SHoP Architects’ Dancing Towers Break Ground on First Avenue in New York

East, Newsletter
Friday, August 2, 2013
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First Avenue Development (Courtesy of SHoP Architects)

First Avenue Development (Courtesy of SHoP Architects)

After a decade-long wait, construction commenced in late July on a pair of conjoined rental towers designed by SHoP Architects on an empty parcel on First Avenue between 35th and 36th Streets. The New York Times reported that the two copper buildings, consisting of 800 units and reaching up to 49 and 40 stories, will be connected by a sky bridge. The luxury development will boast high-end amenities and facilities such as  indoor lap pool, rooftop deck with infinity pool, fitness center, squash court, and film screening room.

Continue reading after the jump.

New York City Rep Velázquez Announces Bill to Improve & Protect Waterfront

City Terrain, East
Thursday, August 1, 2013
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View of East River. (Nicole Anderson/AN)

View of East River. (Nicole Anderson/AN)

Taking the podium at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, New York City Representative Nydia M. Velázquez introduced new legislation, called the “Waterfront of Tomorrow Act,” to protect and fortify New York City’s 538-miles of coastline. The bill would instruct the Army Corps of Engineers to come up with an in-depth plan to stimulate economic growth and job creation, update the ports, and implement flood protection measures. Sandwiched between Red Hook Container Terminal and One Brooklyn Bridge Park, a large residential development, the pier was an appropriate place for the Congresswoman to announce legislation that addresses the city’s needs to bolster its shipping industry while also taking steps to mitigate flooding and ensure the resiliency and sustainability of its residential neighborhoods, parkland, and businesses.

Continue reading after the jump.

Not So Green: Greenpoint to Lose Park During Highway Construction

City Terrain, East
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
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Sgt. William Dougherty Park (Courtesy of NYC Parks Department)

Sgt. William Dougherty Park (Courtesy of NYC Parks Department)

Originally named for its once thick forests and lush meadows, the former industrial neighborhood of Greenpoint, Brooklyn now has a real shortage of green space. The Brooklyn Paper reported that parkland will only grow scarcer with the pending closure of Sgt. William Dougherty Park, located on the corner of Cherry Street and Vandervoort Avenue, as soon as the state begins its four-year construction project to replace the Kosciuszko Bridge.

Greenpointers have expressed concern about the temporary loss of the park, and Assemblyman Joe Lentol has asked the lawmakers in Albany to allocate a portion of the funding reserved for the bridge construction to building a new park. One local resident has already scouted out a possible location at an empty five-acre parcel on Kingsland Avenue between Greenpoint and Norman avenues.

Parsons Taps Brian McGrath To Lead Architecture School

East, Shft+Alt+Del
Monday, July 29, 2013
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Brian McGrath. (Courtesy Parsons the New School)

Brian McGrath. (Courtesy Parsons the New School)

Parsons The New School for Design has named Brian McGrath as the new dean of the School of Constructed Environments, the university’s integrated school of architecture, interior design, lighting design, and product design, taking the place of interim dean David Lewis. Educated at Syracuse and Princeton, McGrath is the founder of the urban design consultancy, Urban-Interface, where he explores the role of architecture, design, ecology, and media in cities, and has been an associate professor of urban design at Parsons‘ School of Design Strategies.

“The School of Constructed Environments has a key role to play with respect to contributing research and practical applications of design to address the key issues of our time: rapid urbanization, globalization, social justice and climate change,” said McGrath in a statement. “We have taken an active role in recent post-Sandy discussions, and plan on expanding these efforts so that we can make a important contribution to future dialogues and debates on these topics.”

Snap A Photo And Win A Tour of One World Trade Center

East
Monday, July 29, 2013
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One World Trade Center. (Courtesy Port Authority of New York & New Jersey)

One World Trade Center. (Courtesy Port Authority of New York & New Jersey)

With the rise of Instagram and the proliferation of smart phones and digital cameras, we’re all amateur photographer’s these days. And now’s your chance to snap a photo of One World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan for your chance to win a trip to the top of the tower with two friends! The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is sponsoring the photo competition, calling for cellphone snapshots to be submitted via its Facebook page or with Twitter hashtag #OneWTCBestPhotos through August 25. Snap early and tell your friends, though, as winners will be chosen by the number of popular votes they receive online. For more details, head over here.

Brooklyn’s Willoughby Square Park by Hargreaves Set To Begin Construction

East
Thursday, July 25, 2013
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Rendering of Brooklyn's Willoughby Square Park. (Courtesy Hargreaves / NYCEDC)

Rendering of Brooklyn’s Willoughby Square Park. (Courtesy Hargreaves / NYCEDC)

Nearly 10 years after shining as the “crown jewel” in the Downtown Brooklyn Redevelopment Plan, Willoughby Square Park has a clear path to construction. The one-acre park, designed by Hargreaves Associates, will be a passive space offering a moment of calm just half a block from the bustling Fulton Street Mall, but there will be plenty of action beneath the surface, where a robotically controlled parking garage will arrange 700 cars in a very compact space.

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ALIS Bench: A Prospective Addition To Battery Park

City Terrain, East
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
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The ALIS Bench.

The ALIS Bench.

Whether it be Times Square’s “meeting bowls” or Chelsea’s metal shutter benches, New York City has developed a tradition of engaging in innovative approaches to integrate various types of seating amenities. The latest piece of street furniture in the works is the ALIS bench, designed by Edward Kim, Tommaso Casucci, Charles Jones, and Mike Nesbit, which may soon augment the landscape of Battery Park, an area that commonly serves as a site for experimentation in the design of communal enclaves.

Continue reading after the jump.

New Zoning Could Bring Restaurants, Shops, and a Hotel to Governors Island

East
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
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Nolan Houses on Governors Island (Courtesy of the Trust for Governors Island )

Nolan Houses on Governors Island (Courtesy of the Trust for Governors Island )

Only a little over decade ago, Governors Island was a sleepy coast guard base just a stone’s throw from Lower Manhattan, but it has since become a destination for New Yorkers offering a slew of recreational activities, events, and new park land. Now the idyllic island could be populated by a new hotel along with restaurants, retail, and other commercial development.

Continue reading after the jump.

SHoP and Ken Smith Unveil Another Piece of the East River Esplanade

City Terrain, East
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
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(Courtesy SHoP Architects and Ken Smith Workshop)

(Courtesy SHoP Architects and Ken Smith Workshop)

Connecting two existing waterfronts—Battery Park and East River Park—the rehabilitation of the East River Esplanade has been a catalyst of renewal along Manhattan’s East River. The latest phase of the plan—by SHoP Architects and Ken Smith Workshop—extends the current three-block-long Esplanade north, adding recreational amenities and addresses the challenges of building a new landscape beneath an elevated highway between Catherine Slip and Pike Slip in Lower Manhattan..

Continue reading after the jump.

Bloomberg Urges New Yorkers to Take the Stairs

East, Newsletter
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
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(Ludovic Bertron / Flickr)

(Ludovic Bertron / Flickr)

When confronted with the option to ride the elevator or muster up enough energy to walk up multiple flights of steps to a destination, most of us opt for the elevator. But according to the Bloomberg Administration, we might choose differently when surrounded by a built environment that encourages physical activity. In response to our country’s mounting obesity crisis, Mayor Bloomberg has recently changed design standards, launching a new series of pro-health and anti-obesity initiatives that promote physical activity in buildings and public spaces.

Continue reading after the jump.

Saturday> Catch the Experimental Urban Film Festival, EZUFF, in Harlem

East
Friday, July 19, 2013
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(Courtesy EZUFF)

(Courtesy EZUFF)

This Saturday evening, July 20, EZUFF, the Elvis Zapp Urban Projection Project, a mini-film festival, will have its inaugural run at the Mayles Cinema in Harlem. Its goal is to explore “art and city public life” using short experimental film to “make a link between contemporary urban forms of expression/representation and the political imagination for the city of today. It is about oblique ways to dig into present day urban cultures and imagine alternatives for the cities of tomorrow.” EZUFF is masterminded by co-founders architect Andrew Macnair and multi-media artist and Mamoru Kobayakawa, along with Robert Bowen, Joke Post, David Kessler, and Kim Steele.

Continue reading after the jump.

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MoMA PS1 Expanding Thanks to $3 Million in Funding

East
Thursday, July 18, 2013
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MoMA PS1 in 2012. (Elk Studios)

MoMA PS1 in 2012. (Elk Studios)

In an effort to secure financial backing for the city’s cultural institutions, New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who is the chair of the city council’s Cultural Affairs and Libraries Committee, has locked in $3 million of city budget funds to expand MoMA PS1. The funds will be used for the museum to specifically acquire the small apartment building at the rear of its current Romanesque Revival school building at 22-25 Jackson Avenue in Long Island City, Queens.

Continue reading after the jump.

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