This weekend, October 6 and 7, Open House New York (OHNY) is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its popular weekend of tours, lectures, and open houses of many of the New York City’s most important buildings and spaces. In its ten years OHNY has hosted over two million guests and remains New York’s most important architectural outreach to the public. It will launch the weekend with a party at the Times Square Museum and Visitors Center and the city’s architecture community should be there to support the organization and its mission to serve as a bridge between great design and the public. The Architect’s Newspaper will be there with David Rockwell and we look forward to seeing you!
The Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation issued an RFP last week seeking qualified developers to revamp the post-Civil War Empire Stores warehouse in DUMBO, according to Crain’s. The adaptive reuse project, originally drafted in 2002, has been postponed several times over the last decade due to a lack of developers willing to address the building’s “scary structural issues.” Proposals, which are due on December 10th, could add up to 70,000 square feet and two additional stories to the existing buildings. Projects must be community friendly and address design challenges at the intersection of preservation and sustainability.
Tokyo-based SANAA has unveiled its next U.S. project, a meandering structure called The River for the Grace Farms Foundation, a faith, arts, and social justice non-profit in New Canaan, CT. Situated on one acre of the 75-acre Grace Farms, the building is defined by its flowing roof that hovers ten feet above the landscape on slender metal posts. Interior spaces are formed by increasing the building’s width and enclosing spaces in floor-to-ceiling glass, creating a seamless transition between interior spaces and a landscape designed by Philadelphia-based OLIN.
Today, thousands of tourists and New Yorkers make a loop on the Staten Island Ferry between the borough and Manhattan, but as soon as 2016, they will also be able to make a vertical loop on the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, anchoring a new mixed-use project on the North Shore waterfront in St. George. Mayor Bloomberg today unveiled plans for Harbor Commons, which includes 350,000 square feet of retail space for 100 outlet mall stores, a 200-room, 120,000 square foot hotel, and a massive green-roofed parking structure, but all eyes were on the project’s neighbor; the 625-foot-tall New York Wheel will offer stunning views of New York City and its Harbor to an estimated 4.5 million people per year.
On Friday, the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at The Parsons New School for Design will kick off their annual fall exhibition, Art, Environment, Action! The 11-week interdisciplinary and interactive laboratory, open to the public, includes workshops, lectures, discussions and a wilderness hike through Greenwich Village. A varied group of contributors, from dancers and chefs to designers and scientists will investigate the common premise of how their interactions within the natural world can be used to bring consciousness to the environment.
In the first event of the showcase, the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science will host a map-knitting workshop. Participants will remap a public area in the city using an elaborate handmade camera rigging system along with balloons and kites to capture aerial images of the site below. The images will then be posted online and layered atop existing satellite images of the area. The result is an attempt to use maps as communication and a tool in redefining public areas as a community owned territory.
Washington, D.C., is often admired for its monuments. Now there is another part of our nation’s capital that its 19 million annual visitors can tour and enjoy. The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has recently announced the launch of an online mobile-friendly guide meant to give not only tourist, but also locals a new perspective on the historic, modern, and contemporary landscapes in Washington, D.C. and Arlington, VA.
From Farm to City: Staten Island 1616–2012
Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Avenue
Through January 21, 2013
From Farm to City: Staten Island 1616–2012 explores the history, evolution, and future of New York’s often overlooked fifth borough. The island has served as the city’s breadbasket, a pastoral escape for the city’s elite, an industrial center, an international port, and a toehold for new immigrant communities. Divided into four sections—Farms, Pleasure Grounds, Suburbs, and City—the exhibition examines the major forces that have shaped land use on the island, including the development of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. The exhibition includes historic photographs, maps, and other ephemera and objects, as well as an online mapping component tracing the chronology of major developments on the island.
Jeffery Koons, perhaps best known for his quirky stainless steel glossy sculptural reproductions of balloon dogs, has been called upon by Governor Andrew Cuomo to help decide what the new Tappan Zee bridge will look like. Koons, along with Richard Meier, winner of the Pritzker Prize for Architecture, and Thomas Campbell, Metropolitan Museum of Art Director, were named to the selection design team that will provide counsel on the construction of the Tappan Zee replacement bridge. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the decision in a press conference Wednesday. Meier’s most notable work includes the Getty Center in Los Angeles, the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art and the Jubilee Church in Rome. The design team will offer advice on the bridge’s aesthetics and visual compatibility with the surrounding nature.