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Brooklyn to Transform Canal Into "Sponge Park"

One of the United States’ most polluted bodies of water is about to receive a much needed make-over: In early 2014, construction will begin on a pollution-preventing greenscape that will run alongside Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal. The proposal, dubbed Sponge Park, was envisioned more than five years ago by Susannah Drake of dlandstudio and has just now “soaked up” enough funds to move forward. 

The Bloomberg Years: Reshaping New York

Since Mayor Bloomberg took office in 2001, the fabric of New York City has been in constant flux. In just 12 years, Bloomberg has lead an effort to rezone 37 percent of the city to create opportunities for high-density growth, as well as aided the construction 40,000 new buildings and 450 miles of bike lanes. Putting these efforts in perspective, the New York Times has released the interactive feature “Reshaping New York” that compares statistics with drastic ‘before and after’ comparisons. Check it out and read our report on Bloomberg’s lasting affect on the Empire State here

STUDIOKCA's 'Head in the Clouds' Pavilion Opens in NYC

Back in February of this year, the non-profit arts organization FIGMENT asked “What would an art pavilion made out of recycled materials and based around the idea of 'The City of Dreams' look like to you?.” Brooklyn-based STUDIOKCA beat out over 200 other submissions in the competition with their Head in the Clouds pavilion, now open to the public on Governors Island in NYC.

MoMA Releases First Storybook: “Young Frank, Architect”

Inspiring builders of all ages, MoMA has released their first storybook, following the adventures of a young, New York City architect and his architect grandfather: Young Frank and Old Frank. The creative pair - with matching bow ties, straw boater hats and, of course, Le Corbusier-inspired glasses - optimistically views the world as an endless supply of inspiration and possibilities. Everything, from macaroni to old boxes, inspires them to create - especially after discovering the works of Frank Gehry and Frank Lloyd Wright at The Museum of Modern Art. 

BIG, OMA Shortlisted by HUD to "Rebuild by Design" Post-Sandy

U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced ten shortlisted teams to compete in the multi-stage regional design competition “Rebuild by Design.” Each team will aim to “promote innovation by developing regionally-scalable but locally-contextual solutions that increase resilience in the region, and to implement selected proposals with both public and private funding.”

The 10 multidisciplinary teams are:

Midtown Financial Company / a + i architecture

  • Architects: a + i architecture
  • Location: New York, NY
  • Architecture Project Team: Dag Folger, Michael Lehner, Carrie Gibbs, Elizabeth Fennell, Phil Ward, Alan Calixto
  • Area: 110000.0 sqm
  • Photographs: Magda Biernat

© Magda Biernat © Magda Biernat © Magda Biernat © Magda Biernat

M&M House / Stan Allen Architect

© Pablo Gerson © Pablo Gerson Courtesy of Stan Allen Architect Courtesy of Stan Allen Architect

New York Announces Plans to Build Brooklyn Bridge Beach

NYDaily News reports that the New York City Council has allocated $7 million to redevelop a 11,000 square foot swath of forgotten land into a beautiful, sandy beach beneath the Brooklyn Bridge. Originally conceived as part of New York’s “Blueway” plan, the waterfront project will grant access to terraced seating, wading pools and fishing areas, along with a kayak launch and concession stand via tree-lined walkways. See what else the “Blueway” entails, here on ArchDaily. 

AD Classics: Modern Architecture International Exhibition / Philip Johnson and Henry-Russell Hitchcock

Model of Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye from Modern Architecture: International Exhibition [MoMA Exh. #15, February 9-March 23, 1932] Photo: Modern Architecture, International Exhibition. 1932. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photographic Archive
Model of Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye from Modern Architecture: International Exhibition [MoMA Exh. #15, February 9-March 23, 1932] Photo: Modern Architecture, International Exhibition. 1932. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photographic Archive

“Modern Architecture: International Exhibition” is the title of an exhibition that took place in 1932 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Curated by Philip Johnson and Henry-Russell Hitchcock, the exhibition introduced an emerging architectural style characterized by simplified geometry and a lack of ornamentation; known as  the “International Style,” it was described by Johnson as “probably the first fundamentally original and widely distributed style since the Gothic.” The exhibition, along with an accompanying catalogue, laid the principles for the canon of Modern architecture. 

Model of Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye from Modern Architecture: International Exhibition [MoMA Exh. #15, February 9-March 23, 1932] Photo: Modern Architecture, International Exhibition. 1932. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photographic Archive Henry-Russell Hitchcock, Jr. and Philip Johnson: THE INTERNATIONAL STYLE: ARCHITECTURE SINCE 1922. via www.modernism101.com  Villa Savoye by Le Corbusier © Flavio Bragaia Barcelona Pavilion by Mies van der Rohe © Flickr User: gondolas

Mayor Bloomberg's Legacy:The Construction Boom of NYC

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's twelve years in office will leave an undeniable impression on the physical landscape of the city for future generations.  The new and revised policies of this administration have encouraged unprecedented growth of New York City and its outer boroughs in the years following 9/11.  According to a new series called The Bloomberg Years by WNYC and this article by Matthew Schuerman, Bloomberg's three consecutive terms have made New York City's skyline taller, have made the city more attractive and in turn, more expensive.

Join us for more after the break.

Madison Square Garden Limited to 10 Year Permit

A landslide vote (47-1) by the New York City Council has limited the permit for Madison Square Garden to just 10 years. The decision comes after the property owner’s - MSG Company - 50 year permit expired earlier this year, sparking a heated debate on whether or not the city should deny the owners request to renew the permit in perpetuity and envision plans for a new Penn Station

Video: Steven Holl on Columbia University's Campbell Sports Center

Legendary American architect Steven Holl has collaborated again with Spirit of Space to produce two short videos on the recently completed Campbell Sports Center in New York City. While always compelling to hear an architect discuss a project, these videos integrate the architect's narration with different dynamic shots of the building's detail and context, thus truly immersing the viewer in the project. 

The first video (above) features Steven Holl and senior partner Chris McVoy explaining the project's inspiration, design concept and program; simultaneously, the filmmakers take us into the space and show how the new athletic facility is being used by the student athletes. The second, shorter, video (after the break) shows the building in the city, revealing the fascinatingly complex relationship between the passing subway cars, the field hockey players, the movement of shadows and the building itself.

See the second video, after the break...

Zaha Hadid Unveils New York Apartment Block Alongside High Line

Zaha Hadid has unveiled her first New York City commission: an 11-story, luxury apartment block planned alongside the second section of the High Line in Chelsea at 520 West 28th Street. 

Spearheaded by New York developer Related Companies, the “sculpted” glass and steel residential development hopes to lure buyers with its expansive, double-height entrance lobby, communal garden, generous terraces, private courtyards, and, of course, exclusive views of New York’s most beloved attraction: the High Line. 

Tighthouse / Fabrica 718

  • Architects: Fabrica 718
  • Location: New York City, NY, USA
  • Architectural Designer: Fabrica 718
  • Architect of Record: Studio Cicetti Architect
  • Design Team: Julie Torres Moskovitz, team: Minyoung Song, Kim Letven, Michael Vanreusel, Natalya Egon, Corey Yurkovich, and Jade Yang
  • Structural Engineer: Anastos Engineering
  • Expediter: Schnall Consulting
  • Contractor: WM Dorvillier & Co
  • Passive House Engineer: ZeroEnergy Design
  • Area: 3200.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Hai Zhang

© Hai Zhang © Hai Zhang © Hai Zhang © Hai Zhang

AD Interviews CODA, MoMA PS1 YAP Winner 2013

Starting this Saturday, the public will finally be able to admire the winner of this year's Young Architects Program - Party Wall - at the MoMA PS1 courtyard in Long Island City. Every Saturday this summer through September 7, Party Wall will be the multi-functional backdrop (at once wall, water feature, shading and seating storage device) for Warm Up 2013, an outdoor music series.

We spoke with Party Wall's designer, Caroline O'Donnell, principal of CODA, just this morning; she told us that although much has been made of Party Wall's ingenious material (skateboarding scraps) and multi-functionality, it's most important feature is it's referentiality to the urban language of Long Island City.As O'Donnell told us: "we started to understand the relationship between the wall and the other languages—Long Island City, the billboards, the graffiti. We realized we had entered into a dialogue with a bigger urban context."In fact, the wall itself is a legible sign - written in the shadow it forms.

Read our interview with O'Donnell on Party Wall's ingenious design, after the break...

Tapping into the Potential of New York's “Lost” Underpasses

Broadway in Harlem; Kevin Harber via Flickr; Licensed via Creative Commons
Broadway in Harlem; Kevin Harber via Flickr; Licensed via Creative Commons

The Brooklyn Queens Expressway (BQE) cuts through myriad neighborhoods on its route between Queens and Brooklyn. Sometimes it takes the form of an elevated six-lane highway with nothing but dark parking lots below; sometimes as a deep trench that segregates neighborhood pockets. The Cross Bronx Expressway in the South Bronx similarly creates boundaries, isolating neighborhoods from each other.  

Projects such as these, built under the heavy handed politics of Robert Moses in the mid-20th century, show little regard for community development. The effects of these projects can be seen today; the  spaces below the highway overpasses of New York City tend to be dark, dingy places that we avoid or rush past. They’re perceived as "lost space" within the city, yet they have an innate potential to be much more.

The Design Trust for Public Space, a non-profit dedicated to promoting public space, sees that potential. With their new project, Under the Elevated: Reclaiming Space, Connecting Communities, they hope to take these “lost” spaces and turn them into safe and exciting venues that will, at long last, reconnect long-separated communities.

More on this exciting program, after the break.

Gehry to Design New York Office for Facebook

Shortly after winning approval on their Frank Gehry-designed, Menlo Park headquarters in California, Facebook has announced plans to once again commission the Los Angeles-based starchitect to design a new office for their New York City team. By early 2014, Gehry is expected to refurbish an existing 100,000 square-foot, two-story office space - nearly twice the size of their current home at 335 Madison Ave - on 770 Broadway. 

Penn Station, Re-Imagined

This morning, four architectural firms, invited by the Metropolitan Art Society(MAS), displayed how they would transform New York's darkest & dingiest hub - Penn Station - into a space worthy of its site in the heart of the city.

New Yorkers have been up in arms about Penn Station ever since its Beaux-Arts predecessor, designed by McKim, Mead & White, was demolished in 1963. Its replacement is a dark, cramped station that lacks both the operational and security features it needs to sustain the hundreds of thousands of travelers who use it daily. As Michael Kimmelman put it in his inaugural piece as architecture editor for The New York Times: "To pass through Grand Central Terminal, one of New York’s exalted public spaces, is an ennobling experience, a gift. To commute via the bowels of Penn Station, just a few blocks away, is a humiliation."

As we reported last month,Madison Square Garden’s (MSG) 50-year permit expires this year, and it will be either renewed without limit, or extended 10-15 years, by The New York City Council in the coming months. The problem, according to MAS, is that "MSG happens to sit on top of the busiest train station in North America [a.k.a, Penn Station] and constrains its ability to serve over half a million people every day. [...] 2013 presents New York City with a truly unique opportunity and together we need to seize this moment."

And so MAS invited Diller, Sofidio, & Renfro; H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture; SHoP; Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill, to do just that. See their visions, after the break...