Archtober Building of the Day #23
NYU School of Professional Studies
7 East 12th Street
Mitchell | Giurgola Architects, LLP
A rainy day did not deter Archtober, and the hardy were amply rewarded with an up-to-the-minute view of an urban university hard at work. I want to change the name to “multi-versity” to capture the many different functions, schools, demographics, studies, and programs that the ever expanding universe of NYU now comprises. A recent addition is the newly renamed School of Professional Studies on 12th Street. Carol Loewenson and Stephen Dietz of Mitchell-Giurgola Architects, led the tour of the renovated Fairchild Printing Building. Projects like these—complex renovations where some operations must be maintained in place—require the steady, strong leadership of architects who find the puzzle of programmatic problem solving the bread and butter of successful practice.
Archtober Building of the Day #22
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
655 West 34th Street
Designed by Pei Cobb in the early 1980s, the Jacob K. Javits Center had fallen into a considerable slump in the years following its debut. Plagued with structural problems, today’s Archtober tour leader and head of the building’s extensive overhaul, Bruce Fowle, began in the center’s Crystal Palace by showing photos of the space before his firm’s massive undertaking. He highlighted two of the worst features of the original structure—the dirty, impossible-to-clean glass and extensive water damage. Almost immediately after opening, large canvas “diapers” were constructed to catch the ever-leaking roof, costing the center nearly one million dollars a year to alleviate the constant influx of water.
Archtober Building of the Day #20
Donald Judd Home and Studio
101 Spring Street
Architecture Research Office; Walter B. Melvin Architects
The Soho of the 1970s has come and gone, grungy artists’ studios replaced by glitzy storefronts and luxury condos. However, two decades after artist Donald Judd passed away in 1994, his presence still permeates 101 Spring Street. It’s in the nooks he carved out for his children and his books, his kitchenware and furniture, and, most of all, his art.
Archtober Building of the Day #20
The Metropolitan Museum of Art David H. Koch Plaza
1000 5th Avenue
Do you know the difference between hedging your trees and pollarding them? Thanks to the enlightenment provided by our tour guides from OLIN’s design team, Partner Dennis McGlade and Associate Scott Dismukes, those who attended yesterday’s Archtober tour do now. The London Plane trees in the bosques adjacent to the ground level entrances at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will be pollarded—trimmed each winter to the same height. The Little Leaf Lindens, which form the two flanking rows of sidewalk trees will pruned annually to form aerial hedges, thus distinguishing them from the fluffy naturals of Central Park.
Archtober Building of the Day #19
Campbell Sports Center, Columbia University
Broadway & 218th Street
Steven Holl Architects
We rode the subway to the northern tip of Manhattan to tour Columbia University’s Campbell Sports Center, designed by Steven Holl Architects. The design, based on football play diagrams, incorporates “points on the ground, lines in space” that develop from the sloping site in this industrial section of Inwood. Olaf Schmidt, associate-in-charge of the project, led the Archtober tour through the building.
Archtober Building of the Day #17
East 34th Street Ferry Terminal
E 35th Street at FDR Drive
Public architecture is alive. The 34th Street Ferry Terminal, designed by KVA Architects, integrates structure, social use, the natural environment, and digital technology to realize an architecture that is sensitive and responsive to its surroundings. This approach, called “soft” or “resilient” infrastructure, creates a dynamic civic space in which flows of water, people, and information are manifested in the structure. Inspired by Walt Whitman’s 1900 poem, “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,” the design emphasizes the fecundity of the waterfront and the multiple uses of the pier, not only that of the commuter but also that of the wanderer, viewer, or fisherman. Technology accentuates elements of nature so that the commuter might slow down, absorbing the light, water, and the beautiful terminal, before entering or re-entering the city.
Archtober Building of the Day #15
Red Bull Studios
220 West 18th Street
Jeffrey Inaba didn’t have wings, but guided a big group of Archtober enthusiasts and pick up party goers on a tour of Red Bull Studios in Chelsea. Introduced by Lance Jay Brown, 2014 AIANY President, the former Angelino, via OMA, presented a slick 38,000 square foot music studio/gallery/corporate office that spans all trends. With a psychedelic installation curated by Phong Bui and Rail Curatorial Projects, the public spaces, cleverly planned with acoustics and crowd control in mind, sang out with raucous voices of overstimulation—not INABA’s work. The planning, though, underlying the funk and festivity was rock solid, creating a diversity of public space, engaging from the street, clear divisions of public and private, and fantastic core toilets.
Archtober Building of the Day #13
The Museum at Eldridge Street
12 Eldridge Street
The Columbus Day holiday and parade did not deter the Archtober faithful from attending a very special family event at the Museum at Eldridge Street. Archtober first visited the 1887 Eldridge Street Synagogue on on October 28, 2012 in the shadow of the looming Superstorm Sandy, to enjoy the fruits of a 20-year restoration project that culminated in the 2010 installation of the Kiki Smith rose window. Now, adding to the manifold riches to be found within is a fully realized Museum at Eldridge Street, the result of a collaboration of curators, historians, architects Archimuse, and graphic designers.
Archtober Building of the Day #12
The Pavilion at Brookfield Place
100 West Street
Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects
It is impossible not to notice The Pavilion at Brookfield Place from almost any viewpoint near it’s location on 100 West Street. A glass curtain wall seems barely to contain the steel trees that emerge from its floor. While our Archtober tour was conducted under the noonday sun, one can easily imagine the building’s brilliance after nightfall.
Building of the Day #10
The Barbarian Group
112 West 20th Street
Clive Wilkinson Architects
It seems like something out of an interiors sci-fi novel: a barbaric desk comes to life, invading a helpless office floor. Nothing can stop it. It grows around structural columns. Monsters represent our cultural fears, and this could be a story expressing our anxieties about Corporate America, if it wasn’t for the fact that Clive Wilkinson Architects’ superdesk for The Barbarian Group is so functional and so cool. A 1,100-foot-long uninterrupted white surface snakes about the office, arching to create nooks for informal meetings and casual encounters.
Archtober Building of the Day #8
National September 11 Memorial Museum
Liberty Street, Manhattan
Davis Brody Bond
The space is cavernous. Visitors to the National September 11 Memorial Museum are confronted, upon arrival, with their own memories, and the collective recall of a day unlike any other.