What Happened to Manhattan’s Lowline Project?

Courtesy of James Ramsey and

In 2011, the Tribeca-based design duo of James Ramsey and Dan Barasch proposed a radical project to transform an abandoned subterranean trolley terminal in Manhattan‘s Lower East Side into an underground park filled with natural light and vegetation, eventually proving their design with a full size mock-up of their design for light-capturing fiber-optic tubes. Since then, they haven’t had nearly the same level of publicity – but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still working. This article by The Architects’ Newspaper catches up with Ramsey and Barasch as they attempt to make their $50 million project a reality by 2018. Read the full article here.

Foster + Partners Unveils New Images of 425 Park Avenue

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Foster + Partners has released new images of 425 Park Avenue in New York, the project which turned heads in 2012 when videos of the four competing architects presenting their proposals were released to Youtube. The new images show a slightly altered design for the glazed entrance, where a mezzanine on either side replaces what was originally a double height space in the entire lobby. The new images also give a glimpse into the building’s interiors, where curtain glass walls make the most of spectacular views across Manhattan and Central Park. Read on after the break for all the images.

Tadao Ando Designs Luxury Residential Building in New York

Rendering of 152 Elizabeth Street, developed by Sumaida + Khurana. Image © Tadao Ando

Tadao Ando has unveiled designs of his latest project, a 7 story luxury residential project in Manhattan. The building at 152 Elizabeth Street is Ando’s first in New York, and includes his signature design features of simple cubic forms, polished in-situ concrete and curtain glass.

More on 152 Elizabeth Street after the break

“Lebbeus Woods – Architect” Returns to NYC

Unified Urban Field. Image Courtesy of Estate of Lebbeus Woods

This summer, the drawings, theories and works of architect Lebbeus Woods are headed to the city that Lebbeus considered home. After a five-month stay at , the exhibit “Lebbeus Woods – Architect” will be at the Drawing Center in SoHo, Manhattan until mid-June. The following story and overview of the exhibition, by Samuel Medina, originally appeared at Metropolis Magazine as “Coming Home”.

It’s all too biblical an irony that Lebbeus Woods—architect of war, catastrophe, and apocalyptic doom—died as strong winds, rain, and waves barreled down on Manhattan, his home for some 40-odd years. Woods passed the morning after Hurricane Sandy flooded Lower Manhattan, almost as if the prophet had succumbed to one of his turbulent visions. But this apocryphal reading is just one way to view Woods’s work, which, as often as it was concerned with annihilation, always dared to build in the bleakest of circumstances.

Inside the Cool Offices of Manhattan’s Tech Companies

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With an emphasis on collaborative environments, relaxing atmospheres, and quirky branding, it’s always interesting to take a peek into the offices of tech companies, often found in the sprawling, multi-colored campuses of Silicon Valley. But how does this particular brand of interior design transfer to the more cramped spaces of a Manhattan office block? This video by Internet Week NY takes us behind the scenes at Tumblr, About.com and Fueled Collective to find out.

A Mini Marble Manhattan

Courtesy of David Zwirner Gallery

You’ve never seen Manhattan quite like this: Metropolis Magazine‘s Komal Sharma takes a look at “Little Manhattan“, a by Yutaka Sone which renders the famous island in 2.5 tons of solid marble. The power of the artwork lies in the play with scale: the initial impression of a huge marble block contrasts with the tiny, intricately detailed skyline forming a mere skin on top; the subsequent realization that this skin corresponds to the familiar vertical city brings you to a more complete understanding of Manhattan’s scale. You can read the full article here.

TED Talk: Manhattan’s Past, Present and Future

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When it comes to global cities, New York City may be one of the most prominent – but it is also relatively young. Just 400 years ago, Manhattan island was mostly covered in forests and marshes. In his talk at TEDx Long Island City, Eric Sanderson discusses the city’s radical changes in land use over the past four centuries, and begins to contemplate what the next four might look like. How can we take a city like New York and make it as efficient as the forest it replaced? In a bid to uncover the ideas that might make this possible, he introduces Manhatta 2409 – an online tool which maps/compares the historic and current land use of and allows users to propose new uses. Learn more in the video above.

Columbia University School of Nursing / CO|FXFOWLE

© CO|FXFOWLE

FXFOWLE and CO Architects (CO|FXFOWLE) have teamed up to design a seven-story School of Nursing building for the Columbia University Medical Center campus in upper Manhattan. The result of an invited design competition, the design will provide 65% more space than the school’s current location and will be designed to achieve LEED Silver certification.

Heatherwick Tapped to Design $75 Million Icon for NYC

UK Pavilion for Shanghai World Expo 2010 / Heatherwick Studio. Image © Daniele Mattioli

Related Companies founder Stephen Ross has commissioned London designer and architect Thomas Heatherwick to design what could be, according to the Wall Street Journal, “one of the most expensive works of public art in the world.” Planned to be the centerpiece of Related’s Hudson Yards project in Manhattan’s West Side, the estimated $75 million artwork and its surrounding 4-acre public space aims to become “new icon for the city.”

Foster + Partners Designs Luxury Residential Tower in Manhattan

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Foster + Partners have just revealed a new design for a 19-story luxury condominium building at 551 West 21st Street, on the western side of Manhattan. The design features a cast concrete frame surrounding windows with a warmly colored metal trim that cover the full 11-foot floor to ceiling height.

AD Classics: The Museum of Modern Art

View of the gallery complex from the Garden. Image © Timothy Hursley

The entrance to the Museum of Modern Art is tucked beneath a demure facade of granite and glass in Midtown Manhattan. Its clean, regular planes mark Yoshio Taniguchi’s 2004 addition to the MoMA’s sequence of facades, which he preserved as a record of its form. Taniguchi’s contribution sits beside the 1984 residential tower by Cesar Pelli and Associates, followed by Philip Goodwin and Edward Durell Stone’s original 1939 building, then Philip Johnson’s 1964 addition. Taniguchi was hired in 1997 to expand the Museum’s space and synthesize its disparate elements. His elegant, minimal solution presents a contemporary face for the MoMA while adhering to its Modernist roots.

Is NYC “Landmarking Away” Its Future?

Midtown West; Courtesy of Flickr User David Boeke, Licensed via Creative Commons

A recent study by the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) concluded that by preserving 27.7% of buildings in Manhattan, “the city is landmarking away its economic future.” REBNY is challenging the Landmarks Preservation Commission, arguing it has too much power when it comes to planning decisions, and that by making business so difficult for developers it is stifling the growth of the city.

Yet not three days before releasing this study, president of REBNY Steve Spinola said in an interview with WNYC that “if you ask my members, they will tell you [the twelve years of Mayor Bloomberg's tenure] has been a great period of time for them”. The conclusion of WNYC is that the past decade has actually been a period of increased growth for developers, rather than a period of stagnation.

It would be easy to echo the opinion of Simeon Bankoff, executive director of the Historic Districts Council, who believes the actions of REBNY come down to greed, even comparing its members to Gordon Gekko, the anti-hero of the film Wall Street. But is greed really what’s behind this attack on the ? Find out after the break.

‘Pop-Up Hotel’ Winning Proposal / PINKCLOUD

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Designed by PINKCLOUD, their ‘Pop-Up Hotel’ proposal was recently selected as the winning entry in the 2013 Radical Innovation in Hospitality competition. Their concept focuses on the transformation of empty Class A office spaces into hospitality spaces through a simple setup. They intend to partner with various owner/leasing agencies around Midtown in Manhattan to identify buildings in need of revitalization. A uniquely urban experience, the Pop-Up hotel will feature a variety of amenities and rooms catering to a wide diversity of clientele. More images and architects’ description after the break.

One World Trade Center Will Soon Top Out at 1,776 Feet

After weather conditions refused to cooperate on Monday, the final two sections of Freedom Tower have been lifted to the summit of the One World Trade CenterConstruction of the gargantuan 758-ton, 408-foot spire – a joint Canadian-U.S. venture – began in December 2012, when 18 separate pieces were shipped to Manhattan from Canada and New JerseyThis final addition, including a steel beacon, means that the height of the building will soon rise from 1,368 feet to a more patriotic 1,776 feet once the segments are permanently installed within the next few weeks. However, it’s not yet certain that the building will officially be the tallest in the U.S.

Read more after the break…

Construction Begins on NYC’s First Prefab Steel and Concrete Residential Development

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Prefabrication has long been heralded as a possible way to infill New York’s vacant sites; however, it has only recently become a solid practical solution rather than an experimental concept. Riding the crest of the wave of new prefabricated housing is GLUCK+ (formerly Peter Gluck & Partners), in collaboration with developers Jeffrey Brown and Kimberly Frank. Together they have begun construction on one of New York’s first prefabricated steel and concrete residential buildings.

Read more about this and New York’s recent wave of prefabricated buildings after the break…

Pier 40 Parks and Housing Development Proposal / WXY Architecture + Urban Design

Courtesy of WXY Architecture + Urban Design

In an effort to saving the crumbling 15-acre Pier 40 on Manhattan’s Lower West Side waterfront, seven downtown youth sports groups have released a concept plan prepared by WXY Architecture + Urban Design to open up 40% more space for more fields and park space on the pier, mainly by creating a new development site for two new, 22-story residential buildings in an area along West Street directly in front of the pier. The development approach would open the existing 800-foot-long pier shed building that encloses the park fields to improve connections and access between the Hudson River, the pier, and the park. The result knits together leisure and recreation amenities with a premier waterfront destination. More images and architects’ description after the break.

BIG’s West 57th “Pyramid” Wins Final Approval

Courtesy of BIG

After an “arduous” public review and a heated debate over affordable , ’s City Council has unanimously awarded final approval to BIG’s tetrahedral-shaped West 57th apartment building in Manhattan. As reported by Crain’s New York Business, a compromise has been made to include 173 affordable housing units within the 32-story, 750-unit residential building and the neighboring industrial building that will be converted into 100 additional rental apartments. As you may recall, the community board and Councilwoman Gail Brewer initially threatened to “torpedo the project” if the apartments were only made affordable for a 35 year period. However, Durst apparently won them over by contributing one million dollars into an affordable housing fund.

“The good news, which is the mantra of my office and community board No. 4, is there will be, yes, by law, 35 years of income-restricted affordable housing,” stated City Councilwoman Brewer, who represents the area.

In Progress: The New School University Center / SOM

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Quickly rising on the corner of 14th Street and 5th Avenue in Manhattan, this new, multipurpose facility will soon become the “heart” of The New School – an avant-garde university in New York City. The University Center, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), combines all aspects of a traditional campus into a single, 16-story building, offering 200,000 square feet of academic space on the first seven floors and 150,000 square feet for a 600-bed dormitory on the levels above.

The brass-and-glass structure, which is the largest construction project in the university’s 91-year history in Greenwich Village, is scheduled for completion in 2014.

In progress images and more information after the break.