Gone will be the miniature civic history lessons that punctuated ribbon-cutting speeches made by Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. With yesterday’s announcement that the commissioner is moving on to the non-profit Trust for Public Land (TPL), the plaudits are pouring in. But as the Bloomberg Administration begins is slow-motion wind down, New Yorkers should be wary of comparisons to the “good” Robert Moses, builder of parks and playgrounds, despite the scale of public works undertaken under Bloomberg. But in terms of Parks, there is little doubt that Benepe’s tenure was historic in scope.
Now, one of the mayor’s signature initiatives—that a park be within a ten minute walk from every home—is about to go national. But will what flies in NYC fly in Louisville? “If I’ve learned one or two things in this job it’s that no one model will work for every situation,” he said in a telephone interview yesterday.
On June 14, 2012, the AIA New York will showcase six of the seven winning firms from the 4th biennial New Practices New York 2012 competition, promoting new and promising firms in New York, at a party at the Center for Architecture. This year, the winning firms contended with over fifty entries to earn the designation.
The New Practices New York contest was limited to firms founded after 2006 and located within New York City’s five boroughs, but despite the restrictions, the competition was open to multidisciplinary firms, widening the variety of the work being submitted. To the design enthusiast’s delight, the exhibition will showcase work varying from architectural models to projections and installations. Along with the exhibition, a symposium will be arranged to further enlighten its visitors.
The New York City Economic Development Corporation sent out an RFP for a forward thinking urban farmer to run a 200,000 square foot rooftop farm atop one of the city’s major food distribution centers at 600 Food Center Drive in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx. Talk about cutting out the middleman. Once harvested the veggies merely have to make the trip downstairs and down the street for distribution at the City’s 329-acre Food Distribution Center.
Over the weekend, the New York Daily News broke the story that the Brooklyn-based developer Two Trees would be buying the Domino Sugar Factory site on the Williamsburg waterfront. Responsible for developing the DUMBO neighborhood into a mix of galleries, retail, residential, and offices, Two Trees seems to have set its sights farther north. The company’s Wythe Hotel, a renovated textile factory located at Wythe Avenue and North 11th Street in Williamsburg, has been doing brisk business since opening in May. The Domino site, which contains landmarked buildings, sits several blocks south. Read More
Bruno Cals: Horizons
511 West 25th Street #607
Through September 28
For city dwellers, the horizon line where the earth meets the sky can be impossible to find, hidden by the topography of the skyline. By pointing his camera upward, Bruno Cals repositions the horizon and reframes the built environment in terms of landscape itself. Cals deliberately obfuscates the subjects of his series; the photographs read not as structure but as texture and line.
Thanks to state of the art green building technologies and a proactive clean construction plan, Columbia University’s 17-acre Manhattanville campus in West Harlem is set to become New York City’s first LEED-Platinum certified neighborhood plan. Columbia is successfully mitigating the environmental effects of the 6.8 million square feet of new construction that is currently underway on the former industrial site between 129th and 133rd Streets, Broadway and 12th Avenue, just north of the main Morningside Heights campus, by teaming up with the Environmental Defense Fund and carefully limiting the noise, dust, and soot that emanates from the site. The university has also released new renderings, showing the landscape and public spaces designed by James Corner Field Operations. Read More
Collab: Four Decades of Giving
Modern and Contemporary Design
Philadelphia Museum of Art
26th Street and Benjamin Franklin Pkwy
Through Fall 2012
Few art institutions have design collections to rival the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s, thanks to the support of Collab, the Group for Modern and Contemporary Design at the museum. Since its founding in 1970, Collab has been an enthusiastic partner in the acquisition and promotion of modern and contemporary design. Spanning the history of design from 19th-century industrial arts to contemporary works, the collection showcases the history of design presented chronologically. From modernist furniture design by Charles and Ray Eames and Scandinavian designs by Alvar Aalto to post-modern designs of Ettore Sottsass (above), and contemporary work by Frank Gehry and Philippe Starck, these works showcase the unique support that Collab has given to the museum’s collection.