New NYC Zoning / Midtown East

42nd Street and Park Avenue, . Photo by Anomalous_A via Flickr

New York’s Mayor Bloomberg is pushing for an updated zoning code for Midtown Manhattan which will affect the blocks around Grand Central Terminal and the Chrysler Building, and north toward the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and Lever House.  This new code, called Midtown East, would replace existing building height restrictions and allow high-rise towers to soar in the 70-block area currently outfitted with older buildings of lower stature.  If Midtown East is approved, developers would be able to build twice the size now permitted in the Grand Central area, bringing an estimated 16,000 employees in a neighborhood that now has 230,000 office workers.

In such a densely populated area of Manhattan, what will be the urban implication of allowing building heights to soar past their current height regulation?  While the potential to increase the real estate value is a driving force for such an initiative, will this financial gain outweigh the drawbacks of new stresses that will be placed upon existing infrastructure and city functioning?   The Bloomberg administration feels that such an initiative is needed to maintain the Grand Central area as “one of the premier business addresses”; however,  the community is not as fast to support the idea and regard the proposal as just another example of Bloomberg’s latest attempts to make his mark on the city before his years in office are through.

More after the break.

Florida State University William H. Johnston Building / Gould Evans Architects

© Adam Cohen

Architects: Gould Evans Architects
Location: , FL,
Architect In Charge: Gould Evans
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Adam Cohen

Courtesy of Princeton University
Courtesy of Princeton University

‘Performing Architecture’ Symposium

Taking place at Princeton University on October 13th from 10:00am-5:30pm, the ‘Performing Architecture’ symposium will bring together significant theorists and practitioners in the fields of architecture and performance and inviting a broader engagement with the artistic and academic community. In…

One Week Left of the Serpentine Pavilion!

© Julien Lanoo

The summer months have come and gone, which means one thing: the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion is winding to an end (on October 14th, to be exact)!

This year’s underground pavilion was designed by Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei as a kind of archaeological discovery of pavilions past. As they explain: “Like a team of archaeologists, we identify [the] physical fragments as remains of the eleven Pavilions built between 2000 and 2011. […] These remains testify to the existence of the former Pavilions and their greater or lesser intervention in the natural environment of the park.”

Although most of the public events that made up the Park Nights programme have already occurred (including a showing of the incredible documentary on Ai Weiwei and a talk by Herzog & de Meuron), you can still catch the culminating event of the Pavilion, the Memory Marathon (October 12-14), which kicks off with Lebanese sound artist Tarek Atoui performing La Suite. The three-day, multi-disciplinary festival will feature over 60 participants, including former REM vocalist Michael Stipe, filmmaker David Lynch (who will present a new film), and the Pavilion architects, Herzog and de Meuron themselves.

For more info, check out our past coverage on the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion.

Hublot Popup Store / Asylum

Courtesy of The Hour Glass

Architects: Asylum
Location: Paragon,
Creative Director: Chris Lee
Design Director: Cara Ang
Designer: Simone Königshausen
Project Year:
Photographs: Courtesy of The Hour Glass

Niu House / Yoshihiro Yamamoto Architect Atlier

© Yohei Sasakura

Architects: Yoshihiro Yamamoto Architect Atlier
Location: Ikoma, Nara Prefecture,
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Yohei Sasakura

National Museum of Afghanistan Competition Winners

1st prize – Courtesy of AV 62 Arquitectos

Held at the National Museum on Monday, September 17, the Ministry of Information and Culture and the US Embassy in announced the winners of their International Architectural Ideas Competition for the National Museum of Afghanistan. The Jury’s decision for the winning design submissions is based on the clarity of the architectural concept that responds effectively to the programmatic, functional, technical, economic and security requirements in the brief, and the architectural quality of the proposed design as a whole. This decision ultimately recognizes the distinguished architectural quality of the winning proposed design solution with the first prize given to AV62 Arquitectos. More images and information on the winning entries after the break.

Skyve Bistro / FARM

Courtesy of Architect

Architects: FARM
Location: 10 Winstedt Rd, 227977
Team: Peter Sim, Selwyn Low, Lee Hui Lian, Oh Wenxin
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Courtesy of FARM Architect

Wolfe Center for the Arts by Snøhetta / © Bruce Damonte
Wolfe Center for the Arts by Snøhetta / © Bruce Damonte

Snøhetta Exhibition and Lecture

Taking place at the Museum of Finnish Architecture October 10-November 25, the Norwegian architecture, landscape architecture and interior design office, Snøhetta…, is showcasing their firm and its work in videos, computer animations, 3D models, photographs, drawings, and texts. Presented

48 Housing Units in Torrelles de Llobregat / BB Arquitectes

© Filippo Poli

Architects: BB Arquitectes
Location: , Catalonia, Spain
Authors: Antoni Barceló y Bàrbara Balanzó
Architects Collaborators: Luis Alegre, Lluís Lloveras
Architects: Daniel García, Francesc Trillo
Technical Architect: Lluís Miquel Bonastre
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Filippo Poli, Lourdes Jansana

Courtesy of Colegio de Arquitectos de Quito - Ecuador
Courtesy of Colegio de Arquitectos de Quito - Ecuador

Social Habitat and Development Competition

As part of the Quito Biennale, the Social Habitat and Development competition is oriented to identify and promote architectural practices and built projects that demonstrate having a positive and tangible impact in the improvements of the living conditions of low…

Muenster University Center / Charles Rose Architects

© John Linden

Architects: Charles Rose Architects Inc.
Location: Vermillion, SD,
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: John Linden

MVRDV completes Book Mountain and Library Quarter Spijkenisse

© Jeroen Musch

Close to the Port of Rotterdam docks, MVRDV has completed the Book Mountain, a public library in ’s market square. It features a 480 meter route, lined with bookshelves, that wraps around a stacked, pyramidal form as it is showcased through the library’s glass structure. The “mountain of books” illuminates from within and serves as both an advertisement and an invitation to reading. The adjacent Library Quarter consisting of 42 social housing units, parking and public space is also a project by . Together, with the Book Mountain, it strives to form an “exemplary eco-neighborhood”.

Continue after the break for the architects’ description.

AD Recommends: Best of the Week

© Jose Campos

Five great projects you may have missed from last week. The main image is from International Centre for the Arts Jose de Guimarães by Pitagora Arquitectos. Don’t forget to check La Muna designed by Oppenheim Architecture + Design or Paasitorni Hotel by finnish practice K2S. Revisit, Roberto Cantoral Cultural Center in Mexico City by Broissin Architects. Finally, you can’t miss Carlos Arroyo’s Academie MWD Dilbeek.

dbox wins Emmy for “Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero”

The -based branding and creative agency dbox has won an Emmy for its CGI and Branding work on the Discovery Channel’s six part mini-series Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero. From executive producer by Steven Spielberg, the series chronicles the activity of the Ground Zero site and the personal stories of the construction workers, engineers and architects who have made the rebuilding vision a reality.

Enjoy the trailer above and check out ArchDaily’s previous September 11th coverage for more information on each project:

The Plongeoir / SPRAY Architecture

Courtesy of

Architects: SPRAY Architecture
Location: , France
Project Year: 2012
Project Area: 14 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of SPRAY Architecture

FuturArc Green Leadership Award 2013

Courtesy of FuturArc

The recently launched FuturArc Green Leadership Award 2013 competition is calling for projects that are new, restored, rehabilitated or converted, and must have been completed before December 31, 2012 in Asia or Australia. The jury seeks to understand how the project delivers specific, measurable outcomes. Entrants are encouraged to make a case for the building against the following criteria: Efficacy, Wellness, Embeddedness, Advocacy, Integration, and Adaptation. The Jury will nominate up to three projects in each category. The deadline for submissions is December 17. For more information, please visit here.

Niemenranta Elementary School / ALT Architects + Architecture Office Karsikas

© Ikola & Vahtera

Architects: ALT Architects +
Location: Oulunsalo, Finland
Design Team: Martti Karsikas, Kalle Vahtera, Antti Karsikas, Ville-Pekka Ikola
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Ikola & Vahtera