Construction Underway at Norman Foster’s 610 Lexington Avenue Tower

(Courtesy Foster + Partners)

(Courtesy Foster + Partners)

Norman Foster has broken ground on a skinny residential tower in Midtown Manhattan. Situated adjacent to the 1958 Seagram Building on the site of a former YWCA, Foster + Partners‘ 61-story white luxury tower at 610 Lexington Avenue will dwarf Mies van der Rohe’s 38-story bronze-clad landmark.

“It’s not simply about our new building, but about the composition it creates together with one of the 20th century’s greatest,” said Foster + Partners’ Chris Connell in a statement. “In contrast to Seagram’s dark bronze, our tower will have a pure white, undulating skin. Its proportions are almost impossibly slim and the views will be just incredible.”

De Blasio To Tap Mitchell Silver for New York City Parks Commissioner

Mitchell Silver. (Courtesy Harvard GSD)

Mitchell Silver. (Courtesy Harvard GSD)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to announce that Mitchell Silver—chief planning and development director in Raleigh, NC—will be New York’s next Parks Commissioner. According to the New York Times, “While Mr. Silver has worked in North Carolina since 2005, he has deep roots in New York. He went to high school in Brooklyn and earned a bachelor’s degree from Pratt Institute and a master’s degree in urban planning from Hunter College.”

Wilson recently served as the president of the American Planning Association, and in the 1980s worked in the New York City Planning Department. With Wilson’s extensive planning experience, he would seem to be a natural fit to lead City Planning rather than parks—and he reportedly was considered for that post before Carl Weisbrod was selected. This has been a much-anticipated announcement, as the Parks Department as been without a head since de Blasio took office nearly three months ago.

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Philadelphia Green Lights New Riverside Park, Bartram’s Mile

Bartrams Mile1

(Courtesy Andropogon)

Consider it a mile-long step in Philadelphia’s ongoing architectural renaissance. Local landscape firm Andropogon recently received approval for the plans to re-work a vacant stretch of land beside the western banks of the tidal Schuylkill River. The goal is to convert the plot located between Grays Ferry Avenue and 58th Street into public green space that provides riverfront access and recreational opportunities for local residents.

More after the jump.

Saturday> AN’s Bill Menking To Lead Seminar on Contemporary Domestic Architecture

East
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
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(Courtesy Pieter Estersohn)

(Courtesy Pieter Estersohn)

The New York Times is hosting a series of seminars at this weekend’s Architectural Digest Home Design Show. As part of the program AN‘s very own Bill Menking will be joined by Mark Hutker of Hutker Architects, Dan Lobitz of Robert A.M. Stern Architects, and Karen Stonely of SPAN Architecture to discuss evolutions in contemporary domestic architecture. The quartet will take the stage at Pier 94 on Saturday, March 22 at 3:00p.m. for an hour-long discussion. See you there!

Architectural Stars Align at Storefront for Art & Architecture Benefit

East
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
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(Courtesy Storefront for Art and Architecture)

(Courtesy Storefront for Art and Architecture)

The architecture social calendar in New York includes a bewildering array of benefits, parties, fundraisers, and charity auctions. But the yearly event that brings out the most party loving architects is the Storefront for Art and Architecture‘s benefit and art auction. The Storefront always gets the most fabulous venues for its events and this year’s was beyond spectacular: the 1893 Bowery Savings Bank.

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Letter to the Editor> Bosques of Boston’s Past

A plan for Boston City Hall Plaza by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners from 1961. (Courtesy Pei Cobb Freed & Partners)

A plan for Boston City Hall Plaza by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners from 1961. (Courtesy Pei Cobb Freed & Partners)

[ Editor's Note: The following is a reader-submitted response to a recent article, "Softening Boston’s City Hall." It appeared as a letter to the editor in a recent print edition, AN03_03.05.2014. Opinions expressed in letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the opinions or sentiments of the newspaper. AN welcomes reader letters, which could appear in our regional print editions. To share your opinion, please email editor@archpaper.com]

With regard to the proposed landscape interventions in Boston’s City Hall Plaza: This welcome news brings to mind the Illustrative Site Plan prepared by our firm in 1961 (above) to accompany the Government Center Urban Renewal Plan. As our drawing shows, we envisioned the space between Tremont Street and the new City Hall not as a paved plaza but as a quiet lawn crossed by footpaths and populated by deciduous trees, in the tradition of a New England town green.

Continue reading after the jump.

Tenants Drop Lawsuit Over New York City’s Controversial Plan for Private Towers on Public Housing Land

Development, East, Urbanism
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
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New York City Housing Authority buildings. (Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

New York City Housing Authority buildings. (Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Tenants have officially withdrawn a lawsuit over a Bloomberg-era plan to allow developers to build residential towers on New York City public housing land. The Land-Lease Plan, as it is known, would have allowed the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) to essentially infill open land at their housing developments with new market-rate and low-income apartments.

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Irish Arts Center Unveils New Hell’s Kitchen Home by Ireland’s Office of Public Works

The new Irish Arts Center. (Courtesy of the Office of Public Works, Ireland)

The new Irish Arts Center. (Courtesy of the Office of Public Works, Ireland)

The Irish Arts Center is celebrating St. Patrick’s with fresh renderings of their new building in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. The new center—which was designed by Ireland’s Office of Public Works and Davis Brody Bond—will include a 199-seat theater, a live music venue, a café, dance studios, classrooms, and a community garden.

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Forum for Urban Design and the Institute for Urban Design Join Forces

East, Media, Urbanism
Thursday, March 13, 2014
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The Forum and Institute Have Joined Forces

The Forum and Institute Have Joined Forces.

The Forum for Urban Design and the Institute for Urban Design—two New York City organizations that promote, well, urban design—announced that they have merged, effective immediately. The new “Forum and Institute for Urban Design” will be led by co-presidents Michael Sorkin and Alexander Garvin and consist of 400 fellows. The organization will regularly be hosting roundtables, symposia, and debates about urban planning and development in cities around the world. The first program, on April 16, will be focused on the future of subsidized housing.

“I am delighted at the long overdue union of the Institute and the Forum,” Sorkin said in a statement. “Joining forces will yield a stronger voice on behalf of a progressive vision of urban design for New York, as well as cities around the world.”

New Installation at JFK’s Terminal 4 Floats Weightlessly in Air

Art, East
Thursday, March 13, 2014
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"Outside Time" at JFK. (Courtesy Dimitar Lukanov Studio)

Outside Time at JFK. (Courtesy Dimitar Lukanov Studio)

An impressive new installation at JFK’s Terminal 4 should make air travel slightly less frustrating, or at least more interesting, for passengers. In late February, Bulgarian-born artist Dimitar Lukanov unveiled Outside Time, a soaring sculpture made of steel and aluminum tubes. Despite weighing-in at 4,600 pounds, the piece manages to appear weightless as it elegantly drifts upwards like a densely-packed school of fish.

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Facebook Likes Gehry and the East Village

East, Interiors
Thursday, March 13, 2014
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(Courtesy Facebook)

(Courtesy Facebook)

Facebook’s New York engineering team now has some sweet new digs, courtesy of Frank Gehry. As the engineers settle into their 100,000-square-foot space in Manhattan, construction crews are building Facebook’s new campus in Menlo Park, also designed by Gehry.

Read More

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Two Opportunities to Learn Dynamo at facades+PERFORMANCE

East, Newsletter, Technology
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
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Two facades+PERFORMANCE tech workshops offer hands-on instruction in Dynamo for Autodesk Vasari.

Two facades+PERFORMANCE tech workshops offer hands-on instruction in Dynamo for Autodesk Vasari.

BIM continues to transform the process of design and building. Dynamo for Autodesk Vasari is a leading open source visual programming environment that extends the parametric capabilities of Revit and Vasari.  April’s facades+PERFORMANCE conference in New York includes two conference tech workshops focusing on Dynamo.

Gil Akos of Mode Lab will lead Enhanced Parametric Design with Dynamo (4 AIA CES LU credits). Participants will learn the fundamentals of parametric design within Dynamo, with attention to how the application can be used during every stage of the design process. The workshop will also feature a preview of work-in-progress versions of the open-source software. Read More

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