Open House New York Offering Tours of Architect’s Offices

East
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
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District Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. (D-W-/Flickr)

District Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. (D-W-/Flickr)

Tour New York’s design hot spots! Open House New York (OHNY) opens up scores of the city’s most important building for public tours every year, and now it’s doing the same for architect’s offices. OHNY will open a variety of offices for self-guided public tours in four of the city’s most creative design centers: DUMBO, The Brooklyn Navy Yard, Varick Street, and Red Hook.

The first tour of Dumbo (also sponsored by Two Trees Development,  the DUMBO Improvement District, and The Architect’s Newspaper) is schedule for Saturday, February 25 from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. You will gain unprecedented access to some of the most creative design firms in New York, but you must sign up on the OHNY website. The day will end with a reception at a Dumbo design space with the participating architects. To see a full list of participating firms and to register, click here.

Runners vs. Bikers at VanCortlandt’s Putnam Trail

East
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
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Parks plans on paving and widening the Putnam Trail in Van Cortlandt Park. (Courtesy Save the Putnam Trail)

Parks plans on paving and widening the Putnam Trail in Van Cortlandt Park. (Courtesy Save the Putnam Trail)

The hullabaloo over Brooklyn bike lanes at Prospect Park subsided continues as strong as ever, but a new bike controversy has been brewing up in the Bronx over the past few months. The drama centers on Parks Department plans to pave over Van Cortlandt Park‘s Putnam Trail, a path that was originally cleared for a rail line more than a century ago. The new plan was spurred by the “Rails to Trails” movement. The path, much beloved by the runners, has spurred some mudslinging by the pro-dirt contingent against “an elite, mostly out-of-borough handful,” as trail lover Michael Burke put it in an Op-ed piece for The Riverdale Press back in December.

The runners have been fighting back by gathering over a thousand letters and nearly 600 signatures through their Save the Putnam Trail Facebook page. The group argues that a stone dust surface would be far more eco-friendly than the proposed asphalt and would cut the projected $2.4 million budget for the project in half. The group says its not anti-bike, just anti-asphalt and a stone dust path would suit wheels just fine. For their part, Parks said that the their plan would open the trail to all users by providing a dirt path for runners, creating a lane for bikers and making the path ADA accessible. The new trail would be a contiguous path connecting to a paved path in Westchester County and the citywide greenways. Van Cortlandt park administrator Margot Perron said in a statement that stone dust is much more difficult for wheelchairs, strollers and bicycles to navigate than a hard surface and requires much more maintenance.

UPDATE 2/15:  On the Save the Putnam Trail site yesterday, Meg Riordan reports that she spotted machinery preparing the trail for the paving. “From an ecological view, I am also confounded as to ‘how’ adding more impervious surfaces – to replace dirt – benefits the natural wooded habitat,” she writes. A spokesperson from Parks pointed out that new drainage will carry runoff. Also, four hundred saplings and 42 young trees will be added and invasive species will be cleared away. The project will last one year.

 

Port Authority Confessional: Audit Reveals Dysfunction

East
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
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An early model for Frank Gehry's WTC performing arts center. (Courtesy Gehry Partners)

An early model for Frank Gehry's WTC performing arts center. (Courtesy Gehry Partners)

The long-expected audit of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is available, and—apart from the opaque bureaucratese—it reads just like the dysfunctional family memoir you might expect. In fact, the word dysfunctional is at the top of the summary letter sent to Governors Chris Christie of NJ and Andrew Cuomo of NY. To wit, the Navigant Consulting assessment concluded that the PA is “a challenged and dysfunctional organization suffering from lack of consistent leadership, a siloed underlying bureaucracy, poorly coordinated capital planning processes, insufficient cost controls, and a lack of transparent and effective oversight of the World Trade Center program.”

Check out the audit highlights after the jump.

BREAKING: HWKN Wins 2012 PS 1 Young Architects Program

East, Newsletter
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
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All images courtesy HWKN

New York-based HWKN has been selected for this year’s MoMA/PS 1 Young Architects Program. Their proposal, called “Wendy,” uses standard scaffolding to create a visually arresting object that straddles the three outdoor rooms of the PS 1 courtyard. Tensioned fabric coated in smog-eating paint provides shelter and programming areas including a stage, shower, and misters. “Their proposal is quite attractive in a number of ways. It’s very economical in terms of design,” said Pedro Gadanho, the curator of contemporary architecture at MoMA. “One object creates a variety of programmatic and ecological conditions and its scale rivals the height of the PS 1 building.” Read More

LPC Approves Plans for Governors Island.  Pentagram's Welcome Wall at Soissons Landing. (Courtesey West 8) In a unanimous decision, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the first phase of plans by the Trust for Governors Island to restore and revamp the island. The vision includes a paisley-like landscape by West 8 on the terrace in front of McKim, Mead and White designed Liggett Hall. Way-finding by Pentagram and lighting by Susan Tillotson also made the cut. For a detailed breakdown of the designs click here.

 

Giants Madness at 21 Murray

East
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
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Outside our window here at 21 Murray.

Giants madness outside our window here at 21 Murray.

We here at The Architect’s Newspaper always appreciate unfettered access when it comes our way, but today we’re unwitting holders of the hottest ticket in town. This morning you couldn’t get any where near City Hall without a business card that says you work nearby. Turns out we landed front row seats to the ticker tape parade and City Hall ceremony celebrating the NY Giants Superbowl victory. Now, how do we relate this to urban planning and architecture…

Limited access, police limit access to City Hall at Murray and Church.

Limited access: police check ID at Murray and Church Sts.

Filed Under: 

Book Launch> Four Conversations

East
Monday, February 6, 2012
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Last Friday's book launch for AN's Bill Menking and Aaron Levy's Four Conversations on the Architecture of Discourse (Stoelker/AN).

The crowd listened at last Friday's book launch for AN's William Menking and Aaron Levy's Four Conversations on the Architecture of Discourse at the Van Alen Bookstore (Stoelker/AN).

Last Friday night, AN‘s William Menking and Aaron Levy launched their new book Four Conversations on the Architecture of Discourse at the Van Alen Bookstore in Chelsea. The book’s publisher, Thomas Weaver of the Architectural Association in London, and the Van Alen’s Olympia Kazi we on hand to help frame the evening’s discourse on discourse.

The new book springs from an earlier effort called Architecture on Display: the History of the Venice Biennale of Architecture, aka “the white book.” In true manifesto fashion, the group sidestepped the official Biennale promo machine by publishing the white book outside of the established Biennale channels and then blanketed the 2010 festival with more than 600 copies.  That book transcribed interviews with former Biennale directors and recovered an important history of the forum. From that quick and dirty approach emerged a longer term plot for the “black book” of Four Conversations, which focused architectural display and its relationship to the public.

Read More

On View> Jan Staller: Heavy Duty Landscapes

East
Monday, February 6, 2012
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Pilings, Flushing, Queens. (Jan Staller)

Pilings, Flushing, Queens. (Jan Staller)

Jan Staller: Heavy Duty Landscapes
ISE Cultural Foundation
555 Broadway
Through March 2

Jan Staller: Heavy Duty Landscapes, an exhibition curated by Marc Freidus, at the ISE Cultural Foundation, features sixteen large format photographs selected from series completed by Staller during the past seven years. Roadsides, recycling plants, and construction sites like the one featured in Pilings, Flushing, Queens (above) are the types of overlooked landscapes Staller addresses in his work. Through his lens we see the unexpected beauty of harsh, chaotic industrial sites and objects softened by their natural surroundings, as in Tank Car In Snow, Port Reading, New Jersey (below).

Tank Car in Snow, Port Reading, New Jersey. (Jan Staller)

Tank Car in Snow, Port Reading, New Jersey. (Jan Staller)

BIG Heart Gets a Second Chance in Times Square

East
Monday, February 6, 2012
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(Courtesy BIG / Times Square Alliance)

(Courtesy BIG / Times Square Alliance)

Last year, BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) got their heart broken by the Times Square Alliance, which chose a hula-hoop happy design by Freecell Studio for its annual Times Square Valentine’s installation. Now a spokesperson from the Alliance admits that they always “loved” BIG’s design and were willing to give it a second chance.  This year, the Alliance didn’t go online looking for love. Instead, they went back to a former flirtation, and chose BIG’s entry from last year, shunning the possibility of outside suitors.

BIG calls its 10-foot high glowing heart sculpture “BIG♥NYC.” The design affair was something of a ménage à quatre, with Flatcut (the fabricator),  Local Projects (the interaction designers), and Zumtobel (the lighting designers) pitching in on the effort. Four-hundred LED-lit acrylic tubes wrap a cube that bounds a suspended heart. Not surprisingly, when touched the heart grows brighter.

Slideshow> WTC Update: Compare and Contrast, Then and Now

East
Friday, February 3, 2012
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One World Trade in January of last year (left) and today.

One World Trade in January of last year (left) and today.

It’s been one year since we began walking the circumference of the World Trade Center site and taking photos of the progress. A lot can happen in a year. The city and state are in a tussle over the Memorial Museum  bringing construction there to a halt.  Larry Silverstein has threatened to cap Tower Three at at seven stories instead of 80 if he doesn’t get a lead tenant by the end of the year.  Pat Foye, the new head of the Port Authority has called the PA’s Trade Center focus a “mission drift” and ordered a special committee to audit the years overseen by his predecessor, Chris Ward.  And now The New York Post reports that the underground loading dock for One World Trade won’t be completed by the time the first tenants move in.

News from the last couple of months has been so bad that we thought we’d sift through some of our old photos to focus on the work that was completed over the past year.  And while One World Trade continues its march upward (it’s nearing the 1,776 feet), other projects on or near the site are almost complete or are on schedule to be finished in the next couple of years. Brookfield‘s renovations of the World Financial Center have begun. Work at Fulton Street Transit Station by Grimshaw continues to chug forward. CUNY’s Fiterman Hall by Pei Cobb Freed was recently capped.  And a new visitors center for the memorial opened on West Street.

Read More

NYC Gears Up for Bike Share…but Where?

East
Thursday, February 2, 2012
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AIANY's Rick Bell and ArchNewsNow's Kristen Richards check out the new bikes.

AIANY's Rick Bell and ArchNewsNow's Kristen Richards check out the new bikes. (Stoelker/AN)

To hell with what Pennsylvania groundhog Punxsutawney Phil says about there being six more weeks of winter; if you want a true harbinger of spring, head over the Center for Architecture for a last chance to check out the “Two Wheel Transit” show mounted by the DEP for their bike share program that going to be launched in the spring. The show teases out some of the details of the plan that will add rentable public bikes to the New York City’s transit options.  The exhibit closes this Saturday, but if you don’t make it over in time, you can go to one of the community bike share workshops that begin on Monday. The first meeting will be held at 25 Carmine Street. The workshops will give New Yorkers a chance to comment on where to put the 600 bike stations.

Continue reading after the jump.

Profile> John D. Cerone & Hashim Sulieman of SHoP Construction

East
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
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John D. Cerone (left) and Hashim Sulieman (right).

John D. Cerone (left) and Hashim Sulieman (right).

On Feburary 17, John D. Cerone and Hashim Sulieman of SHoP Construction will lead Computational Design & 4D Sequencing, a workshop focusing on parametric modeling as part of DAY 2 of COLLABORATION, a conference on facades and fabrication sponsored by The Architect’s Newspaper.

John is a Virtual Design & Construction Coordinator and a member of the Advanced Technology Group at SHoP Construction; specializing in Building Information Modeling (BIM), he has helped SHoP develop its technology and process, and served as an Adjunct Professor at the Parsons New School for Design teaching BIM and digital representation. John received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the School of Architecture at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio (2002), and his Master of Architecture degree from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University (2008).

Hashim is a Virtual Design and Construction Manager at SHoP Construction and a member of the Advanced Technology Group. His work at SHoP has focused on implementation of parametric models, BIM, and direct-to-fabrication technology. Hashim has worked at SOM as a Digital Design Specialist and as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation’s C-BIP project.

SHoP Construction is behind the under-construction Barclay’s Center and Atlantic Yards development site in Brooklyn. The stadium is clad in an undulating steel and glass enclosure made up of 12,000 unique steel latticework panels; to facilitate installation, the firm developed a 4D construction sequencing model of the structure and facade that allows the project team to make informed decisions in real-time as the panels are installed.

The first session of their COLLABORATION workshop will focus on parametric modeling that allows design variability and tests the limits of form, and the second session will be a step-by-step guide to 4D construction sequence modeling. Software used will include Catia/Digital Project, Rhinoceros, Navisworks® Manage, Microsoft project, and Microsoft Excel. Register here.

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