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.

Read More

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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.

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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