New York Urbanism Times

East
Friday, March 30, 2012
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Speedbumps and stop signs make way for the proposed "Holly Whyte Way" (Courtesy NYCDOT via The Observer)

Speedbumps and stop signs make way for the proposed "Holly Whyte Way"--aka, Sixth-and-a-half-Avenue. (Courtesy NYCDOT)

Today’s New York Times is packed with urbanism stories, with three articles and two Op-ed pieces that made it to print. First, there’s Speaker Christine Quinn‘s exemption for Related Properties’ Hudson Yards project from the Living Wage bill. Then there are rumblings from Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer‘s office that he isn’t pleased that NYU “seems to be backpedaling” on their 2.2 million square foot proposal. A source says the university may be able to get by on 1.5 million square feet.  “When you propose a plan you know will overwhelm the existing community, you lose credibility with architects, planners and land-use experts, and you lose the heart and soul of a community,” the BP told the paper. But wait there’s more…

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Laurie Olin Ties it Up

National
Thursday, March 29, 2012
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Laurie Olin expounds on the virtues of the bow tie.

Laurie Olin expounds on the virtues of the bow tie.

In an amusing aside, landscape architect Laurie Olin discussed his bow ties on the firm’s blog today. Olin briefly described the style of landscape architects. “Well, there are probably as many styles of dress for landscape architects as there are regions of the world for them to practice in,” he said. And he argued that there is a time and a place for the bow tie. “There are of course clients for whom you wear blue jeans, and events where that’s completely inappropriate.”

Ties in general, he added, are one of the last frontiers in attire for masculine elan. “I think that because there are so few details in men’s clothing and so little ornament, that ties have become uniquely important. It’s one of the last gasps of flair and color for men. Humans respond to color, and it signals various things. It signals that, ‘I’m a wild and crazy guy’ or ‘I’m alive’ or ‘I’m sensible.’”

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Archi-Spring Has Sprung: AN Takes in Three Events Across New York

East
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
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The model of the winning AIDS Memorial by studio a+i.

The model of the winning AIDS Memorial by studio a+i at the Center for Architecture (AN/Stoelker)

It was a busy archi-spring night last night. The Municipal Arts Society held their debate on NYU’s 2031 expansion plan, the AIDS Memorial exhibit opened at the Center for Architecture, and Ralph Walker: Architect of the Century opened at the newly re-dubbed Walker Tower on West 18th Street. Read on for highlights of the MAS debate and to view few photos from the Center and Walker Tower…

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Coney Gets a Gateway

East, Newsletter
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
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The city's plans for a new $11 million entrance to Coney Island beach (Courtesy NYC EDC)

The city's plans for a new $11 million entrance to Coney Island beach (Courtesy NYC EDC via Gothamist)

The New York Post says the city’s plans for the new entrance to Coney Island are just “beachy” and “spectacular” while Gothamist tells readers to “behold …a grand beachfront entrance fit for pharaohs.” The plan replaces the sixty-year-old Eighth Street Bridge with a sweeping new plaza at Tenth Street. The change may be welcome compared to the decayed structure that greets visitors now, but does it have anything to do with the Coney of ‘ol New York? Read More

@MikeBloomberg: #SocialMedia is Complicated! SMH

East
Monday, March 26, 2012
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Demonstrators at the Design Commission Meeting mobilized on their Save Coney Island Facebook page.

Demonstrators at the Design Commission mobilized on their Save Coney Island Facebook page. (Stoelker/AN)

Mayor Bloomberg was in Singapore last Wednesday to accept the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize for sustainable planning, but it was the mayor’s comments on social media got the most play in The New York Times and the New York Post.

“I think this whole world has become a culture of ‘me now,’ rather than for my kids later on,” he was quoted as saying. “Social media is going to make it even more difficult to make long-term investments. We are basically having a referendum on every single thing that we do every day, and it’s very hard for people to stand up and say, ‘No, no. This is what we’re going to do’ when there’s constant criticism and an election process.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Lincoln Center LED Steps on Fritz

East
Thursday, March 15, 2012
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The Lincoln Center LEDs were on the fritz Tuesday night.

The Lincoln Center LEDs were on the fritz Tuesday night.

When the construction blockades at Lincoln Center  renovation finally came down down last year, the flowing crowds and fountain crowding returned. The first impression theater-goers get of the Diller Scofido + Renfro renovation are the flashing from LED lights embedded into the steps facing Columbus Avenue. The lights function as an underfoot marquee with titles of various productions flashing and scrolling across the steps, announcing venues and lighting the path. But last Tuesday night the lights seemed to be on the fritz. Elsewhere, the Hugh Hardy 130 seat theater addition atop the Vivian Beaumont Theater is nearing completion…

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Rudin Reaches Agreement for AIDS Memorial

East
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
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The AIDS Memorial winner "Infinite Forest" by Brooklyn-based studio a+i will be substantially scaled back for Triangle Park.

The AIDS Memorial Park winner "Infinite Forest" will be substantially scaled back for Triangle Park. (Courtesy studio a+i)

With the prodding of  City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the Rudin Management Company agreed to hand over the the last smidgen of property at Triangle Park  for use in an AIDS memorial. The park sits across the street from St. Vincent’s Hospital where so many AIDS patients were cared for and died. After months, indeed years, of wrangling, the gateway park to the West Village will move forward largely as originally planned, with M. Paul Friedberg incorporating components of the memorial by AIDS Memorial Competition winner studio a+i into the park design. The 1,600 square foot memorial will sit at the park’s westernmost edge, replacing a triangular building that stored oxygen tanks for the now defunct hospital.

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Circling Inwood Hill: the Unexpected Land Art of Young Jee

East
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
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The land art of Young Gee began appearing in Inwood Hill Park nearly a year ago.

The land art of Young Jee began appearing in Inwood Hill Park nearly a year ago. (Stoelker/AN)

The series of clean-lined circles carved into the earth at the top of Inwood Hill Park began appearing about a year ago. With fresh rainfall, they’d be gone. Their disappearance seemed almost as important as their appearance, calling attention to areas of the forest that park-goers might otherwise overlook. The circles appeared in snowfall, then melted away. The creator is Young Jee. Over the past year, Jee’s circles have become more elaborate, with textures made from wood chips, pine, and pebbles. Last Sunday, outlines of sticks were used and circles morphed into curvacious striations. Full vistas came into view.

More photos after the jump.

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Design for Final Segment of High Line Revealed!

East, Newsletter
Monday, March 12, 2012
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The 30th Street Passage will move through Hudson Yards Tower C and lead visitors toward the offshoot section of the High Line called the Tenth Avenue Spur.

The 30th Street Passage will move through Hudson Yards Tower C and lead visitors toward the offshoot section of the High Line called the Tenth Avenue Spur.

Tonight, the design team from the High Line will present plans for Section 3 to the community.  Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe will introduce James Corner from the project’s lead team, James Corner Field Operations, and Ricardo Scofidio from Diller Scofidio + Renfro. High Line co-founder Robert Hammond will moderate a post presentation discussion.

Unlike the last two sections of the High Line, Section 3 will be intimately integrated with one major developer, as opposed to a variety of property owners and stakeholders. From 30th to 34th Street, the High Line wraps around Hudson Yards, the 12 million square foot office and residential district being developed by Related Companies. Much of the new section will be built cheek by jowl with Related’s construction. At the westernmost section overlooking the Hudson River, an interim walkway will span the existing self-seeded landscape, so as coordinated design efforts alongside Related’s development and give Friends of the High Line time to raise more funds.

The estimated total cost of capital construction on the High Line at the rail yards is $90 million. Construction is expected to be complete by the end of 2013 with a full public opening in spring 2014.

Check out more renderings after the jump.

DS+R Takes it Higher.  DS+R was selected to design a new residential tower at Hudson Yards, adjacent to the third section of the High Line.DS+R was selected to design a new residential tower at Hudson Yards, adjacent to the third section of the High Line. Diller Scofidio + Renfro is climbing ever higher near the High Line with their first ever skyscraper.  The Wall Street Journal reports that the firm was selected by Related Development to work with the Rockwell Group on an 800 foot tall, 700 unit residential building that will play well with its architectural cousin next door. Elizabeth Diller tells the paper the architects are “very conscious of the adjacency to the High Line.” Indeed. DS+R, along with Field Operations, will be unveiling plans for the third and final section of the High Line at a community meeting tonight. Public School 11 Auditorium 
320 West 21st, RSVP to railyards@thehighline.org.

 

SHoP’n the South Street Seaport

East
Friday, March 9, 2012
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The overview of SHoPs redesign of the Pier 17 at South Street Seaport.

The overview of SHoPs redesign of the Pier 17 at South Street Seaport. (Courtesy SHoP)

Last night,  SHoP‘s Gregg Pasquarelli presented plans  to Community Board 1 for South Street Seaport’s Pier 17. Not surprisingly, the reception was positive. The design is a huge departure from the desolate barn-like mall developed by the Rouse Corporation in the 1980s, where to this day nachos and tropical cocktails remain de rigueur. The new owner, the Howard Hughes Corporation, hopes to bring New Yorkers back to one of the most spectacular sites in town, while welcoming tourists and not quarantining them in a thematic trap.

Angelica Trevino and Thorsten Kiefer are SHoP’s project managers. In a telephone interview, Trevino parsed the details…

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Pictorial> An Artistic Tour of Rudolph’s Ill-Starred Government Center

East
Thursday, March 8, 2012
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The Orange County Government Center by Paul Rudolph faces an uncertain future. (Courtesy Aracelis Diamantis).

The Orange County Government Center by Paul Rudolph faces an uncertain future. (Courtesy Aracelis Diamantis).

[This photo essay accompanies AN's recent article on the pending demise of Paul Rudolph's Orange County Government Center in New York. Read more here.]

The day before Orange County Executive Director Eddie Diana presented plans for replacing architect Paul Rudolph‘s Orange County Government Center, AN took a trip up to Goshen, New York with photographer Aracelis Diamantis to check out the scene. Diamantis ditched her SLR in favor of a Hipstimatic app on her iPhone. The effect gave the building a haunted-Brutalist-house quality and amplified the the architect’s multi-textured use of concrete.

View pictorial after the jump.

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