LPC Approves Plans for Governors Island.  Pentagram's Welcome Wall at Soissons Landing. (Courtesey West 8) In a unanimous decision, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the first phase of plans by the Trust for Governors Island to restore and revamp the island. The vision includes a paisley-like landscape by West 8 on the terrace in front of McKim, Mead and White designed Liggett Hall. Way-finding by Pentagram and lighting by Susan Tillotson also made the cut. For a detailed breakdown of the designs click here.

 

Book Launch> Four Conversations

East
Monday, February 6, 2012
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Last Friday's book launch for AN's Bill Menking and Aaron Levy's Four Conversations on the Architecture of Discourse (Stoelker/AN).

The crowd listened at last Friday's book launch for AN's William Menking and Aaron Levy's Four Conversations on the Architecture of Discourse at the Van Alen Bookstore (Stoelker/AN).

Last Friday night, AN‘s William Menking and Aaron Levy launched their new book Four Conversations on the Architecture of Discourse at the Van Alen Bookstore in Chelsea. The book’s publisher, Thomas Weaver of the Architectural Association in London, and the Van Alen’s Olympia Kazi we on hand to help frame the evening’s discourse on discourse.

The new book springs from an earlier effort called Architecture on Display: the History of the Venice Biennale of Architecture, aka “the white book.” In true manifesto fashion, the group sidestepped the official Biennale promo machine by publishing the white book outside of the established Biennale channels and then blanketed the 2010 festival with more than 600 copies.  That book transcribed interviews with former Biennale directors and recovered an important history of the forum. From that quick and dirty approach emerged a longer term plot for the “black book” of Four Conversations, which focused architectural display and its relationship to the public.

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BIG Heart Gets a Second Chance in Times Square

East
Monday, February 6, 2012
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(Courtesy BIG / Times Square Alliance)

(Courtesy BIG / Times Square Alliance)

Last year, BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) got their heart broken by the Times Square Alliance, which chose a hula-hoop happy design by Freecell Studio for its annual Times Square Valentine’s installation. Now a spokesperson from the Alliance admits that they always “loved” BIG’s design and were willing to give it a second chance.  This year, the Alliance didn’t go online looking for love. Instead, they went back to a former flirtation, and chose BIG’s entry from last year, shunning the possibility of outside suitors.

BIG calls its 10-foot high glowing heart sculpture “BIG♥NYC.” The design affair was something of a ménage à quatre, with Flatcut (the fabricator),  Local Projects (the interaction designers), and Zumtobel (the lighting designers) pitching in on the effort. Four-hundred LED-lit acrylic tubes wrap a cube that bounds a suspended heart. Not surprisingly, when touched the heart grows brighter.

Slideshow> WTC Update: Compare and Contrast, Then and Now

East
Friday, February 3, 2012
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One World Trade in January of last year (left) and today.

One World Trade in January of last year (left) and today.

It’s been one year since we began walking the circumference of the World Trade Center site and taking photos of the progress. A lot can happen in a year. The city and state are in a tussle over the Memorial Museum  bringing construction there to a halt.  Larry Silverstein has threatened to cap Tower Three at at seven stories instead of 80 if he doesn’t get a lead tenant by the end of the year.  Pat Foye, the new head of the Port Authority has called the PA’s Trade Center focus a “mission drift” and ordered a special committee to audit the years overseen by his predecessor, Chris Ward.  And now The New York Post reports that the underground loading dock for One World Trade won’t be completed by the time the first tenants move in.

News from the last couple of months has been so bad that we thought we’d sift through some of our old photos to focus on the work that was completed over the past year.  And while One World Trade continues its march upward (it’s nearing the 1,776 feet), other projects on or near the site are almost complete or are on schedule to be finished in the next couple of years. Brookfield‘s renovations of the World Financial Center have begun. Work at Fulton Street Transit Station by Grimshaw continues to chug forward. CUNY’s Fiterman Hall by Pei Cobb Freed was recently capped.  And a new visitors center for the memorial opened on West Street.

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NYC Gears Up for Bike Share…but Where?

East
Thursday, February 2, 2012
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AIANY's Rick Bell and ArchNewsNow's Kristen Richards check out the new bikes.

AIANY's Rick Bell and ArchNewsNow's Kristen Richards check out the new bikes. (Stoelker/AN)

To hell with what Pennsylvania groundhog Punxsutawney Phil says about there being six more weeks of winter; if you want a true harbinger of spring, head over the Center for Architecture for a last chance to check out the “Two Wheel Transit” show mounted by the DEP for their bike share program that going to be launched in the spring. The show teases out some of the details of the plan that will add rentable public bikes to the New York City’s transit options.  The exhibit closes this Saturday, but if you don’t make it over in time, you can go to one of the community bike share workshops that begin on Monday. The first meeting will be held at 25 Carmine Street. The workshops will give New Yorkers a chance to comment on where to put the 600 bike stations.

Continue reading after the jump.

Studio a+i Takes First Place for AIDS Memorial

East, Newsletter
Monday, January 30, 2012
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Brooklyn's A+I Studio's winning entry: "Infinite Forest"

Brooklyn's studio a+i winning entry: Infinite Forest.

Brooklyn’s studio a+i walked away with first place for their design, Infinite Forest, in a competition to envision an AIDS Memorial at Triangle Park in Manhattan’s West Village. The memorial is intended to sit on the site of a small garden and garage directly across the street from the former St. Vincent’s Hospital, considered by many to be ground zero of the AIDS epidemic. The announcement comes just one week after the plans for the former hospital site by Rudin Management were approved by City Planning. For the memorial, three walls would bind the park with mirrors on the interior and slate on the exterior. The mirrors would reflect a grove of white birch trees. Park entrances are at three corners of the triangle. The space between the mirror and slate walls also act as light wells and entrances for a museum intended to go beneath the park. There are no markers with names or dates for the 100,000-plus New Yorkers who died of AIDS; instead, visitors are encouraged to write on the slate walls with chalk, “creating an ever-changing mural which is refreshed with every rain.”

The Infinite Forest design team included Mateo Paiva, Lily Lim, John Thurtle, Insook Kim, and Esteban Erlich, with a rendering by Guillaume Paturel.  The competition, which received more than 475 entries, was a collaboration between the Queer History Alliance,  Architizer.com, and Architectural RecordView the plan after the jump

Slideshow> Revamped Seaport Museum Opens: Old Salts Meet Occupy Wall St.

East
Thursday, January 26, 2012
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The "Hand Held Devices" gallery.(AN/Stoelker)

The "Hand Held Devices" gallery. (AN/Stoelker)

A revamped South Street Seaport Museum shook off the dust last night to reopen after a three-month renovation overseen by the Museum of the City of New York. The exhibits were both a departure from and an embrace of the old collection.  The design team, particularly Wendy Evans Joseph and Chris Cooper of Cooper Joseph Studio, turned what could have been a cramped exhibition arrangement into a free-flowing multi-leveled space.

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Brooklyn Skyscraper District Clears Key Council Vote

East
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
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Brooklyn's borough hall sits at the heart of the new historic district.

Brooklyn's Borough Hall sits at the heart of the new historic district.

Despite a very public effort by the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) to stop City Council’s landmarks subcommittee from approving Downtown Brooklyn’s skyscraper district, the measure passed, paving the way for a full Council vote on February 1.  As the proposed district always had full support of Council Member Stephen Levin and Borough President Marty Markowitz, it wasn’t likely that REBNY’s shot across the bow would make much of a difference. But it may point to a more assertive stance by the group which has been decrying layers of regulations from Lanmarks and ULURP.

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City Planning Approves Rudin’s St. Vincent’s Plan

East
Monday, January 23, 2012
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A VIEW LOOKING EAST THROUGH THE TRIANGLE PARK PLAN BY M. PAUL FRIEDBERG AND PARTNERS. (COURTESY WESTSIDE HEALTHCARE COALITION)

A VIEW LOOKING EAST THROUGH THE TRIANGLE PARK PROPOSED BY M. PAUL FRIEDBERG AND PARTNERS. (COURTESY WESTSIDE HEALTHCARE COALITION)

City Planning approved the Rudin development family’s plan for the old St. Vincent’s Hospital Site today allowing the Rudin Managment company to build an $800 million multi-use complex. The plan includes 450 luxury condos, a 564-seat school, 15,000 square-foot-public park, and street-level retail. The St. Vincent’s plan went through a bevy of iterations before finally arriving at today’s approval.

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DDC Officially Adds Parks and Sanitation to Roster

East
Friday, January 20, 2012
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Construction of the Dattner/WXY designed Sanitation Garage at Spring Street will now be overseen by DDC. (Courtesy Dattner)

Construction of the Dattner and WXY-designed Sanitation Garage at Spring Street will now be overseen by DDC. (Courtesy Dattner)

The New York City Department of Design and Construction is now managing the majority of capital construction for the Department of Sanitation and the Department of Parks. DDC spokesperson John Ryan Martine confirmed that the agency is now officially responsible, adding that the shift was  in response to a request from City Hall to facilitate consolidation. The DDC already works closely with both departments. For example, DDC will be responsible for the design and renovation of Tavern on the Green. Recently, Sanitation ceded responsibility to DDC for construction of its controversial garage at Spring Street designed by Dattner and WXY.

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Upper West Side Mom & Pops Get Boost from Planning

East, Newsletter
Thursday, January 19, 2012
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(Montage based on photos by Ed Yourdon and Ken Fager / Flickr)

(Montage based on photos by Ed Yourdon and Ken Fager / Flickr)

While the city has kept Walmart at bay—for now—banks and/or drugstores continue to consume two, three, and sometimes four or five consecutive storefronts in many parts of the city. The Upper West Side has been particularly hard hit because most of its side streets are residential. The neighborhood primarily relies on the north/south corridors of Broadway, Amsterdam, and Columbus for its shopping needs. After hearing citywide complaints about the problem, City Planning has begun to address the issue through the West Side Neighborhood Retail Streets Initiative.

Continue reading after the jump.

Chelsea Hotel Charm Offensive

East
Thursday, January 12, 2012
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Yaddo on 23rd? Smith wants an artist in residence. (Stoelker/AN)

Yaddo on 23rd Street? Smith wants artists-in-residence. (Stoelker/AN)

The Chelsea Hotel management and architect Gene Kaufman launched a charm offensive last night in the hotel’s “Grand Ballroom.” Patti Smith came to sing and read poetry to a small media and arts crowd. Tonight, Smith will return to perform for residents. The artist is a longtime hotel alum who launched her career from Room 203. Kaufman and his client, hotel owner Joseph Chetrit, have been taking a beating in the press and in the courts for their renovations of 127 year-old hotel. Smith reached out to Kaufman, helping him to make good on a promise that the hotel would continue to foster the arts.

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