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.

Read More

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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MoMA Announces PS1 Young Architects Finalists

East
Thursday, November 18, 2010
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"Lentspace" by MoMA finalist Interboro at Varick St. & 6th Ave. (photo: Michael Falco, NYTimes)

One of the most sought after awards for emerging architecture firms was announced today. MoMA PS1 selected finalists for the 2011 Young Architects Program. The plum prize is an opportunity to design the garden space for MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, Queens. For the next three months the firms will finalize their designs and the winner will be announced in February. Past winners have included Hernan Diaz Alonso, MOS Architects, OBRA, So-Il and Work AC. This year’s firms include three from Brooklyn, one from Boston and a Brit. From Brooklyn the firms are FormlessFinder, Interboro Partners and Matter Architecture Practice. MASS Design Group comes from Boston and IJP Corporation Architects are based in London.  See work from the other finalists after the jump.

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Beauty Bites Back with Peter Cook's Crab

East
Thursday, November 18, 2010
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Peter Cook's scheme for the Taiwan Tower Conceptual Design competition. (Courtesy Crab)

Peter Cook–the real one from England, not the Hampton socialite architect impersonator–was in town last week and showed us some of the work from his firm Crab. Sir Peter was here to appear on a panel at Pratt Institute for the new book by Yael Reisner with Fleur Watson, Architecture and Beauty: Conversations with Architects About a Troubled Relationship. Cook and fellow beauticians including Will Alsop, Gaetano Pesce, Lebbeus Woods, KOL/MAC, and Hernan Diaz Alonso all took the subject head-on, and proved they think about aesthetics and form up front in the design process, though they seldom will admit to it. They did nothing to dispel Reisner’s thesis that even though, since the advent of modernism, only principles of rationalism are allowed to be used in explaining the building arts, architecture is still primarily a formal practice in the spirit of Einstein, who said that for him “visual imagery occurred first and words followed.” Read More

Kids Build Massive Model of the High Line

East, East Coast
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
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Kids build a model of the High Line (Courtesy High Line Blog)

Kids build a model of the High Line (Courtesy High Line Blog)

Children from a school in the West Village love the High Line and they have a giant model to prove it.  Carol Levitt’s second grade starchitects-in-training recently finished their wood-block coup de grâce detailing the story of the famed elevated park – past and present.

Take a closer look at the model after the jump.

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Architects Do Double Duty As Set Designers

East
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
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Aging is a universal theme. ANCHISES, a new performance premiering at the Abrons Arts Center in New York tonight, explores that amid a striking set from design firm Harrison Atelier (HAt), who are also billed as co-collaborators with choreographer Jonah Bokaer. Central to this latest version of the Greek myth is Anchises’ struggle to salvage memories from the burning city of Troy. This is reflected in the set design, where, according to HAt’s website, “the set creates an environment that scripts the dance.” Blocks, representing both the old and new city, are a central part of this multi-generational performance, and a recent New York Times review championed their use of medical tubing to subtly hint at the struggle of growing old.

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Potential Pyramid Scheme in DUMBO

East
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
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photo by Missy S./Flickr

Is NYC’s next architectural adventure shaped like a pyramid? Maybe, if one of the groups competing for usage space in Brooklyn’s historic Tobacco Warehouse has its way. The recently stabilized structure  is currently under the purview of the powers-that-be at the new Brooklyn Bridge Park, which sees the Warehouse as “most compelling public spaces” in the city’s quest to spruce up the Brooklyn waterfront.

Read More

Rudolph’s New York Home Passes Landmark Test

East, East Coast
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
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23 Beekman Place (Courtesy Paul Rudolph Foundation)

23 Beekman Place (Courtesy Paul Rudolph Foundation)

The latest Upper East Side landmark isn’t another of its signature rowhouses, but rather what’s atop one of those brownstones.  Yesterday, the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission unanimously approved landmark status for mid-century architect Paul Rudolph‘s less-than-context-sensitive home at 23 Beekman Place.

And that’s great news for New York’s modern architectural heritage. Read More.

A Sculpture By Any Other Name. . .

East
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
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Isa Genzken's installation at New Museum. (Photo: Kubota Photography/New Museum)

Haters of kitsch rejoice!  No longer will visitors to the New Museum be greeted by Ugo Rondinone’s glowing, rainbow affirmation.  Hell, Yes! has been replaced as part of the museum’s ongoing Façade Sculpture Program.  In its place, Rose II, a far subtler work by German artist Isa Genzken.  Growing from the first tier of SANAA’s ethereal Bowery building, the sculpture, a 28-foot tall rose, was created in 1993 and reprised in 2007. Read More

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MEKA Goes Modular with West Village Eco-Home

East
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
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The modular unit as seen from Charles and Washington Streets in Greenwich Village. (Tom Stoelker)

On the corner of Washington and Charles streets in Greenwich Village, a modular home has been plopped down in a vacant parking lot. It may seem an unlikely sight—or site for that matter—but what distinguishes this home from most of its tony neighbors is its eye-catching price tag: $35,000. Read More

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