Herald Center—From Discount Drab to LED Luminous

East, Newsletter
Monday, March 25, 2013
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Proposed facade for the Herald Center mall.

Proposed facade for the Herald Center mall. (Courtesy Moed de Armas & Shannon)

Located at one of the busiest intersections in Manhattan—and probably the world—the outdated Herald Center has recently been slated for a $50 million facelift by Moed de Armas & Shannon architecture firm. Hailing from the 1980s, the tinted black windows on the first three floors will be replaced with sheer insulated glass, while the façade of the remaining floors is transformed to offer passersby an LED-lit view befitting the luminous Times Square a few blocks north.

Continue reading after the jump.

Before SHoP’s Domino Sugar Plan, Brooklyn To See Urban Farming and Bikes

East
Thursday, March 21, 2013
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Domino Sugar Factory Site E marked in red. (Courtesy Bing Maps)

Domino Sugar Factory Site E marked in red. (Courtesy Bing Maps)

While Two Trees still needs to make it through the ULURP process before breaking ground on its SHoP Architects-designed mixed-use development for the Domino Sugar site on the Brooklyn Waterfront, the developer has just announced plans for Site E, a vacant parcel on the corner of Kent Avenue and South 3rd. A large section of the 55,000-square-foot lot will be dedicated to a community green space run by North Brooklyn Farms that will host a range of Brooklyn-friendly activities and classes from yoga to urban farming. And on the western side, there will be a bike course, organized by New York City Mountain Bike Association, with areas for riders of all levels. This new urban farm-meets-bike recreation spot will open to the public in May and close once construction commences on the development.

New York City Council Approves Hudson Square Rezoning.  Aerial view of Hudson Square. (Courtesy Hudson Square BID) Development is soon on the horizon for Hudson Square, the 18-block area sandwiched between Soho and Tribeca. Yesterday New York City Council approved the Hudson Square rezoning, which entails raising the allowable building height to pave the way for more residential and mixed-use development. The city was able to finagle more affordable housing and open space throughout the approval process. From the get-go, preservationists have feared that development will seep into the South Village and have pressed the city to landmark the entire district. City Council has worked out a deal with Landmarks Preservation Commission to vote on the northern section of South Village by the end of the year.

 

Landmarks Greenlights Proposal for DUMBO’s First Townhouses.  Rendering of townhouses (Courtesy of Alloy Development) After implementing a few small changes to the original design, Alloy Development has won the approval of the Landmarks Preservation Commission to build the first set of townhouses in DUMBO. The developer modified the height of the five-story residential complex by eliminating a screen on the roof level that was designed to keep out noise and maintain a certain acoustic level in the penthouse units. Now the 3,000-square-foot project needs the approval of Department of Buildings, but AJ Pires of Alloy anticipates that they will be able to break ground by this summer. (Rendering: Courtesy Alloy Development)

 

NYCHA to Lease Parcels of Land within Eight Public Housing Developments

East
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
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New York City Public Housing Developments (Courtesy of NYCHA)

New York City Public Housing Developments (Courtesy of NYCHA)

After much speculation, New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) has officially announced its plan to lease parcels of land right in the middle of eight public housing developments in Manhattan to private developers. For several months, NYCHA officials have held meetings at the proposed sites, but the plans have been met with criticism from residents and local government representatives.

Continue reading after the jump.

Cash-Strapped Brooklyn Public Library to Sell Two Branches to Private Developers

East
Monday, March 18, 2013
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Pacific Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. (Utopian Branch Library / Flickr)

Pacific Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. (Utopian Branch Library / Flickr)

Right as the New York City Housing Authority goes public with its controversial plan to allow developers to build high rises in the middle of public housing developments, the Brooklyn Public Library is taking a similar approach with the hope of mitigating its ongoing financial struggles. The New York Times reports that the library plans on selling off the land beneath two of its branches—The Brooklyn Heights Library at Cadman Plaza and the Pacific Library on Fourth Avenue—to developers who will then tear down the buildings and carve out space for them on the ground floor of their new residential towers.

Continue reading after the jump.

In Construction> WXY’s SeaGlass Carousel in Battery Park

East
Monday, March 18, 2013
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(Branden Klayko / AN)

(Branden Klayko / AN)

WXY architecture + urban design has been adding to Lower Manhattan’s Battery Park over the years, designing concession stands, a variety of benches, and a fountain, but their latest addition is adding a twist on the usual urban carousel. AN began watching the ocean-themed SeaGlass carousel back in 2006 when it was announced and the Battery Conservancy will be hosting a topping off ceremony for the structure on April 18. The carousel’s frame is made of stainless steel, evoking the spiral of a giant sea shell or the ornate ceiling of a cathedral.

WXY principal Claire Weisz said the part of the facade now covered in plywood sheathing will be clad in metal panels while other portions will include “smart glass” that can change from transparent to a dark blue tint. The solid areas serve as projection surfaces on the interior where underwater scenes will add to the enchanted effect of riding atop larger-than-life sea creatures like dolphins, clown fish, and turtles. Watch Weisz and co-principal Mark Yoes describe the carousel and other WXY projects in their Emerging Voices address from March 16, 2011. SeaGlass is the the latest in a line of high design carousels in New York, joining Jean Nouvel’s Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

More photos and renderings after the jump.

A Room with a View: A Boutique Hotel to Rise Along the Gowanus

East
Monday, March 18, 2013
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Gowanus Inn & Yard, rendering and site. (Courtesy Matt Abramcyk via Capital NY / Courtesy Bing Maps)

Gowanus Inn & Yard, rendering and site. (Courtesy Matt Abramcyk via Capital NY / Courtesy Bing Maps)

The contaminated waters of the Gowanus Canal—nor the threat of flooding from future storms like Hurricane Sandy—are deterring developers from building right up on the canal’s edge. In fact, a new swanky boutique hotel is about to wash up on the shores of the Gowanus Canal. This comes at a time when several new hotels are in the works for Brooklyn over the next few years, including the Rockwell Place Hotel in the Brooklyn Downtown Cultural District and Selldorf Architect’s revival of the Bossert Hotel in Brooklyn Heights.

Continue reading after the jump.

On View> Designing Tomorrow: America’s World’s Fairs of the 1930s

East
Monday, March 18, 2013
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Richard Wurts, "See My Shadow," 1938. (Courtesy MCNY)

Richard Wurts, “See My Shadow,” 1938. (Courtesy MCNY)

Designing Tomorrow: America’s World’s Fairs of the 1930s
Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Avenue
Through March 31

Designing Tomorrow presents relics from six depression-era expositions that brought new visions of progress and prosperity to a struggling nation. Tens of millions of Americans flocked to fairs in Chicago (1933/34), San Diego (1935/36), Dallas (1936), Cleveland (1936/37), San Francisco (1939/40), and New York (1939/40) to catch a glimpse of the futurist oracles that would soon become post-war realities—from glass skyscrapers, superhighways, and the spread of suburbia, to electronic home goods and nylon hosiery. The fairs helped America to look forward to an era of opulence and innovation, spreading from the metropolis to the living room. Modernist furniture, streamlined appliances, vintage film reels, and visionary renderings drawn from the museum’s collection are presented together.

Uncertainty Shrouds New York’s Plans For a Permanent Food Market at the Seaport

East
Thursday, March 14, 2013
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Tin Building interior (Courtesy of Barbara Mensch via the New Amsterdam Market)

Tin Building interior. (Barbara Mensch / Courtesy New Amsterdam Market)

It seems that a proposal to make the New Amsterdam Market a permanent fixture in the South Street Seaport’s former Fulton Fish Market building has every food critic and preservationist in New York City revved up, and touting the plan as the next big game-changing development for Lower Manhattan. New York Times opinion and food columnist Mark Bittman went so far as to say that this expansive food market has “wonderful potential that dwarfs even that of the High Line.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Video> CODA’s “Party Wall” To Open in June

East
Thursday, March 14, 2013
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Caroline O’Donnell’s Ithaca-based studio, CODA, is preparing to build a towering pavilion in the courtyard of MoMA PS1 in Queens out of scrap from the manufacture of skateboards. O’Donnell talked to AN when the pavilion, called Party Wall, was unveiled in January, saying, “There are eight different kinds of skateboard forms, and each board has its own errors, which produce surprising effects.”

CODA has now released a stunning video rendering showing Party Wall peeking over the walls of the PS1 courtyard adjacent to landmarks like the graffiti-covered Five Pointz building across the street. It suggests how the crowds that flock to MoMA PS1 each summer might interact with the structure showing benches also made from scrap wood. (Plus, an easter egg: check out what the pavilion’s shadow spells at the 1:40 mark!) Party Wall will open in late June and we’ll be sure to see you there!

Check out a few new renderings after the jump.

On Deadline> MoMA Calls For Ideas For Rockaway Exhibit

East
Thursday, March 14, 2013
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Rockaways post Hurricane Sandy (Courtesy of dakine kane)

Rockaways post Hurricane Sandy. (dakine kane/Flickr)

The Rockaways was one of many waterfront communities that sustained serious damage from Hurricane Sandy, which makes it an appropriate site for MoMA PS1’s upcoming exhibit. But first, MoMA PS1 and MoMA’s Department of Architecture and Design are reaching out to artists, architects, and designers to come up with ideas for creating a sustainable waterfront—whether that touches upon protection of the shoreline or alternative housing—to be presented at the show.

Twenty-five proposals will be selected and presented online and at MoMA PS1’s temporary space, the VW Dome2 in Rockaway Beach during the month of April.

But hurry, the deadline for proposals is tomorrow. Submissions should be in the format of a short video (under 3 minutes).

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