Partying for the World Architectural Festival

East, East Coast
Thursday, February 3, 2011
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Paul Finch welcomes the New York crowd to the launch of World Architecture Festival 2011

The 2011 World Architecture Festival was in town beating the drum for their international competition at the Van Alen Institute last night. Paul Finch, the festival’s program director, was joined by AN Editor-in-Chief William Menking and Van Alen Chair Abbey Hamlin in hosting the star-studded event.

The frigid weather did not deter a distinguished crowd—white maned Richard Meier, red scarved Bernard Tschumi, man of the hour Thomas Leeser, Parks Commish Adrian Benepe—from celebrating what promises to be a hot ticket this November in Barcelona. With his English lilt Finch thanked the crowd for coming and promised his remarks would steer clear of Ricky Gervais territory.

He briefly outlined some of the goals for this year’s program, which included a bigger tent to incorporate interior architecture as well. While no hat was passed, Finch did say that the organization would be happy to take donations in any denomination. Jan Berman of MechoShade promptly offered to make a donation in lira.

Check out a gallery of the festivities after the jump.

World Trade Weekly: Lunch Break Edition

East, East Coast
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
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[ As the World Trade Center continues its ascent, AN stops by the massive construction site for a weekly update. ]

Lunchtime at the World Trade Center site is a colorful sight even on an overcast and foggy day. Hundreds of construction workers in bright yellow and orange safety vests pour into neighborhood delis and pizza joints, but most crowd into the tiny local gourmet food store, the Amish Market. There, burly gents in hard hats hum to the Nat King Cole soundtrack while choosing prosciutto over pastrami. Make no mistake, these guys know food.

Back at the site, just two bays of the Deutsche Bank remain to tear down, a row of windows appeared on the northwest corner of One World Trade, and the steel mullions for a glass curtain wall began to wrap their way around Snøhetta‘s Museum Pavilion.

A photo tour of the construction site just after the jump.

Turrets, Trumpets, and Baseball Greats

East, East Coast, Newsletter
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
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Addisleigh Park residents clockwise from top: Ella Fitzgerald, Count Bassie, Fats Waller, Milt Hinton, Jackie Robinson and Lena Horne. (Courtesy: NYC LPC, Jazzagemusic.com)

Yesterday morning, after a bevy of Modernist aficionados crowded into the Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing room to tout the merits of Bunshaft’s interiors at the  Manufacturers Hanover Trust, the commission turned their focus to two historic African American neighborhoods: Sandy Ground in Staten Island and Addisleigh Park in Queens. The unanimous vote for the landmarks designations passed on the first day of Black History Month.

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Bunshaft Deconstructed?

East, East Coast
Monday, January 31, 2011
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Manufacturer’s Trust Company, Fifth Avenue, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, New York, NY, 1954 Gelatin Silver Print © Ezra Stoller, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York

The Landmarks Preservation Commission has put the Gordon Bunshaft-designed Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company Building onto its Public Meeting/Public Hearing agenda for tomorrow morning at 9:30AM. Up for discussion will be the building’s first and second floor interiors, including the entrance lobby, escalators, teller counters, and floor and ceiling surfaces.

The iconic vault designed by Henry Dreyfuss, which is visible from Fifth Avenue, and Harry Bertoia’s multifaceted metallic screen both made it on to the agenda. But according to Theodore Grunewald of the Coalition to Save MHT, the Bertoia has already been removed by Chase Bank, the sculpture’s owner.

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Condo Cluster at the Cloisters?

East, East Coast
Thursday, January 27, 2011
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Four proposed residential towers near The Cloisters in Northern Manhattan could transform the uptown skyline. (Courtesy Quadriad)

Four proposed residential towers near The Cloisters in Northern Manhattan could transform the uptown skyline. (Courtesy Quadriad)

Quadriad Reality is in negotiations to acquire land at Broadway and 190th Street in order to build four towers ranging from 22 to 44 stories. If the proposals go forward they could represent the one of the largest residential developments above 155th Street in more than a generation.

Read more after the jump.

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.

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