Friday Video: Little Plane Flies Through Big City

East
Friday, December 3, 2010
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It’s Friday afternoon, so why not take a joy ride through the skies of New York?  Gothamist uncovered this amazing video of a homemade RC airplane with a video camera attached to its nose making its way among the skyscrapers and bridges of New York.  Makes for some pretty amazing footage!

Models of Freedom: Architectural Model-Maker Featured on Television

East
Friday, December 3, 2010
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Models by Radii Inc. were the focus of a Fox News feature last night. (Photo: Photo Jock Pottle)

Fox News featured Ed Wood and Leszek Stefanski of Radii Inc. last night, giving viewers a behind the scenes glance at a craft little known outside of architectural circles. Wood explained the relevance of architectural models in the face of advances in computer animation. He noted that there is, perhaps, a kind of dishonesty to the flat screen. “The physical model allows freedom,” he said. It was a sound bite that no doubt gelled with Fox producers, who promptly posted the video to their “Rise of Freedom” website under the subtitle “Designing Freedom.”

Frenemies of Yore: Olmsted & Vaux

East
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
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Alexander Garvin signs books at a literary breakfast hosted by the Bryant Park Corporation and 34th Street Partnership.

No soggy Wednesday morning in New York could deter park aficionados, urban planners, and assorted Olmstedians from attending a talk and book signing by Alexander Garvin and Robert Twombly. The former head of planning at the LMDC, Garvin is the author of Public Parks: The Key to Livable Communities (W.W. Norton, $59.95), just hitting the bookstores this week. Twombly’s Frederick Law Olmsted: Essential Texts (W.W. Norton, $24.95), came out this past summer.

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New York Expands Pop-Up Cafe Program in 2011

City Terrain, East
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
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Returning the street to pedestrians with pop-up cafe's (Courtesy RG Architecture)

Returning the street to pedestrians with pop-up cafe’s (Courtesy RG Architecture)

Could 2011 be the year of the pedestrian in New York? Under the guidance of DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, NYC sidewalks will continue their slow march into the street next year as the city launches a major expansion of its “pop-up café” pilot program across its five boroughs.

The first pop-up café tested out in Lower Manhattan this year proved successful enough that Sadik-Khan has expanded the program, planning for up to 12 sidewalk extensions.

And they’re good for business. Read more after the jump.

I Saloni Kicks Off Street Walking Event

East, Pictorial
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
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Italian Trade Commission President Umberto Vattani cuts ribbon with Cosmit President Carlo Gugliemi and Federlegno-Arredo President Rosario Messina.

A weeklong celebration of Italian art and design kicked off last night at Scavolini, the haute kitchen emporium in Soho. Italian officials, architects, designers, and a sprinkling of royalty in attendance gave the event a mixture of gravitas and glamour.

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Rose Window is Lower East Side’s Newest Star

East
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
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It’s official. The multi-decade restoration of the historic Eldridge Street Synagogue is now truly complete with the recent installation of the new rose window that we told you about last February.

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Philly Considers Times Square′s Forbidden Fruit

East
Monday, November 29, 2010
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Proposal for Philly's East Market Street (Courtesy Philly Daily News)

Proposal for Philly's East Market Street (Courtesy Philly Daily News)

Philly’s East Market Street could offer a small slice of Times Square’s neon nightlife if a proposed “commercial advertising district” makes it through City Council.  Developers and billboard proponents are betting that digital advertising signs will keep tourists shopping – and spending – downtown, but the Philadelphia Daily News says not everyone is going along for the ride.

More: If you build a billboard, will they come?

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A Thousand Drops of Light in Madison Square Park

East
Monday, November 29, 2010
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Scattered Light installation by Jim Campbell (Photo by James Ewing courtesy Madison Square Park Conservancy)

Scattered Light installation by Jim Campbell (Photo by James Ewing courtesy Madison Square Park Conservancy)

Upon first stumbling across this massive array of 2,000 LED lights encased in standard light bulbs in Madison Square Park a few weeks ago, I thought holiday decoration had come a little early to the Flatiron’s front yard, but as shadowed figures began moving across the field of light, it became apparent that this installation by artist Jim Campbell was something special.

More info and a couple videos after the jump.

Hudson Square Pushes to Reclaim Pedestrian Space

East, East Coast
Monday, November 22, 2010
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Street scene in  Hudson Square (Courtesy Hudson Square Connection)

Street scene in Hudson Square (Courtesy Hudson Square Connection)

A major transformation of the once-industrial Hudson Square neighborhood in Lower Manhattan aims to bring pedestrian vitality to streets originally designed for delivery trucks servicing printing houses.  Crain’s reports that Hudson Square Connections, the local business improvement district, has selected a design group led by Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects from a pool of 23 respondents to create a new streetscape to improve the area’s image.

More on the plan to balance the area’s changing demographics.

The Straw That Broke the Silver Towers' Back

East, East Coast
Friday, November 19, 2010
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Fourth tower at NYU cancelled (Rendering courtesy Grimshaw and MVVA)

The proposed fourth tower at NYU is being reconsidered. (Rendering courtesy Grimshaw and MVVA)

I.M. Pei speaks and NYU listens. The university announced this week that plans for a Grimshaw-designed residential highrise planned for Pei’s landmarked Silver Towers block will be scrapped after the architect expressed disapproval over the project. The proposed 400-foot tower set amid three original concrete structures had been a point of conflict between NYU and its neighbors.

Read more after the jump.

Fortress Ground Zero? Security Tactics Debated for WTC Towers

East
Friday, November 19, 2010
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The Memorial and 1 World Trade Center rise. (Photo: LMCCC)

On Wednesday, architects and developers gathered to hear colleagues hold forth on the topic of “Innovation by Necessity” at New York’s Center for Architecture, a panel that seemed to promise a semi-sleepy discussion of building information modeling (BIM) at the World Trade Center site. But after several speakers outlined the logistics of the vast construction project, the panel veered into another topic entirely: an eye-opening primer on security strategies at Ground Zero.

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Envisioning a Green Future for the BQE

East, East Coast
Thursday, November 18, 2010
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"Green Canopy" proposal for the BQE (Courtesy Starr Whitehouse)

"Green Canopy" proposal for the BQE (Courtesy Starr Whitehouse)

The proposals are in after Monday’s final public meeting to decide the future of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway trench which severs the Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, and Columbia Street Waterfront neighborhoods of Brooklyn. Residents spoke up and prioritized their wishes for a less disruptive BQE including reduced noise and pollution, increased neighborhood connectivity and bike / pedestrian safety, and an overall greener streetscape.

In short, the BQE is going green, or at least as green as a pollution-spewing six-lane highway can be.  Luckily the NYC EDC, NYC DOT, and Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects have come up with three compelling design solutions to improve the area.

Learn more and check out the renderings after the jump.

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