Sandhogs continue to make progress on New York City’s enormous $11 billion East Side train tunnel

(MTA Capital Construction / Rehema Trimiew)

(MTA Capital Construction / Rehema Trimiew)

New York City’s MTA has posted another collection of East Side Access construction photos to remind New Yorkers that its majorly delayed and hugely over budget project is still actually chugging along. When East Side Access is ultimately completed, at the cost of nearly $11 billion, it will connect Long Island Rail Road trains to Grand Central making life easier for about 80,000 commuters. But that’s a long ways off—last we heard, the project will not be completed until 2023.

Check out construction progress after the jump.

Thorsten Helbig on Engineering Cutting-Edge Facades

Knippers Helbig provided custom parametric modeling, full facade engineering service, and structural design for Massimiliano Fuskas' Shenzhen International Airport. (Courtesy Massimiliano Fuksas)

Knippers Helbig provided custom parametric modeling, full facade engineering service, and structural design for Massimiliano Fuskas’ Shenzhen International Airport. (Courtesy Massimiliano Fuksas)

As an engineer, Thorsten Helbig, co-founder of Knippers Helbig Advanced Engineering, has a unique perspective on facade design. “We conceptualize a facade as an integral part of a whole, as part of a larger system,” he explained. Helbig, who will deliver the morning keynote address at next month’s Facades+ NYC conference, identified two focal points. The first is the relationship of the building envelope to structure. The second is performance: “What can the facade offer back to the building?” Helbig asked

Continue reading after the jump.

Eavesdrop> Breakfast in Peril: This enormous mirror comes crashing down on the Soho brunch set

East, Eavesdroplet, Interiors
Thursday, March 5, 2015
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The collapsed mirror at Balthazar restaurant. (@lizeswein / Twitter)

The collapsed mirror at Balthazar restaurant. (@lizeswein / Twitter)

 

One doesn’t expect to be in danger when noshing on a croissant and sipping some coffee at a swanky Soho Brasserie—maybe a spilt Bloody Mary at worst. But, one morning in February, at Keith McNally’s Balthazar, the preeminent power breakfast spot in Soho, customers got quite the fright when an enormous mirror, mounted to a wall, came crashing down on them.

Continue reading after the jump.

MTA Off Track: Record ridership just one of the problems facing New York City transit

City Terrain, East, Transportation
Thursday, March 5, 2015
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A crowded subway platform in New York City. (Ianqui Doodle / Flickr)

A crowded subway platform in New York City. (Ianqui Doodle / Flickr)

Overcrowding on New York City subway trains is becoming a major problem for commuters. According to new data from the MTA, there were 14,843 weekday delays caused by overcrowding in December alone. The New York Post found that the number is up 113 percent from the same period a year ago. Fixing the overcrowding will not be easy for the MTA as it is trying to accommodate record ridership and still dealing with damage from Superstorm Sandy.

Imma let you finish, but Kanye West had the best minimalist Manhattan bachelor pad of all time

(Courtesy Claudio Silvestrin Architects)

(Courtesy Claudio Silvestrin Architects)

The utilitarian Manhattan loft formerly owned by rap mogul Kanye West bespeaks deep pockets and a distaste for cluttering decor. The 1,585 square foot bachelor pad, which West sold in 2013 for $4.5 million, is an ultra-minimalist expanse of French limestone and pear wood—and not much else.

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Review> Poking at Power: New Parsons Exhibition Ridicules Dictators

(Helga Taxler)

(Helga Taxler)

At the Aronson Galleries at the New School, a wall of pickle jars taped with black-and-white cutout portraits of twenty dictators lines the windowsill. A standard 8 ½ x 11 paper sign invites visitors to Pick Your Own Dick by placing a poker chip in a jar. Chairman Mao, a world-class “dick” whose Cultural Revolution starved and murdered millions of Chinese, and Turkish President Erdogan, an elected Muslim fundamentalist morphing into a military strongman, handily won opening night.

Romancing True Power: D20, the mischievous exhibition designed by Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss of NAO and conceived by Nina Khrushcheva, associate dean and professor at the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at the New School, cheekily invites public debate about the nature of and difference between types of dictatorship, taking special glee in thumbing its nose at ostentatious symbols of power. The exhibit was accompanied by a journal compiled by Khrushcheva with Yiqing Wang-Holborn and by a book of graphic novellas designed as a result of Weiss’s seminar on new ideologies at Columbia GSAPP, both profiling selected dictators and their trappings.

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Clive Wilkinson Architects Makes a Superdesk

Brought to you with support from:
Fabrikator
Clive Wilkinson Architects designed a continuous work surface dubbed the Superdesk for New York advertisers the Barbarian Group. (Michael Moran)

Clive Wilkinson Architects designed a continuous work surface dubbed the Superdesk for New York advertisers the Barbarian Group. (Michael Moran)

Endless table materializes intra-office connectivity in plywood, MDF, and epoxy.

When Culver City-based Clive Wilkinson Architects (CWA) sat down with representatives of the Barbarian Group to discuss renovating the advertising agency’s new 20,000-square-foot office, one word kept coming up: connection. “Before, they were all in offices designed for one person, but crammed five in each, and scattered,” recalled associate principal Chester Nielsen. “It was a pain. Bringing everyone into the open, and having them feel like they were all connected was super important.” The architects elected to “surgically gut” the leased New York Garment District loft to create a central workspace for between 125-175 employees. To materialize the theme of connection, they zeroed in on the idea of a single work surface, an endless table later christened the Superdesk. With 4,400 square feet of epoxy-coated surface atop a support structure comprising 870 unique laser-cut plywood panels, the Superdesk is a triumph of programmatic creativity. “Building a big table was not an obvious solution,” said Nielsen, “but it’s a simple one.”
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Brooklyn’s 56 Bogart is at the center of the New York City art world

Art, East, On View
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
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Henry Khudyakov's Environmental Motif, 1985-1994. (Courtesy Henry Khudyakov)

Henry Khudyakov’s Environmental Motif, 1985-1994. (Courtesy Henry Khudyakov)

 

If the address 56 Bogart in Brooklyn means nothing to you then you’re missing the center of the art world in New York City in 2015. Forget about Chelsea and the Bowery, Bushwick and East Williamsburg are the most exciting exhibition outposts in the city and maybe in the country. It’s Soho 40 years ago as any Saturday afternoon stroll along Bogart Street will make clear with its cafes, bars, restaurants and working artists lofts on every block.

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Mind the Gender Gap: Findings of gender equity in architecture survey this Friday in New York

Architecture, East, National, On View
Monday, February 23, 2015
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missing32-report-04

A number of advocacy organizations questioning the ethics of architecture practice in the United States have received a flurry of attention recently. The New York Times commented recently on the San Francisco–based Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility’s petition to revise the AIA’s stance on solitary confinement and torture. The New York–based Architecture Lobby made waves in 2014 with protests denouncing the continued prevalence of unpaid labor among architects. Before that, Harvard’s Women in Design provoked top figures in the field to take a stance on the failure of the industry’s awards to adequately acknowledge collaboration in 2013.

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With slight alterations, controversial Brooklyn Bridge Park development to start back up

Architecture, Development, East
Friday, February 20, 2015
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The Pierhouse in January. (Courtesy Field Condition)

The Pierhouse in January. (Courtesy Field Condition)

In our recent story about the current development surge happening in and around Dumbo, we touched on the controversy surrounding the Pierhouse—an under-construction hotel and condo complex next to the Brooklyn Bridge. The Marvel Architects–designed building, which will help cover Brooklyn Bridge Park‘s maintenance costs, has riled up local residents who say it is blocking their views of the iconic bridge.

Continue reading after the jump.

Winning Designs for World’s First Sci-Fi Museum on View at Brooklyn Public Library

Architecture, Awards, East, On View, Unveiled
Friday, February 20, 2015
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Architectural Design Jury Awarded First Place - Schrodinger’s Box, submitted by Emily Yen, USA

Architectural Design Jury Awarded First Place – Schrodinger’s Box, submitted by Emily Yen, USA

 

Science fiction’s outlandish imaginings are set to become reality, with  the top 10 designs for the world’s first sci-fi museum on display at the Brooklyn Public Library through May 31. Naturally, the first-of-its-kind project warrants no less than a high-tech, out-of-this-world edifice worthy of Star Trek. The winning design by graduate student Emily Yen, titled Schrödinger’s Box, proposes a 3,990 square foot modular museum comprised of a trapezoid frame with infilled planes at various heights (think staggered wall shelving).

COntinue reading after the jump.

The Principals Make Music with Mylar

Brought to you with support from:
Fabrikator
Ancient Chaos, a sound reactive installation designed by The Principals with musician Dev Hynes, debuted at Neuehouse last fall. (Bryan Derballa)

Ancient Chaos, a sound reactive installation designed by The Principals with musician Dev Hynes, debuted at Neuehouse last fall. (Bryan Derballa)

Collaborative installation translates sound into motion.

When Brooklyn-based design and fabrication studio The Principals began collaborating with musician Dev Hynes on Ancient Chaos, a sound reactive installation commissioned by speaker company Sonos, they had only a vague sense of the project’s goals. “The general concept was that we wanted to create an architecture that was fluid like sound, and to create sounds that were architectural,” said co-founder Seskunas. “We wanted to have an installation that was both of those things but neither—a very ephemeral, nebulous concept of what sound and architecture could be.” Then Seskunas went surfing with a friend, and, in between sets, found himself mesmerized by the ever-changing play of sunlight on the ocean. “Could we create an architecture that had this quality to it?” he questioned. Constructed from 6,000 individual pieces of Mylar set in motion by high-powered stepper motors, Ancient Chaos answers Seskunas’ question in the affirmative. The installation, which debuted at New York’s Neuehouse last year, is a moving meditation on the relationship between sound and space.
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