A Lesson in Dedicated Collaboration: Hunts Point Landing on the South Bronx Greenway / Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects
In the past decade New York City’s government, along with numerous organizations and design teams, have taken the initiative to revive the city’s public spaces and reclaim underutilized areas that have long been associated with the city’s manufacturing past. We’re all familiar with the High Line, a project that takes over the elevated rail lines of Chelsea and Meat Packing District that until several years ago stood as a desolate and eroding piece of infrastructure, which was beautiful in its own way but largely underutilized. Then there is the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which has become a mecca for designers, fabricators and research companies and has recently acquired a museum to celebrate its history. And of course, there are the city’s waterways, which, since New York City’s early history, have served its manufacturing and trade economy, have become parks along the waterfront as part of the Hudson River Greenway and the FDR Drive. Manufacturing has long been replaced by Wall Street, but there are parts of the city that still retain the industrial past along the historic waterfront and continue to operate some of the most important facilities that allow the city to function. Now it is time to reintroduce a public use among these industrial zones.
More after the break!
After winning the 2007 New York New Housing Legacy Competition, Jonathan Rose and Phipps Houses Group teamed with Grimshaw Architects and Dattner Architects to make “green” architecture for where it matters most. Via Verde, the South Bronx’s newest affordable housing development, goes beyond the hype of creating a sustainable building for marketing purposes, and allows design to inform a healthy building for its occupants. So, what constituents a “healthy” building? Well, in the minds of those from the South Bronx, that means a place that can address growing asthma rates, obesity, and the need for fresh produce. In the 290,000 sqf project at Brook Avenue and East 156th Street, Via Verde is connecting to its neighborhood’s needs while not shying away from giving a community in the process of urban renewal an iconic piece of architecture.
More about the project after the break.
This LEED Gold building is now the headquarters for the Wildlife Conservation Society. Designed by FXFOWLE, the Global Conservation Center sits in the middle of the Bronx Zoo. The building harmonizes so well with the site that the wild animals hardly give notice to its presence; they treat it much like they treat a natural rock outcropping in the landscape. This makes for interesting employee lunches where they spend their time observing wild turkeys, swooping Inca terns and many other creatures. The design capitalizes on this wonderful opportunity by drawing staff outside with generous terraces and a patio the size of the staff dinning room. From more information check out the video and read Laura Raskin’s article at Architectural Record’s website.
Alexandros Avlonitis’s proposal for the [bracket] competition [on farming] in 2008 is a program for an urban market in the neighborhood of Castle Hill in The Bronx, NYC. The “What We Are Is What We Eat” project responds to the growing population that is migrating from rural areas to urbanized cities. This population shift, which is estimated to reach 80% in 50 years, challenges the norms of food production world-wide.
With a smaller population directly responsible for agriculture, food production is becoming more industrialized with an added burden of the transportation necessary to keep it fresh. What Avlonitis’s design proposal addresses is the creation of a communal and collective food culture in an urban setting where people cannot afford organic and nutritious goods.
Read on after the break for more information and images about this project.
Back in 2007 Kiss + Cathcart Architects were awarded the New York City Design Commission Award for the River House that is to be situated on the Bronx River on the last stretch just before it empties into the East River and is to be operated by the Bronx River Alliance on behalf of the city. The River House is designed with sustainability as a top priority, developed to be a living element of the park.
More information on the Bronx River Boat House after the break.