Today, New York City broke ground on the new paving/plaza/seating design for Times Square, created by Snøhetta. Dark pavers inset with reflective stainless steel discs will provide a muted backdrop for the area’s frenzy of light and crowds. Monumental benches, with concealed electrical infrastructure for events, will provide a variety of seating, lounging, and viewing options. Moreover, the project signals the Bloomberg administration‘s desire to make its pedestrian plazas permanent.
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn officially announced her run for mayor last week. Quinn started her career as an affordable housing advocate with the Housing Justice Campaign for the Association of Neighborhood and Housing Development, and is positioning herself as the pro-middle class candidate. In a recent speech, she told an audience that New York City needs to become “a place that’s a beacon for the middle class.” After the Bloomberg era of rapid development, Quinn could usher in a new phase that makes affordable housing a top priority. While a few candidates have to yet to declare their candidacy, the race could likely include previous City Comptroller William Thompson, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, and current City Comptroller John Liu.
The “payphone”—like subway tokens—is a word that has increasingly become synonymous with an older New York. It’s been years since many of us have even stepped into, let alone used, one of those bulky, eerily abandoned and, let’s face it, uninviting, telephone booths peppering New York City’s sidewalks. But unlike subway tokens, the payphone is making a comeback.
Another skyscraper is rising in Midtown Manhattan. Developers Hines and Pacolet Milliken broke ground this week on Pei Cobb Freed’s 7 Bryant Park tower (aka 1045 Avenue of the Americas) that was unveiled in 2011. The 28-story, 470,000-square-foot tower sits at the southwest corner of Bryant Park and features a distinctive hourglass-shaped cutout on its corner. “The hourglass facade detail will be a lens through which building occupants can view the park with dramatic and alluring immediacy,” architect Henry N. Cobb told AN in 2011. A 46-foot-diameter stainless steel disc will hover above the entrance. The building hopes to achieve LEED Gold status and is expected to be complete in early 2015.
If you’ve experienced a twinge of guilt for supporting an idling, carbon-emitting vehicle while waiting on line for gourmet macaroni-and-cheese, rejoice—a new day is dawning for NYC food trucks. In late February, Mayor Bloomberg inaugurated Neapolitan Express, the first food truck fueled by compressed natural gas. The truck, (which looks a wee bit like a retirement home bus) is a showcase for kajillionaire T. Boone Pickens’ company Clean Energy Fuels. Track it @NeaExpress.
The new Bachelor of Interior Design program at NewSchool of Architecture and Design (NSAD) is sponsoring a creative design scholarship competition for the 2013-2014 school year. Scholarship amounts for the program, which offers unique global design education opportunities through collaborations with Domus Academy in Milan, Italy, are up to $15,000. The deadline for submission is March 15.
This portfolio-based design scholarship competition is open to high school and transfer students in the United States and from around the world who are passionate about design. The winners, which will be selected on creative merit, include two first prize winners of up to $15,000; two second prize winners of up to $10,000; and two third prize winners of up to $5,000.
The NSAD Bachelor of Interior Design program is offered through the recently-created Domus Academy School of Design at NSAD, which is the result of collaborative efforts between NSAD and Domus Academy in Milan. Domus Academy in Milan received the prestigious Compasso d’Oro award in 1994 for the quality of its academic and research approaches, and in 2009, the school was nominated for the third time by Bloomberg Businessweek magazine as one of the best design schools in the world. In 2012, Domus Academy was also included in the interior and design field publication, Guide to the World’s Leading Graduate Schools from Frame Publishers.
NSAD’s Bachelor of Interior Design program integrates a study abroad experience at Domus Academy in Milan, Italy. NSAD recently offered an interior design class that was taught by architect and interior designer Paolo Giachi, who came as a visiting faculty member from Domus Academy in Milan. Giachi, whose specialty is in designing luxury retail stores around the world, guided his students in designing their own versions of a luxury boutique store. Student renderings from the interior design class at NSAD can be viewed on the NSAD website.
For more information on NSAD’s Bachelor of Interior Design Program: http://www.bachelorinteriordesigndegree.com/
Now that Congress has passed the $51 billion emergency aid package, Mayor Bloomberg is forging ahead with the recovery plans. The City will set aside $1.77 billion in federal funds dedicated to rebuilding homes, businesses, public housing and infrastructure that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Bloomberg did, however, warn that it could likely take a few months for the programs “to be approved and implemented.” Since the storm, the city, in conjunction with FEMA, has helped homeowners in New York through its Rapid Repairs Program. Read More