North America’s Radiant City: Le Corbusier’s Impact on New York

Co-op City. Image © Flickr CC user Runs With Scissors

Despite his status, Le Corbusier never had the opportunity to build in – in fact he only had one chance to build in the United States at all, completing Harvard’s Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts in Cambridge in 1963. But this doesn’t mean his influence isn’t visible all over the Apple. Originally published on 6sqft as “Towers in the Park: Le Corbusier’s Influence in NYC,” this article takes a look at three examples where Le Corbusier’s “Radiant City” ideals were transplanted to New York.

Even before taking his first trip to New York in 1935, Le Corbusier described the city as “utterly devoid of harmony.” After seeing it in person, his feelings didn’t soften. He wasn’t impressed by the tall towers, rather stating that they were the product of an inferiority complex, and he thought the city’s leaders were too timid to hire him. He wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times saying that “American skyscrapers have not attained the rank of architecture; rather, they are merely small objects such as statuettes or knick-knacks, magnified to titanic proportions.” He thought the city would benefit from buildings that “don’t try to outdo each other but are all identical.”

Animated Film Envisions BIG’s Manhattan “Dry Line”

A vision to protect post-Sandy Manhattan against future superstorms, Bjarke Ingels Group’s (BIG) “Dry Line” seeks to form a continuous storm barrier around lower by transforming underutilized waterfront spaces into a “protective ribbon” of public parks and amenities. Though ambitious, the project is not impossible; it was one of six winners in the US’ Rebuild by Design competition that is envisioning ways New York can protect its edge.  

Watch the film above, by Squint/Opera, to see what Manhattan could potentially look like in the future, and read more about the project here. The Dry Line is also on view at the National Building Museum in Washington D.C as part of ’s exhibition HOT TO COLD: an odyssey of architectural adaptation.

Stereotank’s HeartBeat Fills the Air in Times Square

© Clint Spaulding for @TSqArts

New York City is celebrating the opening of its seventh annual Valentine’s Day  in Times Square. As part of Times Square Alliance’s heart design competition, Brooklyn-based, Venezuelan-born firm Stereotank has constructed their heart-beating urban drum in hopes to bring New Yorkers together through music.

OMA Tapped to Design New York High Line’s Latest Project

’s proposed Hoboken Waterfront. Image ©

New York developer Related Companies has reportedly commissioned OMA to design their newest project on West 18th Street. The Rotterdam-based practice is the latest to join a list of internationally acclaimed architects who will be leaving their mark on the elevated Manhattan parkway, including Zaha Hadid who also was tapped by Related Companies to design an 11-story, luxury apartment project on 520 W. 28th Street. Few details have been released; the commission will be OMA’s first major project in New York City. They will be working on the project alongside practice’s comprehensive “Rebuild by Design” strategy for Hoboken.

How Americans Get to Work

Interactive: How Americans Get to Work. Image Courtesy of flowingdata.com

In the US, most people drive alone to work. This isn’t surprising, considering car culture has been a staple of American life since the end of World War II. However, with the potential of high speed rails making way in California and the push for public transit in many other states, it will be interesting to see how this map may (or may not) change over the next decade.

This interactive infographic, provided by flowingdata.com, illustrates the work-related usage rates for all varying modes of transportation throughout every county in the US. Click here to see.

Work on 432 Park Avenue Ceases Briefly Due to Falling Construction Debris

© dbox for CIM Group and Macklowe Properties

As uncovered by Curbed, construction workers at Rafael Viñoly‘s 1,396 foot (426 meter) tall 432 Park Avenue were served with a full stop work order last week by the New York City Department of Buildings, after an 8 foot (2.4 meter) long section of steel pipework was dropped from a construction hoist on the building’s 81st floor.

Inequality and Informality in New York: SITU Studio’s Proposal for MoMA’s Uneven Growth Exhibition

© SITU Studio

When it comes to discussing informal housing, it’s usually in developing nations that take the spotlight – however, as revealed by SITU Studio’s contribution to MoMA’s Uneven Growth exhibition, issues of informal housing are indeed present in across the spectrum of development. In this interview, originally posted on Arup Connect as “Inequality and informality in New York,” Sarah Wesseler speaks to SITU Studio principle Bradley Samuels about their unconventional proposal to address an issue that is frequently overlooked in New York city policy.

Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities, a newly opened exhibit at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, focuses on the complex relationship between urbanization and inequality. Over the 14-month period leading up to the launch, six interdisciplinary teams explored how these issues are playing out in different parts of the world, each developing an architectural response for a specific city.

Architecture firm SITU Studio (together with Cohabitation Strategies [CohStra]) was tasked with studying its home city, New York. ( transport planner Michael Amabile also consulted with the team.) We spoke with SITU principal Bradley Samuels about the project.

Norman Foster Revisits New York’s Hearst Tower With Drones

YouTube Preview Image

To mark the 10th anniversary of the topping out of New York City’s Hearst TowerLord Foster returned in order to narrate a short film shedding new light on the building with the aid of camera . The 46 storey building – which is integrated into a 6 storey base brick structure designed by Joseph Urban in 1928 - was “one of the most sustainable buildings of its time.” Now, ten years later, this footage captures spectacular new views of the main atrium.

Vincent Laforet’s Images of New York From Above Will Take Your Breath Away

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Something he has “dreamed of capturing for decades,” Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Vincent Laforet has released a stunning set of images that captures his hometown of New York in a way that has never before been seen. Taken from a nauseating 7500-feet above the city, Laforet’s “Gotham 7.5K” series reveals the unrelenting, pulsating energy that radiates from the Apple’s city grid.

All the images and the making-of video, after the break. 

New York’s “City of Dreams” Competition Selects Two Winners

© BanG Studio

Two winners have been announced for the fifth annual cycle of ’s “City of Dreams” competition: the “Billion Oyster Pavilion” by locally-based BanG Studio and “Organic Growth” by of Madrid and London. Pending approvals and fundraising, both pavilions will be assembled on Governors Island and open to the public for the summer 2015 season. The winning pavilions, after the break.

Five Design Teams Re-Envision New York’s Public Libraries

Hunts Point Library concept. Image Courtesy of Andrew Berman Architect, Library Development Solutions, Neil Donnelly, AEA Consulting, Auerbach Pollock Friedlander

There are 207 branch libraries in the city of New York, each providing a number of services to city residents. From the simple lending of books to adult technical literacy classes, these institutions are as vital as they were before the advent of the internet, and their attendance numbers prove it. Between the years of 2002 and 2011, circulation in the city’s library systems increased by 59%. Library program attendance saw an increase of 40%. In spite of this, library funding was cut by 8% within this same timeframe, which has made it difficult to keep many of the system’s buildings in good repair. To spark interest and support from city leaders, The Architectural League, in collaboration with the Center for an Urban Future, instigated the design study Re-Envisioning ’s Branch Libraries.

Sponsored by the Charles H. Revson Foundation, the study is the effort of five design teams chosen by the League. These teams – including MASS Design Group and SITU STUDIO - were charged with proposing exciting new library designs that follow the League’s themes of “integrating libraries into the city’s housing and community development goals, reconfiguring libraries to meet community needs, and developing new ideas for expanding the impact of branch libraries.” The teams presented their work at a January 4th symposium. See each of the proposals, as well as video footage of that symposium, after the break.

Video: Santiago Calatrava On His Design For Ground Zero’s Only Non-Secular Building

In a film for the BBC Magazine, Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava talks through his designs for the new St. Nicholas Church – the only non-secular building on the 9/11 Memorial site. The building, which broke ground last year, has been described by Calatrava as a ”tiny jewel” for lower , comprising of a white Vermont marble shrine sat beneath a translucent central cupola that is illuminated from within. The new church, of Greek Orthodox denomination, replaces a church of the same name which was destroyed during the attacks of . It is sited close to its original location on 130 Liberty Street, overlooking the National September 11 Memorial park and museum. With the building set to open in early 2016, Calatrava discusses the key conceptual ideas and references behind its unique, controversial design.

New York’s Storefront Launches “Street Architecture” Competition

Courtesy of Storefront

On the occasion of Ideas City 2015, the biennial Festival created to explore the future city and to effect change, Storefront for Art and Architecture, along with the New Museum and the Department of Transportation, is launching a competition for the design and construction of an outdoor structure—a work of “Street Architecture” that facilitates new forms of collective gathering and engagement with the city.

Why Are There Still No Built Traces of New York’s Tech Industry?

837 Washington Street. ImageImage via New York YIMBY

For many architects, the chance to make an impression on the landscape of New York City is a sign of distinction, an indication that they have “made the time.” But it’s not just architects who have this desire: for decades, the city’s industrial players have also striven to leave their mark. However in this article, originally posted on New York YIMBY as “How New York City is Robbing Itself of the Tech Industry’s Built Legacy,” Stephen Smith examines where it’s all gone wrong for the city’s latest industry players.

Strolling through the streets of Manhattan’s business neighborhoods, you can pick out the strata of the city’s built commercial heritage, deposited over generations by industries long gone. From the Garment District’s heavy pyramidal avenue office towers and side street lofts, dropped by the garment industry in the 1920s, to the modernist towers like Lever House and the Seagram Building, erected on Park and Fifth Avenues during the post-war years by the country’s giant consumer goods companies, each epoch of industry left the city with a layer of commercial architecture, enduring long after the businesses were acquired and the booms turned to bust.

But 50 or 100 years into the future, when our grandchildren and great-grandchildren stroll through the neighborhoods of Midtown South that are today thick with and creative firms, they are not likely to find much left over from the likes of Facebook or Google. There will be no equivalent of Grand Central or Penn Station, Terminal City or the Hotel Pennsylvania, left over from the early 20th century railroad tycoons, or SoHo’s cast iron buildings, developed by speculators seeking to feed the growing textile and dry-goods trades of the late 19th century. Perhaps unique among New York’s large industries, the tech and creative tenants that have become the darlings of the current market cycle are leaving very little behind for future generations to admire.

Interior Renders of Robert AM Stern’s 520 Park Avenue, NYC’s Most Expensive Apartment Building

© 2014 Zeckendorf Development LLC via 520parkavenue.com

This news article was originally published by 6sqft.

Robert A.M. Stern‘s 520 Park Avenue has already been called “the next 15 Central Park West,” and like its Stern predecessor, 520 is an ultra-luxury development with a stately façade wrapped in stone. Set to be completed in 2016, it will rise 51 stories high, but contain just 31 units, one of which is the $130 million penthouse, the city’s most expensive apartment. And though most of the attention has been on “the greatest apartment on the Upper East Side,” the fanfare has now shifted to the first batch of interior renderings for the building.

520 Park’s full website is now live, and not surprisingly, the residences have classic layouts, impressive Central Park views, and a host of high-end amenities.

How Cutting Edge Technology Helped Recreate the Stella Tower’s Concrete Crown

Screenshot from video by JDS Development Group

In some projects, preservation isn’t just about retaining what’s there, but also about putting back an element that has been forgotten to history (not always, though). This was the case at the Stella Tower in Manhattan, where as part of the building’s recently completed condo conversion, JDS Development Group and Property Markets Group, along with architects CetraRuddy have reinstated the dramatic Art Deco crown of Ralph Walker’s 1927 design.

Stereotank Designs Heart-Beating Urban Drum for Times Square

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Come February 9, New York City will be celebrating the opening of its seventh annual Valentine’s Day in Times Square. As part of Times Square Alliance’s heart design competition, Brooklyn- based and Venezuelan-born firm Stereotank will be constructing a heart-beating urban drum in hopes that it will bring together New Yorkers through music. 

Studio Gang Tapped to Extend American Museum of Natural History

. Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

Chicago’s Studio Gang Architects have been selected to design a new Center for Science, Education and Innovation for the American Museum of Natural History in . Named after its largest donor, the $325 million Gilder Center will include 218,000-square-feet of existing and new space. It is slated to open on Columbus Avenue at 79th Street on the west side of the Museum campus, in conjunction with its 150th anniversary in 2019–2020.