SOFTlab’s “Nova” pavilion brightens cold New York nights with psychadelic light

City Terrain, East, News, Urbanism
Monday, November 23, 2015
(Courtesy 3M)

(Courtesy 3M)

Suburban folk mark the change of seasons with spring peepers, the sound of leaf blowers, and first frosts. City dwellers rely on other environmental cures: pumpkin spice lattes, heat season, and festive public art installations. Last week, the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (BID) and the Van Alen Institute welcomed crowds to SOFTlab‘s Nova, the 2015 winner of the Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition.

More after the jump.

Spatial Poetics: Vale of Cashmere – Walking Tour and Writing Workshop

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Presented with Prospect Park Alliance

Join us for an afternoon at the Vale of Cashmere, an overgrown Beaux-Arts garden on the northeast fringe of Prospect Park that is slated for future restoration. Following a tour of this lush and storied section of the Park withProspect Park Alliance chief landscape architect Christian Zimmerman, engage in a writing workshop and discussion exploring disappearing and reemerging landscapes in the Vale and city beyond, led by Wendy S. Walters, author and New School professor.

This event is open to participants at all levels of writing experience.

Wendy S. Walters is the author of a book of essays Multiply/Divide (Sarabande Books, 2015) and two books of poems, most recently Troy, Michigan(Futurepoem Books, 2014).  She was a 2011 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Poetry, and her work appears in The Iowa Review, Bookforum, FENCE,Harper’s Magazine, and elsewhere.  She has won a Ford Foundation Fellowship, a research fellowship from the Smithsonian Institution.  She is a Contributing Editor at The Iowa Review and Associate Professor of creative writing and literature at the Eugene Lang College of The New School University in the city of New York.

Since 1990, Christian Zimmerman has been the guiding hand for one of the most respected ongoing park restorations in the country. He oversees capital design, construction and landscape management at the Prospect Park Alliance, leading a team of architects, landscape architects, horticulturists, arborists and ecologists. Christian is nationally recognized for his historic preservation work, and has been a consultant to the National Parks Service and other parks around the country. In 2010, he was named a American Society of Landscape Architects Fellow.

Archtober Building of the Day 25> Van Alen Institute

Architecture, East
Sunday, October 25, 2015
Van Alen Institute (Courtesy Julia Cohen)

Van Alen Institute (Courtesy Julia Cohen)

Archtober Building of the Day #25
Van Alen Institute
30 West 22nd Street, New York

Three friends from architecture school, Jon Lott (PARA-Project), William O’Brien Jr. (WOJR), and Michael Kubo (pinkcomma gallery), joined forces to form Collective-LOK in 2013. Together, they entered the Van Alen Institute’s Ground/Work competition to redesign the organization’s office and programming space on West 22nd Street. Read More

AECOM Urban SOS: All Systems Go Competition winners announced

The Winning Submission Plan (Courtesy AECOM and Van Alen Institute)

The Winning Submission Plan. (Courtesy AECOM and Van Alen Institute)

Three graduate design students at the University of Pennsylvania—Daniel Lau, Joseph Rosenberg, and Lindsay Rule—have claimed the top spot in AECOM’s sixth annual Urban SOS competition. Their project, called The THIRD Reserve, is an urban landscape concept that would, in theory, allow Singapore’s food production system to become self-sufficient. The team takes home $7,500 in prize money and has access to up to $25,000 to support the project.

More after the jump.

Van Alen Institute announces winner of National Parks Now competition

(Courtesy Van Alsen Institute)

(Courtesy Van Alen Institute)

After a ten-month competition in which four teams proposed schemes in Northeastern national parks: Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park (Paterson, NJ); Sagamore Hill (Oyster Bay, NY); Steamtown National Historic Site (Scranton, PA); and Weir Farm (Wilton, CT), the Van Alen Institute has finally announced the winner. Read More

Hot Tub Design Machine: New York’s Van Alen Institute launches its annual auction of out-of-the-box architectural experiences

Architecture, East
Monday, May 11, 2015
Bid on an architecture roundtable at Charles Renfro's Fire Island's hot tub. (Courtesy Van Alen Institute)

Bid on an architecture roundtable at Charles Renfro’s Fire Island’s hot tub. (Courtesy Van Alen Institute)

If you have ever longed to explore nature with your favorite architect or discuss the built environment in your bikini, now you’ll have the chance. Well, for a few bucks, but in the good name of architecture. The Van Alen Institute has launched its online auction of Art + Design Experiences to coincide with its Spring Party, going down this Wednesday in Lower Manhattan.

Continue reading after the jump.

Van Alen and National Park Service select finalists to re-imagine visitor experience at national parks

The Falls Gorge and bridge, Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park, Paterson, NJ. (Courtesy Van Alen Institute)

The Falls Gorge and bridge, Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park. (Courtesy Van Alen Institute)

The Van Alen Institute and the National Park Service (NPS) have announced four finalists in their competition to modernize visitor experience at four national parks. While the National Parks Now competition aims to “[design] the 21st Century National Park experience,” it’s about more than launching an app or two and boosting WiFi signals.

Continue reading after the jump.

Collective-LOK’s stunning Van Alen storefront to open next week in New York City

Architecture, East, Interiors, News, Newsletter
Thursday, December 4, 2014
The Van Alen Institute's new street-level space. (Courtesy Cameron Blaylock)

The Van Alen Institute’s new street-level space. (Courtesy Cameron Blaylock)

To commemorate its 120th anniversary, the Van Alen Institute is opening a new street-level space in New York City next Tuesday. The space, designed by Collective–LOK and located at 30 West 22nd Street, functions as a programming hub, event space, and gallery. Collective–LOK is a collaboration between Jon Lott (PARA-Project), William O’Brien Jr. (WOJR), and Michael Kubo (over,under). The team’s proposal, called “Screen Play,” won the Institute’s  2013 Ground/Work competition, which received over 120 design submissions.

Continue reading after the jump.

Bright public art installation to light up New York City’s cold, dark winter

Art, City Terrain, Design, East, Lighting, Newsletter
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
New York Light and the Flatiron Building. (Courtesy INABA)

New York Light and the Flatiron Building. (Courtesy INABA)

The summer is officially over, folks. The beaches are closed, the sun is switching to its seasonal, part-time schedule, and your coworkers are drinking Pumpkin Spice Lattes again. There is no ignoring an inevitable truth: winter is coming and there is nothing you can do about it. Well, if you live up north that is. You could move to Florida, but beyond that, there is nothing you can do about it. For those of us stuck in New York City this holiday season, it’s not all bad news. We will soon be able to feast our frostbitten eyes on a new public art installation in front of the Flatiron Building.

Read More

Van Alen Institute Launches Competition Seeking Land Reuse Strategies for New Orleans

(Courtesy Van Alen)

(Courtesy Van Alen)

Earlier this month, the Van Alen Institute announced Future Ground, an international design competition that is hoping to attract fresh strategies for reusing the many vacant lots that dot New Orleans. The competition is seeking submissions from landscape designers, architects, planners, public policy wonks, and pretty much anybody in the business of shaping urban environments and is supported by the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA), which owns more than 2,000 vacant lots.

There are somewhere around 30,000 empty lots and abandoned structures throughout New Orleans today, most of them left by Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the city in 2005. As the 10-year anniversary of the storm approaches, Future Ground is looking to create design and policy strategies capable of adapting to changes in density, demand, climate, and landscape in New Orleans over the next half-century in an effort to turn these abandoned landscapes into lasting resources.

Read More

New York City Mayor de Blasio announces latest round of picks for agency heads

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio. (NYC Mayor's Office)

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio. (NYC Mayor’s Office)

There’s a game of musical chairs and commissioners happening in New York City politics right now. With former Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) chair Meenakshi Srinivasan now heading the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), Mayor de Blasio has nominated Margery Perlmutter to fill the vacant role. Perlmutterwho would go to the BSA from the LPC where she is a commissioneris a registered architect and a lawyer who focuses on land-use issues. The mayor also announced two new picks for LPC commissioners including Adi Shamir Baron, the former executive director of the Van Alen Institute, and John Gustafsson, chairman of the Board of the Historic House Trust of New York City.

Van Alen Institute Convenes International Council of Architects in Venice

The Van Alen Council meets in Venice. (Beppe Ferrari)

The Van Alen Council meets in Venice. (Beppe Ferrari)

This week in Venice, the New York–based Van Alen Institute convened a group of leaders at 13 top architecture firms to brainstorm ideas that will guide the non-profit institution with an increased international perspective. The group will meet twice a year “to identify and investigate issues facing cities internationally, and to guide the impact of the Institute’s public programming, research, and design competitions,” according to a press release from Van Alen. The goal is to find topics that the institute can explore more deeply in its ongoing efforts such as Elsewhere: Escape and the Urban Landscape exploring our relationship with urban life.

Continue reading after the jump.

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