Christine Quinn Kicks Off NYC Mayoral Campaign: Could Mean More Affordable Housing

East
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
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Speaker Quinn with Tenants of 568 W 183rd Street During Press Conference Calling on Landlord to Correct Building Violations  (Courtesy of New York City Council)

Speaker Quinn with Tenants of 568 W 183rd Street During Press Conference Calling on Landlord to Correct Building Violations (Courtesy of New York City Council)

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn officially announced her run for mayor last week.  Quinn started her career as an affordable housing advocate with the Housing Justice Campaign for the Association of Neighborhood and Housing Development, and is positioning herself as the pro-middle class candidate. In a recent speech, she told an audience that New York City needs to become “a place that’s a beacon for the middle class.” After the Bloomberg era of rapid development, Quinn could usher in a new phase that makes affordable housing a top priority. While a few candidates have to yet to declare their candidacy, the race could likely include previous City Comptroller William Thompson, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, and current City Comptroller John Liu.

NYCHA Ticks Off 73,000 Work Orders from Its Backlog.  NYCHA Maintenance & Repair Action Plan (Courtesy of NYCHA) The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is starting to make a dent in its epically long backlog of repairs. The agency just announced that that it has completed 73,000 work orders, which leaves them with 349,479 to go. Mayor Bloomberg and NYCHA launched an action plan back in January to reduce the backlog, and with $10 million from City Council, the agency has be able to hire 176 workers to specifically help with maintenance and repairs. [Image: Courtesy NYCHA]

 

Miami’s Development Booming: Top 11 Starchitect-Designs Remaking the Magic City

East, Newsletter
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
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The Grove at Grand Bay by Bjarke Ingels Group. (Courtesy BIG)

The Grove at Grand Bay by Bjarke Ingels Group. (Courtesy BIG)

After a tumultuous few years, Miami’s real estate market is on the rise once again. When the recession hit the city in 2007, new developments came to a dramatic halt and abandoned construction sites became ubiquitous. But now, a surge of new projects—running the gamut from residential and retail to hotels and cultural institutions—are cropping up around Miami with many more slated for construction in the next few years. And some heavy hitters, such as Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Herzog and de Meuron, and Bjarke Ingels, have signed up to lend their design sensibility to Miami’s changing landscape. The Miami Herald reported that the city now boasts 20 new condo towers with an additional five towers in the works for neighborhoods just north and south of downtown Miami. AN has compiled a list of the most significant projects taking shape in the Magic City.

Continue reading after the jump.

Urban Farming Duo Plants Seeds for Boston’s First Rooftop Farm

East
Monday, March 4, 2013
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(Courtesy Higher Ground Farm)

(Courtesy Higher Ground Farm)

While rooftop farming has cropped up in a number of cities across the country, it has yet to take root in Boston. But this will soon change when founders Courtney Hennessey and John Stoddard launch operations of their new rooftop farm, aptly called Higher Ground Farm, located atop the Boston Design Center this Spring. According to CoLab Radio at MIT, the duo will start planting on a 40,000-square-feet segment of the expansive 55,000-square-feet roof within the next few months and be ready to sell the fresh produce by summer.

Continue reading after the jump.

New York City to Match Sandy-Damaged Buildings With Design Professionals

East, Newsletter
Friday, March 1, 2013
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Houses in Rockaways after Hurricane Sandy (Courtesy of Anique/Ma Neek/Flickr)

Houses in Rockaways after Hurricane Sandy. (Anique/Ma Neek/Flickr)

For property owners of Hurricane Sandy-ravaged buildings, the road to recovery just got easier. Starting on Monday, the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) will offer a new program that provides design consultations to property owners and design professionals who want to reconstruct their buildings. Department officials and technical experts will explain the building code and zoning requirements for properties in special flood hazard areas, as indicated on insurance rate maps or on updated Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maps.

According to the announcement from the DOB: “This program is designed to accelerate the approval process for these projects, assist homeowners with their decisions on reconstruction and better ensure that new flood recommendations and standards are incorporated into the design and construction of these affected buildings.”

The consultations will be held at the Department’s NYC Development Hub at 80 Centre Street in Manhattan. Property owners will sit down with officials and compile a list of recommendations to apply to the construction plans that they intend on submitting to the DOB.

Vlad Tenu Gets Down to the Bare Minimum

Fabrikator
Friday, March 1, 2013
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MC/2* is the latest of Vlad Tenu’s research projects to create minimal surface geometries from modular components. (Courtesy Vlad Tenu)

MC/2* is composed of .04-thick laser-cut polypropylene and aluminum rivets. Each component is flexible, but when assembled the surface becomes rigid.

The triangular MC/2* is the latest iteration of London-based Romanian architect Vlad Tenu’s Minimal Complexities Series. With this prototype, he continues to explore the idea of creating minimal surface geometries from modular components—a thread that has been present throughout much of his work. This time, he has pushed the boundaries even further by whittling down the components.

The undulating structure, made of translucent laser-cut polypropylene and aluminum rivets, was first unveiled hanging from the ceiling of the Open House event for Digital Shoreditch Festival 2012. It was then exhibited months later, at the International Architecture and Design Showcase at the London Architecture Festival 2012. This prototype follows a natural progression in this ongoing series, which gained recognition when Tenu was named the winner of the second annual Tex-Fab Repeat Digital Fabrication Competition for his Minimal Complexity structure in 2011.

Read More

A Treehouse Grows in Brooklyn: Architect Salvages Sandy-Damaged Oaks for Installation

East
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
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Roderick Wolgamott-Romero. (Bobby Fisher)

Roderick Wolgamott-Romero. (Bobby Fisher)

Last fall Hurricane Sandy swept through New York with a vengeance, knocking down more than 8,000 trees city-wide, and over 300 in Brooklyn’s Olmsted-designed Prospect Park alone. But now, Brooklyn Botanic Garden has teamed up with tree house architect Roderick Wolgamott-Romero to give a hand full of these damaged trees a second chance at life.

Continue reading after the jump.

NYCHA’s Green Thumb: New Affordable Housing Complex Opens With Rooftop Farm

East, Newsletter
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
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(Courtesy NYC Housing Development Corporation)

(Courtesy NYC Housing Development Corporation)

It has been a rocky few months for the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), but the battered agency finally has some good news to report. State officials announced the opening of the Arbor House, a 124-unit affordable housing complex, located in the Morrisania section of the Bronx, that is not only LEED Platinum certified, but also features a hydroponic farm on the roof that supplies residents and the surrounding community with fresh produce. Built from local and recycled materials, the 8-story building was designed by New York-based ABS Architecture and includes a living green wall installation in the lobby, air-filtration systems, and indoor and outdoor exercise areas.

Continue reading after the jump.

Preparing for Future Storm Surges Delays Rogers Marvel’s Brooklyn Bridge Park Pierhouse

East
Monday, February 25, 2013
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Rogers Marvel-designed mixed-use building in Brooklyn Bridge Park. (Courtesy Rogers Marvel)

Rogers Marvel-designed mixed-use building in Brooklyn Bridge Park. (Courtesy Rogers Marvel)

While Hurricane Sandy hasn’t slowed development in some parts of Brooklyn, it has delayed the groundbreaking of the Roger Marvel Architects-designed hotel and residential complex at Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park called the Pierhouse. The New York Post reported that the project was originally slated to begin construction this month, but Toll Brothers, the developer, said they will hold off until the redesign of the 159-apartment and 200-room hotel complex is updated with measures meant to protect against future storm surges. Changes include elevating the building three feet, adding steps and ramps to the lobby, and placing the mechanical systems on the roof. This development is paying for a considerable portion—about $3.3 million—of the park’s $16 million annual maintenance budget. Nearby, plans for a velodrome proposed for the park were scrapped in part due to potential flooding of the site.

More renderings after the jump.

New York State Tearing Out Robert Moses State Parkway

East
Friday, February 22, 2013
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Robert Moses State Parkway (Courtesy of Doug Kerr/Flickr)

Robert Moses State Parkway. (Courtesy Doug Kerr/Flickr)

Go Down, Moses, indeed. Highway-removal advocates were awarded a small victory this week as New York State announced it will be tearing out a two-mile expanse of the aptly-named Robert Moses State Parkway (aka the Niagara Falls expressway). The section to be removed runs along the main part of the river gorge and has long been a barrier to pedestrians seeking access to recreation areas.

The Buffalo News reported that some sections of the roadway will be kept, but the long-term plan is to build a multi-use nature trail for sports such as hiking, biking, and cross country skiing. This will be the first time in half a century that residents and visitors will have access to nature trails without the inconvenience of crossing the parkway. There will be car access to the gorge by way of Whirlpool Street, which will be turned into a two-lane parkway. New York State Parks officials anticipate the entire process will take around three years and cost up to $50 million. According to the Buffalo News, “It would also constitute the largest expansion of Niagara parkland since the Niagara Reservation was created in the 1880s.”

AIA Awards 2013 Latrobe Prize to Research Study on Global Urbanization

International, Other
Thursday, February 21, 2013
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AIA College of Fellows Awards 2013 Latrobe Prize for “The City of 7 Billion.” (Courtesy Plan B Architecture & Urbanism)

AIA College of Fellows Awards 2013 Latrobe Prize for “The City of 7 Billion.” (Courtesy Plan B Architecture & Urbanism)

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) College of Fellows announced today that it will award the 2013 Latrobe Prize of $100,000 to the proposal, “The City of 7 Billion.” This ambitious research study will explore how population growth and resource consumption, on a global scale, affects the built and natural environment looking “at the world as a single urban entity.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Wallace Roberts & Todd Designs Affordable Housing for LGBT Seniors in Philadelphia

East, Newsletter
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
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Rendering of the John C. Anderson Apartments. (Courtesy WRT)

Rendering of the John C. Anderson Apartments. (Courtesy WRT)

A new affordable housing project designed by Wallace Roberts & Todd (WRT) is in the works for Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender (LGBT) seniors in the City of Brotherly Love—it will be the second of its kind in the nation. Hidden Philadelphia reported that construction on this 56-unit complex, called the John C. Anderson Apartments, has already commenced and will be located on 13th Street right in the heart of the Washington Square West neighborhood, a part of Philadelphia that has long been home to a gay and lesbian community. The development is named after city councilman John C. Anderson who was “instrumental in the passage of Philadelphia’s civil rights bill for sexual minority people.”

Continue reading after the jump.

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