World Trade Weekly: White Out Edition

East, East Coast
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
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[ As the World Trade Center continues its ascent, AN stops by the massive construction site for a weekly update, nevermind the weather! ]

This week, through a haze of snow, we got a glimpse of the last bits of the former Deutsche Bank building. Shrouded behind a fence covered in blue nylon, the once 41-story tower is the last remaining physical remnant of 9/11 to be cleared away piece by piece.

With visibility low, the sounds of the site take over.  From this vantage, the groaning sound of metal being bent and twisted distinguishes itself from sounds of construction, the swirl of cement inside mixers, the hum of truck engines, and the rhythmic clang of metal banging on metal.

More construction photos after the jump.

Seward Park Redevelopment Clears Major Hurdle

East
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
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Residents took to the floor before the CB3 Land Use Committee approved the SPURA guidelines.

Last night, the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA) took a giant step forward after 44 years of contentious debate. Community Board 3′s Land Use, Zoning, Public and Private Housing Committee approved guidelines for development of the city-owned land at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge.

Continue reading after the jump.

desigNYC Announces 2011 Matches

East
Friday, January 21, 2011
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Robin Key Landscape Architects at Serviam Gardens (Courtesy DesigNYC)

Robin Key Landscape Architects with Serviam Gardens (Courtesy DesigNYC)

DesigNYC, an organization that pairs nonprofits with designers, has announced its matches for the coming year. The teams applied individually for consideration last fall and were selected by a jury drawn from desigNYC’s leadership (a high-powered group of New York-based architects, designers and thinkers–check out the list here).

Yesterday the new crop of designers, who offer their services pro bono, met their designated nonprofits and designNYC advisors at a kick-off event at the Art Director’s Club in Manhattan.

Read more after the jump.

Solar Decathlon Booted From the National Mall?

East
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
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Setting up shop on the National Mall (Annie Coghill/Solar Decathlon)

Setting up shop on the National Mall in 2009 (Annie Coghill/Solar Decathlon)

The U.S. Department of Energy, sponsor of the prestigious Solar Decathlon — devised to encourage ideas for a more cost-effective, energy-efficient solar house— has announced mid way through this year’s student design competition that they will be abandoning post on the National Mall, where the previous four events have been held since 2002. 20 teams totaling more than 1,000 students have been developing their site-specific entries for over a year, and the news comes as a huge disappointment, and inconvenience. Some have threatened to drop out. Others are working to reverse the decision before a new site is named.

And not everyone’s happy with the move…

The Art of Abandonment

East
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
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(image via WebUrbanist)

Buffalo-based architect Dennis Maher has devised his own version of adaptive reuse – he’s remaking abandoned buildings into sculptures. Inspired by the shrinking Rust Belt city where he lives and works, his sculptures “honor the former lives of these raw materials” in a way that is striking and thought-provoking. The large works of art in Undone-Redone City are complex, and offer us a new way of seeing buildings, or at least their elements. In Maher’s creations, a door and some flooring and a window frame might all mesh together to form a new shape and a new function that the original builders probably never imagined.
Click through for a slideshow of Maher’s sculptures.

World Trade Weekly: White Dots Edition

East, In Construction
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
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At first glance, it seems that the riot of square white panels suddenly appeared on the base of One World Trade, but  photos from the past few weeks show that they were going up all along. Closeup shots taken today reveal metal bolts protruding out from the panels. The curtain wall fasteners for the metallic scrim?

Read More

Williamsburg Galleries on the Verge

East
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
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Verge, the satallite art fair, comes to DUMBO in March.

Verge, the satallite art fair, comes to DUMBO in March. (Photo courtesy Julia Rubinic/flickr)

The satellite art fair Verge is ruffling a few painted feathers at galleries in Williamsburg. After the announcement last week that the Miami-based art fair was coming to the borough in an event coinciding with the Armory Show from March 3 to 6, several Billyburg gallery owners balked.  The event, called Art Brooklyn, would conflict with Brooklyn Armory Gallery Hop, which Williamsburg Gallery Association has held the past seven years. Recently, the not for profit Best of Brooklyn helped hype the annual event through Brooklyn Tourism and smART Brooklyn, an initiative of the Borough President’s office promoting the borough’s gallery districts.

More on the controversy after the jump.

Robert Moses Goes to the Opera

East
Thursday, January 13, 2011
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Robert Moses in 1938 (Courtesy CUNY)

Robert Moses in 1938 (Courtesy CUNY)

This Saturday, January 15, the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra will lift their bows and the ghost of Robert Moses will flood the World Financial Center Winter Garden. Gary S. Fagin composed Robert Moses Astride New York from which the music will be drawn. A vocal performance by Rinde Eckert will accompany the score, but best of all, it’s free.

Singing on Moses after the jump.

World Trade Weekly: The Steel Web of Snohetta

East
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
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Photos by Tom Stoelker

Each week, AN plays tourist at the World Trade Center construction site. Here’s the latest.

Last night’s snowstorm was a dud when compared to the Boxing Day Blizzard. But a half hour walk around the WTC site reveals just how much extra work the weather can add to a day’s labor. By noon, workers were still shoveling out of the mess, removing snow laden tarps and generally slogging through the grayish black mess.

Are those trident columns we see inside that Snøhetta?

An Architectural Approach to Security in Brooklyn

East
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
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Following 9/11 many locations around the city were walled-off with Jersey barriers. In the years since, better urban design has sometimes prevailed. Such is the case with the new bollards and security booths that replaced the Jersey barriers at Metrotech in downtown Brooklyn. Designed by WXY architecture + urban design, the prefabricated security booths–six in total–have a subtle, trapezoidal shape that makes them appear thinner than they are. Read More

Sustainism to Debut at New York Public Library

East
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
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Isms, isms, everywhere. It would seem that a movement is not validated until it gets an “ism.” This Wednesday “Sustainism” will be launched at the New York Public Library when authors Michiel Schwarz & Joost Elffers discuss their new book, Sustainism is the New Modernism (Distributed Art Publishers, $24.95).

But what exactly does Sustainism mean? Read on!

Student-Built Tiny House No Small Feat

East
Monday, January 10, 2011
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Students will sell the Tiny House in the spring (Courtesy Green Mountain College)

Students will sell the Tiny House in the spring (Courtesy Green Mountain College)

Students enrolled in a sustainable design-build course at Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont closed out 2010 by building their own house – a rather tiny house. Covering a mere 96 square feet, the structure cost only $20 a foot for a total price tag well under $2,000. No small feat for a bespoke building, especially considering this tiny house has gone green in a big way.

Click through for a tiny bit more.

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