano/Flickr)
As the director of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, Dr. Antony Wood spends a lot of time thinking about the high-rise envelope, which he calls “its single most important interface to the external environment.” For decades, hermetically sealed glass was the gold standard in facade design for tall buildings. With sustainability an increasingly urgent priority, things have begun to change for the better, says Wood. “But we have barely scratched the surface,” he argues. “So much more needs to be done.” Wood will issue his call to action next month in a talk and subsequent panel discussion at Facades+ NYC, the premier conference on high performance building envelopes.
Cafe Fargo in Buffalo, New York has no mechanical heating system. (Florian Holzherr)
Wintry Buffalo, New York is about the last place you might expect to find a building with no mechanical HVAC system. Yet that’s where a pair of architects fired up their custom-designed masonry heater, also called a kachelofen, which warms a contemporary cafe space by burning just six logs per day—even through a record-breaking winter where the average temperature was just 22.8 degrees.
If you’re trying to up your faucet game and new fixtures just aren’t doing the trick—we’ve got the perfect piece to impress your dinner guests when they visit the powder room. Simin Qiu, a student at the London Royal College of Art, has designed a faucet that releases water in an elegant latticework pattern. Finally, water from the tap won’t just lazily fall into your sink basin, resigned to its dreary passage into the sewers; it will do it with pizzaz!
Frei Otto has been given the 2015 Pritzker Architecture Prize. The 89 year old architect and engineer known for his daring glass and steel superstructures including the 1972 Munich Olympic Stadium. Often compared to Buckminster Fuller, Otto experimented with tensile structures, new materials, and inflatable architecture, and went on the build major buildings including the German Pavilion at Expo ’67 and the roof for the Multihalle in Mannheim, Germany.
Americana Dream Miami. (Courtesy The Triple 5 Group via the Miami Herald)
The slew of stories on the death of the American shopping mall has not deterred one real estate company from submitting plans to build the largest shopping and entertainment center in the country. The Miami Herald reported that the ambitious plan comes from the Triple 5 Group, a company that knows a thing or two about big malls—it owns and runs the Mall of America in Minnesota. Apparently not satisfied with letting that mall remain the nation’s largest, the developer has unveiled designs for something even larger in Miami-Dade County.
SHoP Architects’ 626 First Avenue, currently under construction. (Courtesy SHoP)
Since its founding in 1996, SHoP Architects has been committed to fostering architectural innovation despite on-the-ground constraints. In New York, those constraints often take the form of municipal regulations. “From day one SHoP was always a firm that was interested in pushing the limits of design, really getting into materials and craftsmanship,” said principal Gregg Pasquarelli. “But we were also building in the pressure tank of New York, where a lot of the innovation has to occur in the skins of the buildings, because zoning is so prescriptive.” Pasquarelli will outline his firm’s approach to cutting-edge facade design in the context of New York’s regulatory environment in the afternoon keynote address at next month’s Facades+ NYC conference.
While the symbolic trailing raincloud over one’s head signifies a bad day, Italian architectural firm Carlo Ratti Associati recently unveiled an energy-efficient “personal cloud” for cooling off passersby in hot climates.