UPDATED: Snøhetta and W Architecture does the impossible: It makes the Penn Station area bearable

[Update: While Snøhetta is drawing up the master plan for the area around Penn Station, Brooklyn-based W Architecture and Landscape Architecture, working with Production Glue, designed the new Plaza33.]

Turning the truly miserable blocks around New York City’s Penn Station into a pleasant and calming retreat would appear to be an impossible undertaking. But Vornado Realty Trust—the primary property owner around the station—believes it can do it with the help of some experienced, Norwegian architects. Enter: Snøhetta.

Continue reading after the jump.

This giant ball pit in New York City is all about “the transformative power of play”

Architecture, Art, East, On View
Monday, August 10, 2015
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The BEACH at the National Building Museum. (NOAH KALINA)

The BEACH at the National Building Museum. (NOAH KALINA)

By now you’ve surely seen a friend or relative’s selfie from the massive ball pit at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. The installation, dubbed The BEACH, was designed by Snarkitecture and includes nearly one-million all-white, translucent, recyclable plastic balls. It’s like a McDonald’s ball pit, but artsier and probably a little bit cleaner.

Continue reading after the jump.

Meet the architect behind Kanye West’s 50-foot volcano, Los Angeles mansion, and design-savvy baby-proofing

Kanye atop a mountain on his Yeezus tour. (Peter Hutchins / Flickr)

Kanye atop a mountain on his Yeezus tour. (Peter Hutchins / Flickr)

Ironically, there are few surer ways to emerge from obscurity than to be hired by Kanye West. For Romanian architect Oana Stanescu, who designed a 50-foot stage-prop volcano for the rapper’s Yeezus tour, it meant finding a way to reconcile pop culture with utilitarian design.

Continue reading after the jump.

Bringing Street Art Back Downtown: Check out these enormous murals this weekend from New York City’s LoMan Fest

Art, East, On View
Friday, August 7, 2015
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f920bd_6b159c8ba2cc42aeabf7533ae23aaa6b.jpg_srb_p_1207_805_75_22_0.50_1.20_0

Mural by Tristan Eaton (Courtesy LoMan Festival)

Even as Lower Manhattan has become increasingly filled with luxury condos and scrubbed of its grit, it has retained the legacy and image as a cultural hub. Though many artists who once thrived in downtown have left due to skyrocketing rents and a shrinking stock of available studio and living space, the desire to keep the arts alive there has not withered for some devoted New Yorkers.

Continue reading after the jump.

On View> Glimmering light installation recalls the destroyed baronial towers of Bannerman’s Castle near New York City

Art, East, Lighting, On View, Preservation
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
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Photo_by_Rob_Penner-copy

(Rob Penner)

We head home: through the gloss of rain or weight
of snow, or the plum blush of dusk, but always—home, …
facing the stars
hope—a new constellation
waiting for us to map it,
waiting for us to name it—together.

—One Day, by Robert Blanco. Written for the second Inauguration of President Barack Obama, January 21, 2013.

Melissa McGill’s light-based public art project, Constellation, arises from the romantic ruins of Bannerman’s Castle on Pollepel Island, a mysterious sight glimpsed from trains heading north 50 miles from New York City just shy of Beacon, and nearby to West Point and Storm King. If you’ve ever wondered about this fleeting apparition, this art installation, which will be up for two years, is the perfect vehicle for visiting the island or gazing from the riverbank.

COntinue reading after the jump.

Students at RISD imagine how a climate change museum in New York City could reclaim a vulnerable site

(Courtesy Erin Graham, RISD)

(Courtesy Erin Graham, RISD)

James Hansen, one of the world’s preeminent climate scientists, has issued an alarming new paper about the impacts of climate change—and the findings are way worse than what anyone expected. According to Hansen and the team of 16 scientists he worked with, sea levels could rise up to 10 feet over the next 50 years. “Social disruption and economic consequences of such large sea level rise could be devastating,” conclude the scientists. “It is not difficult to imagine that conflicts arising from forced migrations and economic collapse might make the planet ungovernable, threatening the fabric of civilization.”

Continue reading after the jump.

This Saturday, a projection-mapped display will cover the Empire State Building to raise awareness about endangered species

Art, East, On View, Skyscrapers
Thursday, July 30, 2015
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As supertall residential towers reach new heights in Manhattan, the Empire State Building still stands strong in New York City‘s skyline—especially after dusk. The building’s crown is quintessential New York and a sky-high representation of holidays, anniversaries, and the day’s news in colorful light. On Saturday night, the Empire State Building will be used for even more.

COntinue reading after the jump.

Can the latest plan to salvage LaGuardia take flight? New York Governor Cuomo unveils ambitious $4 billion airport redesign scheme

(Courtesy Office of the Governor)

(Courtesy Office of the Governor)

For New Yorkers and visitors alike, LaGuardia Airport is a confusing maze of disconnected terminals. Beset with delays, chaotic transfers, poorly designed wayfinding, and congestion for both passengers and planes, the airport was recently, not undeservingly, characterized by Vice President Biden as feeling like a “third-world country.” Now the facility is slated to get a much-needed, and long overdue redesign. Governor Cuomo presented a far-reaching plan to overhaul the tired facility, which would cost roughly $4 billion, and be completed over a 5-year period.

Continue reading after the jump.

Here’s your first look at what Bjarke Ingels has planned for Harlem

(BIG)

(The Bjarke Ingels Group

Since setting up shop in New York, the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has quickly become one of the most visible architecture firms in the city. It all started with the tetrahedron-shaped residential “courtscraper,” first called W57 and now dubbed Via, that is now nearing completion on 57th Street. And then there is BIG’s viewing platform at Brooklyn Bridge Park that has been likened to a Tostito. (That nickname has stuck, but the project’s funding has not.)

Now BIG’s building in Harlem.

How architects are building a “soil sandwich” to keep plants from cooking at Hudson Yards’ rail-yard-topping Public Square

The 7 train station and green space with the Public Square behind it. (Courtesy Related and Oxford)

The 7 train station and green space with the Public Square behind it. (Courtesy Related and Oxford)

Building America’s largest private real estate development in history would be a tricky proposition whether or not it was taking shape over an active rail yard in the middle of the densest city in the country. But, of course, that is exactly where Hudson Yards—the mega development with those superlative bragging rights—is taking shape.

Continue reading after the jump.

Here’s the massive water slide planned for New York City’s Summer Streets, when pedestrians take over Park Avenue

East, Urbanism
Friday, July 24, 2015
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(Courtesy NYC DOT)

(Courtesy NYC DOT)

In a blatant attempt to please fun-loving New Yorkers, the city’s Department of Transportation has announced that a massive Slip ‘N Slide will be part of this year’s Summer Streets program. The annual free event turns over Park Avenue, from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park, to pedestrians, cyclists, and now childhood attractions. Read More

Here’s how Morris Adjmi’s ghostly aluminum carbon copy of a warehouse in Tribeca is shaping up

(Courtesy Field Condition)

(Courtesy Field Condition)

On a prime Tribeca corner, Morris Adjmi has transformed an early 19th century coffee and tea warehouse into a fancy condo building—and built a mirror-image replica of the stately structure right next to it. Well, almost.

Continue reading after the jump.

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