When the attention of real estate speculators diverts, sometimes old neighborhoods have time to acquire a majestic patina. The Washington Heights section of northern Manhattan has been neglected for some time, but is now getting a fair share of spillover interest from Columbia’s Manhattanville project and the university’s nearby hospital campus. In 2009, the Audubon Park Historic District was created to protect the area just behind Audubon Terrace, home to the Hispanic Society and the Academy of Arts and Letters. But just north of the district, years of landlord neglect has unwittingly preserved row after row of early 20th century apartment buildings festooned with ornate cornices. But the cornices are now in danger of disappearing.
Who wouldn’t want buy into an eco-conscious, sustainable, and affordable apartment building whose Grimshaw/Dattner-designed architecture received rave reviews on the front page of the New York Times? With more than 40 of the 75 co-ops still available at Via Verde, the gang at developer Jonathan Rose Co. and Dattner are giving the project the full media push. Jonathan Rose’s Ari Goldstein and Dattner’s Bill Stein were on New York 1 this morning promoting the design and high living standards. The 151 rental units of this muli-income complex were snapped up right away. But while the co-ops sales aren’t exactly flagging, they’re not exactly flying off the shelves in this economy.
Manhattan Community Board 2 unanimously voted against the NYU expansion plan in Greenwich Village last night citing the impact its scale would have on the neighborhood. Grimshaw with Toshiko Mori designed four of the proposed towers and Michael Van Valkenburgh designed the landscape for the 2.4 million square foot expansion. The plans were set within two superblocks that sprang from Robert Moses-era urban renewal projects that featured buildings by I.M. Pei, Paul Lester Weiner, and a garden by Hideo Sasaki.
This Monday, February 27 at 6:30p.m., the Van Alen Institute and the Austrian Cultural Forum are hosting a panel discussion on urban mapping and participatory public discourse in the city at the Austrian Cultural Forum of New York. The event celebrates the publishing of Sophie Hochhäusl’s new book Otto Neurath – City Planning: Proposing a Socio-Political Map for Modern Urbanism (Innsbruck University Press, 2011) and Otto Neurath, an Austrian philosopher and economist who studied maps in search of “humanizing knowledge.”
**2/27 Breaking news: The New Yorker‘s Paul Goldberger will be joining the panel discussion. Critical mass!
Monday, February 27
Architecture Criticism Today
Center for Architecture
536 LaGuardia Place
Who is best served by criticism? Who is the proper audience? Can it simultaneously serve the profession and the wider public, or are they mutually exclusive? How has role of general-interest media critics evolved? As a project comes to life, at what point(s) should critics weigh in?
The first of a four-part series on Architecture and the Media will address some of these questions, when architecture critics discuss the role of criticism in the field of architecture today and how it informs the general public’s understanding of design.
AN‘s executive editor Julie Iovine will moderate a panel discussion among architecture critics at consumer, business and trade publications: Justin Davidson (New York Magazine), Cathleen McGuigan (Architectural Record), and James Russell (Bloomberg), with audience Q&A to follow.
1.5 CEUs; $10 for members and students; $20 non-members. TICKETS
Organized by the Oculus Committee, the AIANY Marketing & PR Committee, and The Architect’s Newspaper.
While most design students are starting the scramble for plum summer internships, Tina Uznanski can rest easy, knowing a desk with her name on it will be waiting at Gensler’s London office. Uzanski, an interior design student at the Pratt Institute, has received Gensler’s annual Brinkmann Scholarship, winning a paid summer internship at the Gensler office of her choice and a cash prize to be put toward her final year of study at Pratt. The award was established in 1999 as a memorial to interior designer and former Gensler partner Donald G. Brinkmann.
Uznanski won the competition with her clever concept for a renovation of her neighborhood library in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, that creates a flexible room through “shifting stacks.” images after the jump
Luka Fineisen: Phase Transitions
531 West 36th St.
Through March 31
“Phase transition” refers to the transformation of a thermodynamic system from one state of matter to another. German artist Luka Fineisen explores these shifts by framing the moment of transformation from one condition to another; she sculpts dynamic systems, the final work of art being the system’s realization of potential. In this way, even sculptures that appear static, such as Bubbles (above, 2010), draw attention to the temporality of material—this is not plastic, but a material in search of its form. This will be Fineisen’s first solo exhibition in the United States.
Dan Flavin: Drawing
The Morgan Library & Museum
225 Madison Ave.
February 17 to July 1
The Morgan Library & Museum exhibits for the first time the drawings of Dan Flavin, ranging from early abstract expressionist watercolors to studies for installations to modern and classic works from his personal collection. While he is known for his fluorescent light installations, Flavin was an avid draftsman; he developed compositions, like In Honor of Harold Joachim, above, with ink and colored pencil on graph paper. Striking in their sparseness, his more representational sketches of landscapes, sailboats, and portraits have minimalist and calligraphic qualities that harken to the Japanese drawings in the artist’s personal collection. Two of Flavin’s major light installations are also installed in the gallery.
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Architects and fabricators discuss creating facades in the digital age
Yesterday The Architect’s Newspaper and the Ornamental Metal Institute of New York presented their first-ever educational conference at McGraw-Hill Auditorium in New York. More than 250 professionals and students attended the event, themed Metals in Construction, which addressed facade design in an age when skilled collaboration between architects, consultants, and fabricators can more than ever affect a building’s performance and longevity. The day began with a presentation by Bill Zahner, who spoke of his company’s forward-looking work with metal facades, then moved into discussions covering everything from new retrofit strategies to the latest projects from Zaha Hadid Architects with the firm’s director, Patrik Schumacher.
The day also included the official announcement of a new international alliance of academics, professional designers, hardware and software developers and digital fabricators. Born out of a regional organization known as Tex-Fab, the group will be called Digital Fabrication Alliance and offered a look at the kind of minds it will be bringing together at future events with a panel discussion with Phillip Anzalone, Anna Dyson, and Erik Verboon. Read on for AN‘s coverage of the day’s events: