Towers by Thomas Leeser and Enrique Norten Break Ground in Brooklyn

Enrique Norten's tower along Flatbush Avenue (left) and Thomas Leeser's hotel are under construction. (Courtesy Respective Firms)

Enrique Norten’s tower along Flatbush Avenue (left) and Thomas Leeser’s hotel are under construction. (Courtesy Respective Firms)

Construction has started on two towers set to rise in the BAM Cultural District in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Unlike most new projects in the area, one of the buildings to rise off Flatbush Avenue, a 32-story structure designed by Brooklyn-based architect Thomas Leeser, will not be luxury apartments, but a 200-room boutique hotel run by Marriot. The tower is one of the most architecturally distinct high-rises to arrive in Brooklyn in quite some time, with prominent, asymmetrical carve-outs along its glass facade that make it appear as if someone—or something—has slashed through its skin with a knife.

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Wilmore Resident Wins Grant For Edible Walkway Project

Development, East, Urbanism
Monday, June 16, 2014
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Wilmore Urban Garden (Courtesy UNC Charlotte Urban Institute)

Wilmore Urban Garden (Courtesy UNC Charlotte Urban Institute)

Kris Steele’s “Edible Walkway” proposal to bring an urban orchard to Charlotte, NC was one of two recipients of the Keep Charlotte Beautiful (KCB) neighborhood beautification grants announced in May. Steele’s proposal was approved over 34 other proposals by KCB and received an endowment of $2,500 to get the plan moving.

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Winning Crowdsourced Designs Unveiled for New York City Hotel

The work space. (Pierre Levesque via PSFK and Prodigy Network)

The work space. (Pierre Levesque via PSFK and Prodigy Network)

It is only fitting that a crowdfunded hotel slated for New York City has a crowdsourced design as well. For its new, extended-stay hotel at 17 John Street, developer Prodigy Network, along with design blog PSFK, launched the Prodigy Design Lab, which allowed designers from around the world to submit plans for the project’s interior spaces and digital services. After 70 submissions were received and 10,000 votes cast, three winners have been announced.

COntinue reading after the jump.

Philadelphia Expected to Launch Bikeshare System Next Spring

A painted bike lane in Philadelphia. (Flickr / karmacamilleeon)

A painted bike lane in Philadelphia. (Flickr / karmacamilleeon)

With a recent vote in the Philadelphia City Council, bikeshare moves closer to becoming a reality in the City of Brotherly Love. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the council’s Transportation and Public Utilities Committee advanced a bill to bring bikeshare to the city by next spring. The bill is expected to be approved by the full city council on June 19.

Continue reading after the jump.

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Brooklyn’s Kentile Floors Sign to Be Disassembled And Relocated

Design, East, News, Preservation
Friday, June 13, 2014
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The Kentile Floors sign in 2004. (Ranjit / Flickr)

The Kentile Floors sign in 2004. (Ranjit / Flickr)

A compromise has been reached in the heated battle over the fate of Brooklyn’s iconic Kentile Floors sign. The New York Times reported that the sign’s owner will dismantle the structure and donate its red letters to the Gowanus Alliance, a local group which plans to reinstall the sign nearby. For that to happen, though, the eight-story, 50-year-old sign must first be removed from its current rooftop home without breaking. “There are some hurdles to clear,” reported the Times. “The permits require that the 20-foot-high letters be reduced to four-by-four-foot sections and sent down a debris chute off the roof.” City Councilman Brad Lander, who recently launched a petition to save the sign, told the paper he hopes the letters can be removed with a pulley and not “crammed down a chute.”

 

 

Garrison Architects Debuts Post-Disaster Housing for New York City

Architecture, East, News
Thursday, June 12, 2014
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The structure's exterior. (Gothamist / Jake Dobkin)

The structure’s exterior. (Gothamist / Jake Dobkin)

New York City’s Office of Emergency Management has opened a full-scale prototype of its temporary housing units that would shelter those displaced from the next Sandy-like storm. The OEM describes “The Urban Post-Disaster Housing Prototype Program,” as a “multi-story, multi-family interim housing solution that will work in urban areas across the country.” The prefabricated structures are designed by Garrison Architects and intended to be dispatched quickly after an emergency and assembled on-site.

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Drop Your Drawers For Cycling: Vision Zero Clothing Comes to Brooklyn

City Terrain, East, Transportation
Thursday, June 12, 2014
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vision-zero-clothing

Friday the 13th just got a whole lot scarier. Tomorrow, on the tail of The World Naked Bike Ride in Portland, Oregon (NSFW Link), a similar clothing-optional bicycle boosting event is coming to Brooklyn. Topically dubbed Vision Zero Clothing (in what must be an honest homage to New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan, which proposes to stop people from getting run over by cars), the event is scheduled to get underway at 6:00 p.m. at Grand Ferry Park in Williamsburg (which, incidentally, is a favorite hangout of the Hasidic Jewish community).

More information after the jump.

Morris Adjmi Designs 13-Story Apartment Building for Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Architecture, East, Unveiled
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
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Adjmi's 282 South 5th Street in Brooklyn. (Courtesy Morris Adjmi Architects)

Adjmi’s 282 South 5th Street in Brooklyn. (Courtesy Morris Adjmi Architects)

A rendering has been released for a Morris Adjmi-designed apartment building in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Curbed reported that the 13-story building contains 82 rentals and 26,000-square-feet of landscaped space; the base of the building has about 30,000-square-feet for retail, and a nearly 7,000-square-foot community space. The under-construction structure is located just steps from the J,M,Z subway lines, and only a few block inland from the Domino Sugar Factory

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ASLA New York to Honor Rebuild by Design Champion, Leader of Governors Island

Governors Island (Courtesy The Trust for Governors Island)

The head of the Trust for Governors Island is among those being honored. (Timothy Schenck)

The New York chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year at the 2014 President’s Dinner Gala. For this occasion, the ASLA has selected the Rockefeller Foundation’s Judith Rodin, the Trust for Governors Island’s Leslie Koch, and the NY1 News Organization as their honored guests.

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Kentile Floors Sign in Gowanus Brooklyn is (Likely) Doomed

Art, Design, Development, East, Preservation
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
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The Kentile Sign in Gowanus. (Flickr /

The Kentile Sign in Gowanus. (Flickr / ekonon)

The industrial past of Gowanus, Brooklyn is rapidly disappearing as the neighborhood transitions into a more mixed-use future. As the low-slung factories and warehouses continue to disappear, the iconic, eight-story, Kentile Floors sign could go with it.

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Junior’s Grows Up: 1,000-Foot-Tall Tower Could Rise at Site of Famous Brooklyn Eatery

Development, East, Skyscrapers
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
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Junior's in Downtown Brooklyn. (Flickr / Joseph)

Junior’s in Downtown Brooklyn. (Flickr / Joseph a)

Brooklyn’s newest, tallest tower could rise on the site of one of the borough’s—nay the the city’s—most famous restaurants: Junior’s. TheNew York Times reported that bidding on the Downtown Brooklyn site, which houses some of the world’s best cheesecake and notably hosted President Barack Obama on a recent trip, begins this week. Crunching the numbers, the newspaper found that developers could assemble enough air rights to build a 1,000-foot-tall tower on the lot. This part of Brooklyn has seen a surge in new towers in recent years, but, as of now, the tallest building—388 Bridge—tops out under 600 feet.

Letter to the Editor> Addressing themselves to the Skyline

East, Letter to the Editor
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
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High above Manhattan. (FLICKR / CARUBA)

High above Manhattan. (FLICKR / CARUBA)

[ Editor's Note: The following are reader-submitted responses in reference to William Menking’s editorial “Will de Blasio Make Progress on Design?” (AN 05_04.09.2014). 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]

In your editorial “Will de Blasio Make Progress on Design?”, you seem to suggest that there is an inherent conflict between the development priorities of the new administration and the accepted tenets of good urban design. We disagree.

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