The rumors about Gordon Bunshaft’s landmarked Manufacturer’s Hanover Trust Bank building being transformed into a big-box retail store have been flying around for a while now. In March, Vornado Realty Trust reportedly entered talks to buy the five-story building at 510 Fifth Avenue. Now, we’ve turned up a rendering by 3-D illustration firm Neoscape showing the building as the type of landmark only your high school daughter could love: a Forever 21.
But wait, it gets worse. Until this month the building has been occupied by Chase Bank, and while the changes made to the building for security reasons were lamentable, at least we could rest easy knowing that its site-specific Harry Bertoia sculpture—a 70-foot screen composed of 800 bronze plates—was safe. But not anymore. An AN tipster clued us in today: “Half of it is laying on the otherwise vacant 2nd floor. So far, all I’ve got from Chase is an assurance ‘it’s not going in the dumpster.’”
We confirmed the awful truth:
Between Frank Lloyd Wright’s private homes, Louis Sullivan’s original skyscraper, and Henry Hobson Richardson’s asylum, Buffalo, New York has more famous and historically important architecture than most cities in the country. Now Buffalo is working hard to churn out its own starchitects—starting in high school. The new Architecture and Design Academy at the International Preparatory School at Grover celebrated its grand opening this week on Buffalo’s west side. Read More
Lurking under the High Line has been a bit more fun since Building Fashion began its series of architecture-and-fashion installations in September, erecting a new collaboration every two weeks as a means of reusing the former onsite Sales Tin of Neil Denari’s HL23 condos. On Thursday, Brooklyn firm Snarkitecture and fashion designer Richard Chai will unveil the fourth project in the series, a cave carved by hand from architectural foam. Designed to give shoppers the feel of a glacial cavern, the pop-up shop will feature men’s and women’s fashions displayed on shelves, niches, and hang bars embedded in the foam. Read More
Jean Nouvel feels like his MoMA Tower has been put under the guillotine. The starchitect behind the lopped-off Midtown Manhattan proposal told CBS News this weekend that “It’s very French to cut the head, eh?” His 75-story tower would have rivaled the Empire State Building for supremacy over the New York skyline, standing 1,250 feet tall, but met significant opposition from neighbors worried the tower would drown their street in shadow.
City Planning Commission officials voted earlier this year to allow a shortened version of the tower – chopping off 200 feet of the Pritzker Prize winner’s design. Nouvel’s vision has been sent back to the drawing boards, but he says it’s “not in his character” to feel discouraged. Be sure to check out AN‘s cameo appearance at the end of the interview.
With some 10,000 buildings languishing on the official demolition list, Buffalo is a landscape in the losing—a city coming to grips, like others in the Rust Belt, with the postindustrial present and its architectural aftermath. As part of that collective quest, the city’s detritus is now improbably on view in a pair of exhibitions that consider the fate of shrinking cities, thanks to artist and architect Dennis Maher and his ongoing project Undone-Redone City, an extended meditation on urban fabric in an entropic state of flux. Read More
Chef Mario Batali stopped by a group of diners at a press event today at Eataly to say that everyone who came into the new high-end Italian-theme eating court is ‘Italian.” But he was actually right, as sprinkled among the journalists sat the upper ranks of the Italian furniture industry all come to New York to announce one of those commercial-turned-cultural events that only the Italians can pull off without seeming crass. Read More
New York City Council passed legislation Wednesday that aims to save the city one billion gallons of drinking water a year. Four bills slated to be implemented by summer 2012 will curb bottled water usage, reduce leaks, refine water efficiency standards, and ban some water-inefficient equipment.
A formal dedication for a creative urban intervention called ARTfarm brings flowers and greenery to a formerly barren step street in the Bronx. Architects Valeria Bianco, Christian Gonsalves, Shagun Singh, and Justin Taylor designed and built the project with help from Architecture for Humanity and the Bronx Museum of the Arts.
Friday night, Frank Gehry‘s Manhattan IAC Building was transformed into the canvas for a fantastical display of light by London-based artists seeper. The video projection plays off the distinct angles of the IAC Building to create the illusion of three-dimensional transformation and playful animation.
“Our aim is to recreate a Victorian sense of magician-ship,” said Evan Grant, founder of seeper.com, in a press release. “I love the IAC building, its stunning lines and immediate reference to water. It looks as if it’s about to set sail on the Hudson. The opportunity to make this structure take on a new ‘seeper’ form is an honor and a challenge.”
Seeper has undertaken other projection mapping projects across the globe, but this New York example represents one of the most ambitious projection mapping displays in the United States. The event marked the end of the Vimeo Festival, a celebration of global creativity.