With his time in office coming to a close, Mayor Bloomberg is moving swiftly ahead with his administration’s affordable housing plan, and calling on developers to submit proposals to build on the last sizable stretch of vacant city-owned land in the Melrose and HUB area of the South Bronx. The NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) is overseeing the Bronxchester Project, and yesterday announced a Request for Proposal (RFP) to develop two parcels into affordable housing and mixed-use space.
With its special use permit expired, the push is on to dislodge Madison Square Garden (MSG) from its current location atop Penn Station. The Municipal Art Society (MAS), one group vocally in favor of moving MSG, has asked four leading architects to imagine a future Penn Station unencumbered by the arena. MSG’s owners have asked the city to renew the permit in perpetuity and the city council will issue their decision later this year. Meanwhile, SHoP Architects, Santiago Calatrava, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and SOM have been tasked with creating a dramatic vision that could galvanize New Yorkers in supporting the move.
Today when designing a building, an architect is responsible for more than just the “making a building.” He or she must consider the kind of transformative effect a building will have on a neighborhood while simultaneously addressing various organizational, spatial, and technical issues as well. Additionally, when opening up a new practice there is a milieu of constantly changing technological, geographic, political, and economic factors that an entrepreneur must bring into careful consideration.
Join tonight’s panel of architects, creative directors, and business professionals in a discussion on the impending challenges architects face in designing buildings and in opening new forms of practice. The RE: Think / Profit – Architecture in the Age of the Entrpreneur will take place at the Center for Architecture at 6:00 p.m.
Not many practitioners today can say they’ve collaborated with Henry Van Brunt, the 19th century architect famous for designing Harvard’s Memorial Hall, or Boston architect Guy Lowell, who designed the original 1903 master plan for the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. But Ann Beha, who once said she specializes in “finding a contemporary voice within a historic center,” is a bit of a time-traveler. Her Boston-based firm is acclaimed for creating elegant links between the past and present.
A keynote speaker at Facades + PERFORMANCE, an upcoming conference about high-performance building envelopes, Beha notes that some of the older buildings she works with already have highly efficient envelopes thanks to excellent construction and high quality materials. Her lecture, “Interventions: History and Innovation,” will review three case studies at varying scales, telling the stories of how she restored landmarked buildings while simultaneously developing new expansion plans that were rooted in the original architecture but also clear expressions of their own time.
Some estimates indicate up to 70 percent of existing building stock is in need of major renovation. Get hip to the latest trends and techniques in facade retrofit at the Facades+PERFORMANCE Conference taking place in New York City next week. Come explore the emerging technology and recent applications in the daylong workshop, Facade Retrofit: The Challenge and Opportunity Presented by an Aging Building Stock, moderated by Mic Patterson, Director of Strategic Development at Enclos.
What better place to explore this topic than Manhattan, surrounded by aging buildings badly in need of facade renovation both to improve performance and appearance. But these buildings and their facades present unique challenges. This full-day workshop will delve deeply into the various issues comprising the renovation of large commercial facades in the urban environment, particularly the retrofit of old curtainwall facades, and also the use of contemporary curtainwall technology to renovate old masonry buildings. A team of local experts will first establish context by defining the scope of the problem, then follow with a discussion of design strategies, and means and methods for implementing facade retrofit projects. A series of exemplary case studies will be presented, among them will be the recently completed recladding of the Javits Convention Center. The workshop program will conclude with a mid afternoon tour of the Jacob Javits Convention Center.
Speakers from: CUNY, Davis Brody Bond Architects, Gensler, Halsall Associates, Mitchell/Giurgola Architects, RA Heintges and Associates, SHoP Architects, Structuretone.
In just one short year the Folly competition, co-sponsored by the Architectural League of New York and Socrates Sculpture Park, has become vastly popular among members of the architecture and design community, receiving 40 percent more submissions than last year. This year a jury examined 150 innovative submissions but selected only one winning entry. The prize? The winner, with the help of a $5,000 grant, gets to see the proposed design come to life in the Socrates Sculpture Park. Toshiro Oki, Jen Wood, and Jared Diganci of Toshiro Oki Architects were selected as the winners of this year’s competition for their design called tree wood.
The Philadelphia Zoo, squeezed between heavily trafficked arteries in Fairmount Park, isn’t the easiest place to access by rail service, and with a dip in attendance in the last few years, Zoo officials are pushing for a new SEPTA train station at 34th Street and Mantua Avenue. When the zoo first opened in 1854, there was a train station located right at the entrance, but it closed in 1902 when the Pennsylvania railroad expanded, complicating the public transit options.
Thomas Ruff: photograms and ma.r.s
David Zwirner Gallery
525 West 19th Street
New York, NY
Through May 4
This March, Thomas Ruff’s seventh solo exhibition at the David Zwirner Gallery will be dedicated to two of the late twentieth-century German photographer’s most recent projects: photograms and ma.r.s. Ruff’s photograms series features a unique collection of “camera-less” photography—a technique used by photographers in the 1920s in which objects are placed on photosensitive paper and exposed to light. The outcome is the negative image of the object revealing itself in the form of a grey or white shadow glowing against a black backdrop. Ruff adds layers to his visually intriguing compositions—which mostly depict abstract lines, shapes, and spirals—by adding color and implementing varying degrees of transparency and lighting. To create his ma.r.s series, short for Mars Reconnaissance Survey, Ruff manipulated black-and-white satellite images, taken by a NASA spacecraft of the surface of Mars, and dramatically increased the saturation of the images, creating a striking representation of the planet’s rugged terrain.
Look out, there’s been a major announcement at the World Trade Center. No, really. Look out and see all of New York City at your feet, from the 100th through 102nd floors of One World Trade. While the lines are sure to be long, plenty of multimedia on the way to banks of high-speed elevators should provide some entertainment and history lessons. Beginning in 2015, visitors will move through trippy video hallways, into a cave-like foundation room. After a quick 60-second elevator ride up 100 floors showcasing the vertical growth of New York, doors will open onto the One World Observatory and its mesmerizing 360-degree views from floor-to-ceiling windows. It’s certainly not an experience for those with vertigo. The facility will be operated by Legends Hospitality and is expected to generate $875 million in revenue over 15 years. Admission prices to get to the observation deck have not been released.
We know you’ve seen those sleek parametric designs that are all the rage in cutting-edge architecture, but have you ever wanted to make your own? Venturing into the software zoo of Grasshopper and Rhino can be daunting on your own, and understanding algorithms and computational geometry can sound like Greek to the uninitiated. Luckily, parametric expert Ronnie Parsons of Mode Collective has joined the upcoming facades+PERFORMANCE Conference taking place in New York City next week, April 11 and 12, and will help guide beginners into the exciting world of Parametric Design.
With a focus on fundamental concepts and workflows for creating performance-based design models with the parametric design tool Grasshopper for Rhino3D. Parsons’ Technical Workshop, Introduction to Parametric Design, will guide participants through a series of exercises designed to emphasize the relevant applications of parametric design for professional practice.
Register today for the Introduction to Parametric Design workshop and the facades+PERFORMANCE before space fills up. There are 8 LU AIA CE credits up for grabs, so head on over to the facades+PERFORMANCE homepage for more information.
Rockaway Beach, the waterfront community severely battered by Hurricane Sandy, is now the site of MoMA PS1′s geodesic dome, a temporary cultural center offering lectures, exhibits, performances, and community events. PS1 kicked off the opening of the VW Dome 2 last Friday with a performance by singer Patti Smith, a fellow Rockaways resident. The museum will collaborate with local organizations in Queens to provide a range of programming over the next few months.
The people have spoken (well, “clicked”) and the votes are in—NYFi wins the Popular Choice Award for Mayor Bloomberg’s “Reinvent the Payphone Design Challenge!” The winners of the Connectivity, Visual Design, Creativity, Functionality, and Community Impact categories were announced in early March but the Popular Choice winner was decided last week by public vote via the City of New York’s Facebook page.