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David van der Leer. (David Heald / Courtesy BMW Guggenheim Lab)
David van der Leer, an associate curator of architecture and urban studies at the Guggenheim, has been appointed executive director of New York’s Van Alen Institute. He will take over in May. The Institute, which has existed for more than 100 years in various forms, is dedicated to improving the public realm through exhibitions, competitions, and programming initiatives in New York and beyond. Reached by email, van der Leer declined to elaborate on his plans for the Institute.
Houses in Rockaways after Hurricane Sandy. (Anique/Ma Neek/Flickr)
For property owners of Hurricane Sandy-ravaged buildings, the road to recovery just got easier. Starting on Monday, the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) will offer a new program that provides design consultations to property owners and design professionals who want to reconstruct their buildings. Department officials and technical experts will explain the building code and zoning requirements for properties in special flood hazard areas, as indicated on insurance rate maps or on updated Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maps.
According to the announcement from the DOB: “This program is designed to accelerate the approval process for these projects, assist homeowners with their decisions on reconstruction and better ensure that new flood recommendations and standards are incorporated into the design and construction of these affected buildings.”
The consultations will be held at the Department’s NYC Development Hub at 80 Centre Street in Manhattan. Property owners will sit down with officials and compile a list of recommendations to apply to the construction plans that they intend on submitting to the DOB.
Frank Gehry’s 22-story tower for Santa Monica. (Courtesy Gehry Partners)
OMA and Robert A.M. Stern are not the only starchitects zeroing in on Santa Monica. Frank Gehry is designing a 22-story, 244-foot-tall tower on a 1.9 acre site on the corner of Ocean Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard. Plans for the project were submitted to the city yesterday, according to the Santa Monica Planning Department. The tower, located just a block from the beach and around the corner from the 3rd Street Promenade, would house a 125-room hotel, 22 condos, and two stories of retail and restaurants. A 36,000-square-foot art museum, incorporating two landmarked structures, would also be built just north of the tower.
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.