December’s Top Five: Here’s what you read most on the AN Blog

Santiago Calatrava's transit center in New York City. (Courtesy Port Authority)

Santiago Calatrava’s transit center in New York City. (Courtesy Port Authority)

With 2014 quickly receding into history, here’s a look at what blog posts AN‘s readers clicked on most last month. Big international stories, many with starchitects attached, abounded in New York, London, Los Angeles, Helsinki, and Rio de Janeiro. All of December’s top stories point toward the future, with many under-construction projects that will be sure to dominate additional headlines this year. Here’s a glimpse at what was in the news.

View the top 5 after the jump.

The New York Times endorses The QueensWay linear park plan

The QueensWay. (Courtesy dlandstudio & WXY)

The QueensWay. (Courtesy dlandstudio & WXY)

The QueensWay has had a bumpy rollout. In October, when the Trust for Public Land and the Friends of the QueensWay unveiled their plan to transform an abandoned railway in Queens into something like the High Line, they were immediately faced with skepticism and criticism from around the city. That pro-QueensWay plan came with plenty of eye candy courtesy of splashy conceptual renderings from dlandstudio and WXY. This all got people asking why millions of dollars should be spent turning the rails into a fancy park when the rails could be refurbished to provide a useful commuter rail line.

Continue reading after the jump.

Eavesdrop> One Rat Center

East, Eavesdroplet, Skyscrapers
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
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one-rat-center

(Michael Tapp / Flickr; Montage by AN)

 

Speaking of One World Trade, Condé Nast’s highly publicized move-in did not go entirely as planned. According to Gawker, Vogue, which is occupying floors 25 and 26, had to delay the relocation of its editorial department due to an infestation of rats. The rodent problem was evidently so dire that the fashion magazine’s editor-in-chief, a one Anna Wintour, went so far as to issue an order to her staff that they must ensure her office is a rat-free zone before she sets foot inside.

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Eavesdrop> Not My Spire: Sculptor wants no connection to World Trade topper

(Anthony Quintano / Flickr)

(Anthony Quintano / Flickr)

Sculptor Kenneth Snelson is tired of having his name all over the derided spire atop One World Trade Center. It has been widely reported that Snelson consulted with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) on the 441-foot-tall spire that brings the tower to its highly symbolic height of 1,776 feet. But he said he was only peripherally involved in the early stages of the design and is not all that connected to what now towers above Lower Manhattan. Snelson said everyone involved in the design of the spire had the best intentions, but as for its final iteration, he’s no fan. “I don’t know why somebody doesn’t decide, ‘well, we should remove the spire,’” he said.

Bjarke Ingels is eyeing his second New York City residential tower, this time in Harlem

Development, East, News
Monday, December 22, 2014
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Bjarke Ingels.

Bjarke Ingels.

With his “court-scraper” nearing completion on Manhattan’s 57th Street, Bjarke Ingels is doubling down on Manhattan. The Real Deal has reported that the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has filed an application to build an 11-story, mixed-use residential project in Harlem. While we don’t know exactly what to expect from BIG just yet, the New York Post reported that the structure could cantilever over Gotham Plaza. No matter what the firm brings to the site, it’s a safe bet that it won’t look like the standard-issue residential buildings rising in New York City.

Councilman wants New York City offices to turn their lights off

Lighting, Sustainability, Urbanism
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
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New York City at night. (Flickr / Luke Redmond)

New York City at night. (Flickr / Luke Redmond)

As part of New York City‘s quest to cut carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050, Queens councilman Donovan Richards has introduced legislation that would force commercial buildings to switch their lights off after their occupants head home.

COntinue reading after the jump.

COOKFOX’s second Pacific Park tower in Brooklyn breaks ground near the Barclays Center

Architecture, Development, East
Monday, December 15, 2014
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535 Carlton. (Courtesy COOKFOX)

535 Carlton. (Courtesy COOKFOX)

This morning, Greenland Forest City Partners broke ground on 535 Carlton Avenue—the second tower to rise at Pacific Park in Brooklyn, the development formerly known as Atlantic Yards. The COOKFOX-designed masonry tower will rise 18 stories and include nearly 300 affordable units: 50 percent middle-income, 20 percent moderate, and 30 percent low-income.

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“UUGGHH”: Mysterious, graffiti-covered New York City landmark likely to go condo

Architecture, Art, East, Preservation
Monday, December 15, 2014
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Screengrab of HOTTEA's work at 190 Bowery. (Screengrab from HOTTEA video)

Screengrab of HOTTEA’s work at 190 Bowery. (Screengrab from HOTTEA video)

A developer has finally gotten his hands on one of Manhattan’s most intriguing and desired properties: 190 Bowery. The six-story Renaissance Revival building opened in 1898 as a branch of the Germania Bank, but had been the private home and workspace of photographer Jay Maisel since 1966. Back then, he bought the building for $102,000 and held onto it for decades as property values skyrocketed in Nolita. For that reason, 190 Bowery has become a beloved, graffiti-covered piece of New York nostalgia, defying gentrification as everything else around it adapted with the times. But that’s about to change.

Continue reading after the jump.

If these five architecture teams get their way, the library of the future will look a lot different than today

An public library outpost by L+. (Courtesy SITU Studio)

An public library outpost by L+. (Courtesy SITU Studio)

New York City’s public libraries need cash—and they need it fast. Over the years, the city’s three library systems—the New York Public Library (serving Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island), the Brooklyn Public Library, and the Queens Public Library—have racked up over one billion dollars in capital needs. And that’s not money needed for new educational tech tools, like iPads and laptops, but for renovations just to keep the old buildings in a state of good repair.

Continue reading after the jump.

With SHoP’s skyscraper in the balance, Howard Hughes stacks a Seaport hearing

SHoP's Seaport-adjacent tower. (Courtesy SHoP)

SHoP’s proposed Seaport-adjacent tower. (Courtesy SHoP)

Last night, at 6:00p.m. sharp, Community Board 1’s Landmarks Committee kicked off a public hearing on the Howard Hughes Corporation’s controversial plans to remake New York City’s South Street Seaport. The event was held at St. Paul’s Chapel in Lower Manhattan and it was standing room only before anybody got up to the mic. By five after, people waiting on the chapel steps were being turned away.

Continue reading after the jump.

In Construction> Columbia’s Renzo Piano–designed Science Center and Center for the Arts

The Jerome L. Greene Science Center. (Courtesy Field Condition)

The Jerome L. Greene Science Center. (Courtesy Field Condition)

Just six miles north of Renzo Piano’s highly-anticipated, High Line–adjacent, Whitney Museum, two other projects birthed from the same Italian brain are moving forward: Columbia University’s Jerome L. Greene Science Center and the Lenfest Center for the Arts. Speaking of brains, the nine-story, glass-encased Science Center is the future home of the Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Initiative.

More photos after the jump.

This beautiful photo of Lower Manhattan won SOM’s World Trade Center photo contest

Architecture, Awards, East, Skyscrapers
Thursday, December 11, 2014
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(Gerry Padden / Courtesy SOM)

(Gerry Padden / Courtesy SOM)

While the critics sure don’t like it, many other casual observers are big fans of Lower Manhattan‘s World Trade Center. This morning, SOM announced the winner its #WelcomeOneWTC photography contest it held to mark the grand opening of New York City’s latest controversy-laden skyscraper.

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