Pictorial> Inside the revamped UN Security Council Chamber

Architecture, East, Preservation
Friday, October 24, 2014
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Security Council Table. (Henry Melcher / AN)

Security Council Table. (Henry Melcher / AN)

Wednesday afternoon, AN stepped inside the United Nations Security Council Chamber to see how the global institution had spruced the place up. No, we didn’t just walk in there—you can’t do that; it’s the UN. We were invited by the Royal Norwegian Consulate. Anyway, after a six-year renovation, which was part of the UN’s larger Capital Master Plan to renovate the entire East River campus, the truly awe-inspiring space has been returned to its original, mid-century glory. The chamber was gutted, upgraded, and then put back together with a few 21st Century bells and whistles thrown in—out with the ashtrays and in with the outlets!

Take a tour of the space after the jump.

Archtober Building of the Day #22> Jacob K. Javits Convention Center

Architecture, East
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
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(Courtesy Center for Architecture)

Archtober Building of the Day #22
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
655 West 34th Street
FXFOWLE Epstein

Designed by Pei Cobb in the early 1980s, the Jacob K. Javits Center had fallen into a considerable slump in the years following its debut. Plagued with structural problems, today’s Archtober tour leader and head of the building’s extensive overhaul, Bruce Fowle, began in the center’s Crystal Palace by showing photos of the space before his firm’s massive undertaking. He highlighted two of the worst features of the original structure—the dirty, impossible-to-clean glass and extensive water damage. Almost immediately after opening, large canvas “diapers” were constructed to catch the ever-leaking roof, costing the center nearly one million dollars a year to alleviate the constant influx of water.

Continue reading after the jump.

Archtober Building of the Day #21> Runner & Stone Restaurant

Architecture, East, Interiors
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
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(Katie Mullen)

Archtober Building of the Day #21
Runner & Stone
285 Third Avenue
Latent Productions

Karla Rothstein and her partner Sal Perry are Latent Productions. They, along with Baker Peter Endriss served up a very nice helping of both delicious snacks and spiffy new architecture on yesterday’s Archtober tour. With a full tour of enthusiasts and architects, Karla and Sal described their self-initiated process of design, development, and construction management. They first prototyped, then fabricated the puffy custom concrete blocks that evoke the sacks of flour waiting to become bread that are the design hallmark of the restaurant, Runner & Stone, in Brooklyn.

Continue reading after the jump.

Archtober Building of the Day #20B> Donald Judd Home and Studio

Architecture, East, Interiors, Preservation
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
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(Joshua White / Judd Foundation Archives)

Archtober Building of the Day #20
Donald Judd Home and Studio
101 Spring Street
Architecture Research Office; Walter B. Melvin Architects

The Soho of the 1970s has come and gone, grungy artists’ studios replaced by glitzy storefronts and luxury condos. However, two decades after artist Donald Judd passed away in 1994, his presence still permeates 101 Spring Street. It’s in the nooks he carved out for his children and his books, his kitchenware and furniture, and, most of all, his art.

Continue reading after the jump.

Vice President Biden and Governor Cuomo announce design competition for New York City’s airports

Completely unofficial, not-going-to-happen rendering of Laguardia. (Courtesy Neoscape & Global Gateway Alliance)

Completely unofficial, not-going-to-happen rendering of Laguardia. (Courtesy Neoscape & Global Gateway Alliance)

If you’re not a fan of Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, then LaGuardia Airport really has nothing to offer you. Besides travel-friendly food options like “jalapeño and cheese pretzel dogs” the aging, dirty, sometimes-leaking airport is by all accounts a disaster. Just ask Vice President Joe Biden who once said that if he blindfolded someone and took them to LaGuardia they would think they were in “some third world country.” The Vice President adding, “I’m not joking.”

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Archtober Building of the Day #20A> The Metropolitan Museum of Art David H. Koch Plaza

Other
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
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(Eve Dilworth Rosen)

(Eve Dilworth Rosen)

Archtober Building of the Day #20
The Metropolitan Museum of Art David H. Koch Plaza
1000 5th Avenue
OLIN

Do you know the difference between hedging your trees and pollarding them? Thanks to the enlightenment provided by our tour guides from OLIN’s design team, Partner Dennis McGlade and Associate Scott Dismukes, those who attended yesterday’s Archtober tour do now. The London Plane trees in the bosques adjacent to the ground level entrances at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will be pollarded—trimmed each winter to the same height.  The Little Leaf Lindens, which form the two flanking rows of sidewalk trees will pruned annually to form aerial hedges, thus distinguishing them from the fluffy naturals of Central Park.

Continue reading after the jump.

Archtober Building of the Day #19> Campbell Sports Center, Columbia University

Architecture, East
Monday, October 20, 2014
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(Rochelle Thomas)

Archtober Building of the Day #19
Campbell Sports Center, Columbia University
Broadway & 218th Street
Steven Holl Architects

We rode the subway to the northern tip of Manhattan to tour Columbia University’s Campbell Sports Center, designed by Steven Holl Architects. The design, based on football play diagrams, incorporates “points on the ground, lines in space” that develop from the sloping site in this industrial section of Inwood. Olaf Schmidt, associate-in-charge of the project, led the Archtober tour through the building.

Continue reading after the jump.

Meet Fleurt, New York’s most anticipated chair of the fall season

Behold, the Fleurt. (Courtesy Andrew Jones)

Behold, the Fleurt. (Courtesy Andrew Jones via NYC Parks and The Battery Conservancy)

Fleurt, the winning design for the Battery Conservancy America’s “Draw Up a Chair” competition, has been described as an “archetypal floral form” and even a “whimsical suggestion of sun-loving flowers floating in a field.” But it is much more than that. Fleurt “announces openness and photogenic warmth” and creates a “memorable, diaphanous landscape.” Fleurt “stretches out” with its “lounging curves.” Fleurt is, yes, fine, technically a chair.

Continue reading after the jump.

Archtober Building of the Day #18> Navy Green Supportive Housing

Architecture, East
Monday, October 20, 2014
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(Julia Cohen)

Archtober Building of the Day #18
Navy Green Supportive Housing
40 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn
Architecture in Formation

The design is “not subtle,” said Matthew Bremer, principal at Architecture in Formation, of the design of the Navy Green Supportive Housing Facility in Brooklyn. The bright red, corrugated-metal facade references the neighborhood’s brick townhouses, and also the sea of red brake lights on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, visible from the site at night. The corrugated metal gives the building an industrial look and responds to the “grittiness” of the Brooklyn Navy Yard down the street. This bold building is one of four towers in the larger Navy Green development.

Continue reading after the jump.

Archtober Building of the Day #17> East 34th Street Ferry Terminal

Architecture, East, Transportation
Friday, October 17, 2014
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(Eve Dilworth Rosen)

Archtober Building of the Day #17
East 34th Street Ferry Terminal
E 35th Street at FDR Drive
KVA Matx

Public architecture is alive. The 34th Street Ferry Terminal, designed by KVA Architects, integrates structure, social use, the natural environment, and digital technology to realize an architecture that is sensitive and responsive to its surroundings.  This approach, called “soft” or “resilient” infrastructure, creates a dynamic civic space in which flows of water, people, and information are manifested in the structure.  Inspired by Walt Whitman’s 1900 poem, “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,” the design emphasizes the fecundity of the waterfront and the multiple uses of the pier, not only that of the commuter but also that of the wanderer, viewer, or fisherman.  Technology accentuates elements of nature so that the commuter might slow down, absorbing the light, water, and the beautiful terminal, before entering or re-entering the city.

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Archtober Building of the Day #16> Post-Disaster Urban Interim Housing

Architecture, East
Thursday, October 16, 2014
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(Julia Cohen)

Archtober Building of the Day #16
Post-Disaster Urban Interim Housing
Cadman Plaza East & Red Cross Place
Garrison Architects

Nearly three million residents live in New York City’s six emergency evacuation zones. After a natural disaster ravages communities, displaced people often leave their neighborhoods never to return, causing catastrophic economic and social upheaval. The Prototype for Urban Interim Housing Units is an attempt to remedy this condition after the storm. Instead of dispersing, residents could begin to regain what they lost, starting with a safe, resilient home.

Continue reading after the jump.

Take a tour inside the under-construction Empire Stores in Dumbo, Brooklyn

The Empire Stores' facade. (Henry Melcher / AN)

The Empire Stores’ facade. (Henry Melcher / AN)

Over the weekend,  AN joined an Open House New York on a tour of the under-construction Empire Stores warehouse in Dumbo, Brooklyn. The old coffee bean warehouse was built in the 1870s, but has been sitting empty along the East River for decades. By next fall, though, the Empire Stores will have been transformed with all the Brooklyn-type fixings you’d expect. Yes, there is an artisanal Brooklyn market featuring local purveyors. And office space for tech and creative companies. And cafes, restaurants, and beer gardens. Included in the mix is also a rooftop public park and a museum focused on New York City‘s waterfront.

Continue reading after the jump.

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