NYC DOT Eyeing Vanderbilt for Pedestrian Plaza..  The Bleak Vanderbilt Avenue during morning rush: June 14, 8:45AM. The New York Times explored the news of Vanderbilt Avenue becoming a pedestrian plaza through a not-so-rosy Ivy filter today, featuring a photo of the Yale Club rather than the street in question.  AN first reported that the “site has obvious potential for a DOT plaza” back in mid-June when we first examined the Grand Central rezoning proposal that City Planning will present to Community Boards 5 tomorrow night.

 

New York’s Armories Look Toward Next Life

East
Monday, July 9, 2012
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Rendering of the Kingsbridge Armory showing its use as an ice center.

Rendering of the Kingsbridge Armory showing its use as an ice center.

New York’s historic armories are getting a second chance at life with the city looking to reimagine both the Crown Heights Armory in Brooklyn and the Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx. The Crown Heights crowd has been wowed by the adaptive reuse of the Park Slope armory as a community gathering spot. Borough President Marty Markowitz favors a roller rink. Up in the Bronx two developers are duking it out to realized that venue as either a Latin-infused marketplace or an ice skating rink sponsored in part by former Rangers captain Mark Messier.

Meanwhile, the grandaddy of repurposed armories, the Park Avenue Armory, announce last week that they secured $15 million from the Thompson Family Foundation toward their own $200 million Herzog & de Meuron renovation.

Tea Time Pavilion Made From 250,000 Plastic Coffee Stirrers

East
Friday, July 6, 2012
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Jean Shin and Brian Ripel's "Tea House" is at the DeCordova sculpture park through the fall (Courtesy Clements Photograph and Design)

Jean Shin and Brian Ripel's "Tea House" is at the DeCordova Sculpture Park through the fall (Courtesy Clements Photography and Design)

Rarely do red plastic coffee stirrers conjure notions of Walden Pond, but for architect Brian Ripel and artist Jean Shin, the notion is not that far fetched. The duo’s Tea House rooftop installation at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts sits about a mile from Thoreau’s retreat. Ripel pointed out that the connection is somewhat difficult to discern in isolation, but the gabled pavilion frames pristine views absent of any evidence that the museum sits a mere twelve miles from downtown Boston.

Continue reading after the jump.

Tennis Architecture from Newport to the Bronx

East
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
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The multi-level Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning in the Bronx is decidedly democratic. (Courtesy Peter Gluck and Partners)

The multi-level Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning in the Bronx is decidedly democratic. (Courtesy Peter Gluck and Partners)

Teddy Roosevelt once remarked on the commercialization of sports: “When money comes in at the gate, the game goes out the window.” With Wimbledon in high gear and tennis at the Olympics looming, tennis is getting more than its share of commercial attention lately. Just last month the United States Tennis Association announced it would spend a half billion dollars to upgrade the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Queens, where the U.S. Open is played. The project is linked to the $3 billion Willets Point project.

A roundup of tennis architecture news after the jump.

On View> Design for the Real World REDUX

East
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
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(Courtesy White Box)

(Courtesy White Box)

Design for the Real World REDUX
White Box
329 Broome Street, New York
Through July 15

Forty years ago, the Austrian designer and scholar Victor J. Papanek wrote in his influential book Design for the Real World, “Design, if it is to be ecologically responsible and socially responsive, must be revolutionary and radical.” His aim was to alert designers to their impact on the world, arguing for sustainable design generations before the term became a buzzword. This exhibition, organized by the Victor J. Papanek Foundation at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, in partnership with the Austrian Cultural Forum New York, will showcase four winning entries and thirteen finalists from the inaugural international competition Design for the Real World REDUX. The winning projects include a social mapping platform for local sustainability initiatives, One Laptop Per Child XO-3 Tablet computer by Fuseproject, and Planetary ONE + Terreform ONE’s Urbaneering Brooklyn 2110: Ecological City of the Future, and wind powered streetlights by Alberto Vasquez (above).

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Trump Channels Moses at Jones Beach.  The Moses-era cafe was destroyed in 2004. (Courtesy NYState Parks via WSJ) Following a lengthy battle over design issues, Donald Trump and New York State reached a deal over his proposed $23 million catering hall to replace a destroyed Robert Moses-era restaurant at Jones Beach, the Wall Street Journal reported. The new restaurant and catering facility will be called Trump on the Ocean (shown here as a rendering). Officials at Trump told the paper that the developer has fond memories of the beach and has long been an admirer of The Power Broker.

 

Wendy Arrives in Queens

East
Friday, June 29, 2012
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Wendy scales a wall in the MoMA PS1 courtyard. (Branden Klayko/AN)

Wendy scales a wall in the MoMA PS1 courtyard. (Branden Klayko/AN)

Last night, crowds of young architecture types filled the courtyard at MoMA PS1 in Queens to meet Wendy, this year’s Young Architects Program winner by HWKN. Visible from the nearby elevated subway station and from the streets around MoMA PS1, Wendy is comprised of pollution-fighting fabric spikes set in a grid of scaffolding intersecting the concrete courtyard walls. Yesterday’s crowds were given special access to the interior of the installation, revealing a complex structure of poles, fans, and misters that will cool visitors this summer.

MoMA PS1 will host its annual Warm Up music series in the courtyard beginning on July 7, showcasing “the best in experimental live music, sound, performance, and DJs.” Wendy will officially open to the public on July 1. Meanwhile, at a taxi garage across the street, small fragments of last year’s installation by Interboro called Holding Pattern are still in use on the sidewalk.

View a slideshow after the jump.

On View> The Structural Sculpture of Alan Wiener at Feature Inc.

East
Friday, June 29, 2012
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Palace of the Clam’s Dream, 2009, by Alan Wiener (Courtesy Feature Inc.)

Palace of the Clam’s Dream, 2009, by Alan Wiener (Courtesy Feature Inc.)

Alan Wiener
Feature Inc.
131 Allen Street, New York
Through June 30

To architects and Chicago residents, Alan Wiener‘s resin sculpture Palace of the Clam’s Dream might evoke the distinctive scalloped plan of Bertrand Goldberg’s Marina Towers complex. While Wiener does admit admiring recent Chicago architecture—namely Studio Gang’s Aqua Tower—the sources of inspiration for his pieces tend to be more ancient, from  Cistercian abbeys to the rock-carved domes of Cappadocia, Turkey, and, in the case of Palace, Japanese netsuke figures. “I like to imagine getting inside these spaces,” said Wiener, aiming to make forms whose nature is ambiguous. Read More

NYU to Take Another Shave on Last Lap of ULURP Process

East
Friday, June 29, 2012
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NYU's plan encompasses two superblocks south of Washington Square (Courtesy NYU)

NYU's plan encompasses two superblocks south of Washington Square (Courtesy NYU)

The Zoning Committee of the New York City Council is holding a hearing today for NYU’s proposed expansion. It is the last stop on the ULURP tour that has garnered some of the most contentious debate in a neighborhood that has seen more than its share of zoning upheaval over the past year. Usually the council votes in agreement with the council member representing the district. As such, all eyes were on Council Member Margaret Chin, whose Downtown district includes the Washington Square area where the expansion is being proposed. While Chin said that the plan is “unacceptable as it stands” she didn’t outright reject the plan.

Continue reading after the jump.

Videos> 32 Years After Whyte, Seagram Plaza Still a Flurry of Activity

East
Thursday, June 28, 2012
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For the past eleven years, photographer Jesse David Harris has had unfettered access to two of the most architecturally significant buildings in New York: the Seagram Building and Lever House, both owned by RFR Holdings. As staff photographer for the Lever House Art Collection he began to shoot the Seagram Building with deference to Ezra Stoller. The photographer’s familiarity with the building evolved alongside technology. Last year, Harris began a time-lapse project that reflects his time with Mies van der Rohe’s masterpiece.

Revisit Holly Whyte’s vantage point after the jump.

Diller Scofidio+Renfro Take on Exhibition Design at the Cooper-Hewitt

East
Thursday, June 28, 2012
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A billboard announces the Cooper Hewitt museum is under renovation.

A billboard announces the Cooper-Hewitt museum is under renovation.

Design studio Diller Scofidio+Renfro (DS+R) has certainly had a very good week. As we noted yesterday, the firm’s designs for the Columbia University Medical and Graduate Education Building in Washington Heights have just been released, and now today, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum has announced that DS+R will be working with museum staff on the redesign of the museum’s exhibition spaces that are currently under renovation on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

Continue reading after the jump.

Michael Graves, Steven Holl Named Academicians of the National Academy

East, National, Shft+Alt+Del
Thursday, June 28, 2012
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The National Academy on 5th Avenue in New York. (Courtesy National Academy)

The National Academy on 5th Avenue in New York. (Courtesy National Academy)

On June 28th, the academicians of the National Academy welcomed 23 newly elected members, recognized for their contribution to American art and architecture. This year, the nominees included artists working in video, photography, and installation, further reinforcing the National Academy’s mission of promoting art across America.  The roster of over 2,000 academicians includes famous pioneers of early American art such as Thomas Cole and seminal architects such as Philip Johnson.

Fukuoka hotel by Michael Graves. (courtesy National Academy)

This year’s inductees include visual artists such as Cindy Sherman and Bruce Nauman and architects Steven Holl and Michael Graves. Chosen annually by their peers, the elected members contributed representative work to the Academy’s permanent collection of over 7,000 artworks, architectural drawings, photographs, and models.

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