Cooper Union’s Toys for the Blind

Dean's List, East
Friday, January 27, 2012
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A construction by Tseng Ling-Li. (courtesy of Dr. Tamar Zinguer)

A construction by Ling-Li Tseng. (Courtesy of Tamar Zinguer)

“How can a construction toy be ‘playful’?” This is the problem that Tamar Zinguer asked her Cooper Union students in a recent seminar focused on the architecture of play.  For this session, Zinguer, who has taught the course before, decided to eliminate the visual aspect, a sensory aspect of toy design highly relied upon in previous seminars’ constructions.  Focusing less on color and more on the experience of the object, the result is a set of innovative and wonderfully textured toys, from blocks to shells, that encourage play for the visually impaired.

Continue reading after the jump.

Too Warm for Winter Jam, says NYC Parks.  Too Warm for Winter Jam, says NYC Parks Hang up those snowshoes. The NYC Parks Department has officially canceled this year’s Winter Jam, an annual event that invites New Yorkers to come try out an array of snow sports in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. What gives? Not only is there no snow in the forecast for the planned February 4 date, but average temperatures are too high for the city to even fake it. “It is simply too warm to make snow, and the long-range weather forecasts and current ground temperatures make it extremely unlikely that snow could be made,” said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe.

 

Slideshow> Revamped Seaport Museum Opens: Old Salts Meet Occupy Wall St.

East
Thursday, January 26, 2012
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The "Hand Held Devices" gallery.(AN/Stoelker)

The "Hand Held Devices" gallery. (AN/Stoelker)

A revamped South Street Seaport Museum shook off the dust last night to reopen after a three-month renovation overseen by the Museum of the City of New York. The exhibits were both a departure from and an embrace of the old collection.  The design team, particularly Wendy Evans Joseph and Chris Cooper of Cooper Joseph Studio, turned what could have been a cramped exhibition arrangement into a free-flowing multi-leveled space.

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Brooklyn Skyscraper District Clears Key Council Vote

East
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
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Brooklyn's borough hall sits at the heart of the new historic district.

Brooklyn's Borough Hall sits at the heart of the new historic district.

Despite a very public effort by the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) to stop City Council’s landmarks subcommittee from approving Downtown Brooklyn’s skyscraper district, the measure passed, paving the way for a full Council vote on February 1.  As the proposed district always had full support of Council Member Stephen Levin and Borough President Marty Markowitz, it wasn’t likely that REBNY’s shot across the bow would make much of a difference. But it may point to a more assertive stance by the group which has been decrying layers of regulations from Lanmarks and ULURP.

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AIANY Names Seven Young Firms among 2012 New Practices

East, Newsletter
Monday, January 23, 2012
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Peaks & Valleys. (Courtesy Abruzzo Bodziak)

Peaks & Valleys. (Courtesy Abruzzo Bodziak)

Seven young and creative architecture firms were named as recipients of AIANY’s New Practices New York awards for 2012. Now in its fourth iteration, the biennial award established in 2006 and sponsored by Hansgrohe “honors firms that have utilized unique and innovative strategies, both for the projects they undertake and for the practices they have established.” This year’s New Practices honorees are SLO Architecture, Holler Architecture, Abruzzo Bodziak Architects, Marc Fornes and the Very Many, Formless, The Living, and Christian Wassmann. Winners will be featured in an exhibition opening June 14 at the Center for Architecture, participation in the AIA national convention, and, of course, a free subscription to The Architect’s Newspaper (the competion’s media sponsor).

Continue reading after the jump.

City Planning Approves Rudin’s St. Vincent’s Plan

East
Monday, January 23, 2012
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A VIEW LOOKING EAST THROUGH THE TRIANGLE PARK PLAN BY M. PAUL FRIEDBERG AND PARTNERS. (COURTESY WESTSIDE HEALTHCARE COALITION)

A VIEW LOOKING EAST THROUGH THE TRIANGLE PARK PROPOSED BY M. PAUL FRIEDBERG AND PARTNERS. (COURTESY WESTSIDE HEALTHCARE COALITION)

City Planning approved the Rudin development family’s plan for the old St. Vincent’s Hospital Site today allowing the Rudin Managment company to build an $800 million multi-use complex. The plan includes 450 luxury condos, a 564-seat school, 15,000 square-foot-public park, and street-level retail. The St. Vincent’s plan went through a bevy of iterations before finally arriving at today’s approval.

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Three World Trade Tower Could be Lopped Off

East
Monday, January 23, 2012
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Richard Rogers' 3 World Trade Center. (Courtesy Silverstein Properties)

Richard Rogers' 3 World Trade Center. (Courtesy Silverstein Properties)

Richard Rogers’ planned 80-story Three World Trade Center could come in a little short—okay, 73-stories short—if office tenants aren’t found for the under-construction tower by the end of the year. Crain’s reports that developer Larry Silverstein plans to cap the tower at seven floors and fill the podium with retail uses. If an anchor tenant is later found—as late as 2020—the building’s cap can be removed and construction resumed to reach its original height.

Continue reading after the jump.

DDC Officially Adds Parks and Sanitation to Roster

East
Friday, January 20, 2012
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Construction of the Dattner/WXY designed Sanitation Garage at Spring Street will now be overseen by DDC. (Courtesy Dattner)

Construction of the Dattner and WXY-designed Sanitation Garage at Spring Street will now be overseen by DDC. (Courtesy Dattner)

The New York City Department of Design and Construction is now managing the majority of capital construction for the Department of Sanitation and the Department of Parks. DDC spokesperson John Ryan Martine confirmed that the agency is now officially responsible, adding that the shift was  in response to a request from City Hall to facilitate consolidation. The DDC already works closely with both departments. For example, DDC will be responsible for the design and renovation of Tavern on the Green. Recently, Sanitation ceded responsibility to DDC for construction of its controversial garage at Spring Street designed by Dattner and WXY.

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Pier Won: Michael Maltzan’s Lens Selected for St. Petersburg

East, National, West
Friday, January 20, 2012
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MALTZAN'S "LENS" WOULD BECOME THE ACTIVE CENTER OF ST. PETERSBURG AS WELL AS TRANSFORMING ITS IMAGE. (COURTESY CITY OF ST. PETERSBURG)

MALTZAN'S "LENS" WOULD BECOME THE ACTIVE CENTER OF ST. PETERSBURG AS WELL AS TRANSFORMING ITS IMAGE. (COURTESY CITY OF ST. PETERSBURG)

Michael Maltzan Architecture has won the competition to redesign St. Petersburg, Florida’s iconic pier. In a group of ambitious proposals from the likes of West 8 and BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), Maltzan’s scheme was perhaps the most so, with a group of interconnected bridges and pathways arranged along a figure-8 plan leading to a large shell-structure at its end. Called “The Lens,” the gigantic project will frame the city through its structure and create a connection between downtown St. Petersburg and its waterfront. It will include a new tidal reef, a civic green, raised walking paths, an amphitheater, a water park and other leisure activities. More on this breaking story to come shortly.

More renderings of Maltzan’s pier after the jump.

Zoning and you.  Zoning and youGreen markets, bike lanes, the design of street life—New York City zoning aims to impact your quality of life. “In the Bloomberg administration, as wielded by the New York City Planning Commission and its director, Amanda Burden, zoning has assumed a more activist role than ever before,” writes AN Executive Editor Julie Iovine about the ambitions of zoning 50 years after the New York Zoning Resolution was passed. Read the full article, “Zoning Grows Up,” in The Wall Street Journal.  

 

Upper West Side Mom & Pops Get Boost from Planning

East, Newsletter
Thursday, January 19, 2012
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(Montage based on photos by Ed Yourdon and Ken Fager / Flickr)

(Montage based on photos by Ed Yourdon and Ken Fager / Flickr)

While the city has kept Walmart at bay—for now—banks and/or drugstores continue to consume two, three, and sometimes four or five consecutive storefronts in many parts of the city. The Upper West Side has been particularly hard hit because most of its side streets are residential. The neighborhood primarily relies on the north/south corridors of Broadway, Amsterdam, and Columbus for its shopping needs. After hearing citywide complaints about the problem, City Planning has begun to address the issue through the West Side Neighborhood Retail Streets Initiative.

Continue reading after the jump.

PROFILE> Skylar Tibbits

East, Newsletter
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
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Skylar Tibbits

What can NURBS do for you?

Find out on February 17, when SKYLAR TIBBITS will lead Scripted Design, a workshop focused on exploring the potentials of RhinoScript, as part of DAY 2 of the upcoming COLLABORATION conference on fabrication and facades in NYC.

A trained architect, designer, and computer scientist, Tibbits’ research currently focuses on developing self-assembly technologies for large-scale structures in our physical environments. He was recently awarded a 2011 TED Fellowship, a 2012 TED Senior Fellowship, and was named a Revolutionary Mind in SEED Magazine’s 2008 Design Issue.

Tibbits currently resides in Boston and is the founder and principal of a multidisciplinary research-based practice, SJET LLC, and an instructor for MIT’s Architecture Department. Previously, he has worked at a number of design offices including: Zaha Hadid Architects, Asymptote Architecture, SKIII Space Variations, and Point b Design. He has designed, collaborated, and built large-scale installations around the world and his work has been exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum and the Beijing Biennale. He has lectured widely, including at MoMA and SEED Media Group’s MIND08 Conference.

Scripted Design, Tibbits’ COLLABORATION workshop, will provide an introduction to Python for Rhino. Topics covered will include: Running Scripts, Syntax, Data Types, Variables, Flow Control, Tuples/Lists/Dictionaries, Points/Vectors, Functions, Paneling and Recursion. The training will concentrate on IronPython within Rhino.

The workshop has a limited number of spots; register here!

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