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It has been a rocky few months for the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), but the battered agency finally has some good news to report. State officials announced the opening of the Arbor House, a 124-unit affordable housing complex, located in the Morrisania section of the Bronx, that is not only LEED Platinum certified, but also features a hydroponic farm on the roof that supplies residents and the surrounding community with fresh produce. Built from local and recycled materials, the 8-story building was designed by New York-based ABS Architecture and includes a living green wall installation in the lobby, air-filtration systems, and indoor and outdoor exercise areas.
It’s as much a part of the architect’s image as a drafting desk or a T-square: sitting around a table with a client when the moment of inspiration hits and the first image of a new building is hastily scrawled on a napkin. But why limit yourself to two dimensions in hatching your new idea? In the age of 3D printing, the napkin sketch could be completely transformed by a new instant-prototyper: the 3Doodler pen, which would allow you to draw your idea in real time rising up from the tabletop. And the public seems eager to give it a try, already contributing over $1.8 million to the 3D-printing pen on Kickstarter with nearly a month left to go.
Atrium of 1 Bligh Street, Christoph Ingenhoven’s sustainable office tower in Sydney. (Courtesy Ingenhoven Architects)
“I think contemporary work environments are about communication. We tried to make interior space a community, “ said architect Christoph Ingenhoven of 1 Bligh Street, a sustainable office tower completed a little over a year ago in Sydney. Ingenhoven translated his idea of community into a building defined by a spectacular 28-story interior atrium capped by a skylight. With interior walls and elevators of glass, every view is a living, bustling cross-section. The atrium acts as natural cooling system while other green features include vacuum tube solar collectors for power and an onsite wastewater recycling system, adding up to a structure that is off the charts for its energy efficiency and low environmental impact.
Between the two, more massive caverns are being opened up beneath Grand Central Terminal, which turned 100 this month, that will extend the Long Island Railroad to the famed station from Sunnyside, Queens in 2019. The $8.24 billion East Side Access Project will allow commuters to bypass Penn Station and enter Manhattan 12-stories below Grand Central. Now, the MTA has released a dramatic set of photos from inside the 3.5-mile-long tunnel, revealing enormous cathedral-like spaces connected by perfectly cylindrical tunnels. Take a look.
Rendering of Sou Fujimoto’s 2013 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion. (Courtesy Sou Fujimoto)
London’s Serpentine Art Gallery has just announced that it has chosen Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto to design its annual summer garden pavilion in 2013. This much sought after commission has been designed in the past by Zaha Hadid (2000), Oscar Niemeyer (2003), Rem Koolhaas/Cecil Balmond/Arup (2006), Frank Gehry (2008), SANAA (2009), and last year by Hertzog & de Meuron with Ai Wei Wei. The Koolhaas inflatable bubble pavilion was the site of constant discussions led by Hans Ulrich Obrist but most are simpler cafes of pure pleasure (the main gallery was originally a tea house) and whimsy like last year’s installation which was made of smoky smelling cork with a pond on its roof which usually had ducks serenely floating in the water.
Micro Apartments. (Courtesy of Evan Granoff/Arcade Providence)
Nowadays it seems that everyone is jumping on the micro apartment bandwagon, and it only makes sense that a bite-size state like Rhode Island would pick up on this trend. Developer Evan Granoff is restoring the historic Providence Arcade (also known as Westminster Arcade), the oldest existing indoor mall in America dating to 1828, and converting it into a mixed-use complex with retail on the ground floor and micro apartments on the second and third levels. J. Michael Abbott of Northeast Collaborative Architects is leading the renovation of the Greek Revival-style Arcade.
The Halley VI Antarctic Research Station designed by British practice Hugh Broughton Architects will be officially opened today. The product of eight years of research and design for extreme climates, the architects claim it is a “laboratory and living accommodation capable of withstanding extreme winter weather, of being raised sufficiently to stay above meters of annual snowfall, and of being relocated inland periodically to avoid being stranded on an iceberg as the floating ice shelf moves towards the sea.”
Google Village at TED Long Beach. (Courtesy Boxman Studios)
Boxman Studios, the company that pioneered the shipping-containers-turned-housing trend back in 2008, is now embarking on a whole new shipping container revolution. As part of their sustainable building efforts they are adapting decommissioned containers to enhance already complete buildings and even stand alone as pop-up shops, venues, restaurants, transit stations and more.
Inside Grand Central Terminal. (Courtesy The Library of Congress)
As New Yorkers celebrate Grand Central’s Centennial, many might have forgotten, or perhaps never even knew, that the train terminal almost suffered the same fate as Penn Station and was nearly demolished in the late 1960s. This controversy made historic preservation a critical part of the conversation about development and the future of New York City.
Grand Central “was a gift to preservation and left a legacy. By its influence, it will save other buildings in the future,” said Frank Prial, Associate Partner at Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, the firm responsible for the restoration of Grand Central. “It is our poster child for preservation.”