Of course, the archive also includes a significant assortment of captivating architectural images that range from everyday scenes to historic treasures. We've trawled the database to find some of the most unusual and insightful examples - read on to see a selection of the most interesting architectural images from NYPL’s digital archives.
Alongside a series of 2016 proposals, including the plans to transform Penn Station, Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that New York will be expanding its Jacob K. Javits Convention Center - the busiest convention center in the US. Originally designed by James Ingo Freed of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners in 1986, the structure has undergone a number of renovations since; this time, it will be expanded by 1.2 million-square-feet, totaling 3.3 million-square-feet, with the addition of "the largest ballroom in the Northeast," new exhibition space, a four-level truck garage, and a 34,000-square-foot solar array.
New York City has seen rapid redevelopment that has capitalized on previously undesirable locations. Sitting at the top of these locations are the sites that have access to waterfront. Most of the ventures in these areas are private economic interests that only address public value when there is a direct return on profit. If not taken into consideration many of these waterfronts will be absorbed and, with the constant return of people to the urban core, there lies a need to create public and cultural infrastructure. In a city that is filled with numerous icons, parks, theaters, and museums an
Governor Andrew Cuomo has laid out plans to transform New York's congested Pennsylvania Station and neighboring James A. Farley Post Office into a world-class transportation hub. Penn Station, North America's busiest train station, was originally designed in 1910 to accommodate 200,000; currently it's serving more than 650,000 passengers each day. Though a number of firms have been enlisted in the past to re-imagine the station, the project's developer has yet to chose an official architect.
“Penn Station is the heart of New York’s economy and transportation network, but it has been outdated, overcrowded, and unworthy of the Empire State for far too long,” said Governor Cuomo. “We want to build Penn Station to be better than it ever was, and that is exactly what we are going to do. This proposal will fundamentally transform Penn Station for the 21st century, and we are excited to move forward with the project in the days to come.”
This first major retrospective of Alberto Burri's (1915-1995) work in the United States in nearly forty years will close at New York City's Guggenheim Museum later this week. More than one hundred works are on display covering his entire career, culminating in a film of Burri's largest work: the reinterpretation of the ruins of Gibellina, in Sicily. The old city, destroyed by the 1968 Belice earthquake, was later encased in concrete preserving the morphology of the buildings and the city's medieval streetscape. Alongside his two-dimensional work, the exhibition ultimately seeks to demonstrate how Burri blurred the line between painting and sculptural relief that directly influenced the Neo-Dada, Process art, and Arte Povera movements.
Shigeru Ban, the 2014 Pritzker Prize winner, is an architect often celebrated for his humanitarian and disaster relief structures, constructed out of recycled or recyclable materials. On the other end of spectrum, he is well-known for his meticulously constructed residential and museum projects, more often than not for high-end wealthy clients. The Nomadic Museum, however, combines both of these facets of his practice, using shipping containers and paper tubes to craft a bespoke mobile gallery for Gregory Colbert’s traveling exhibition of photography entitled Ashes and Snow.
The Ford Foundation is about to undergo a massive $190 million renovation. Led by Gensler, the project will "modernize" the landmark building and expand its spaces "for convening and creating a global center for philanthropy and civil society."
Originally designed by Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo, the Ford Foundation is considered to be one of modern architecture's most iconic buildings. "That rarity, a building aware of its world," New York Times architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable once described, following the building's opening in 1967.
The Institute for Digital Archaeology (IDA), a joint-venture between Harvard University (US), the University of Oxford (UK) and Dubai’s Museum of the Future (UAE) have announced that they will replicate a structure of architectural significance that was destroyed earlier this year by IS, or 'Islamic State', at full scale in the centre of London and New York City. The arch—all that remains of the Temple of Bel at the Syrian UNESCO World Heritage site—was captured by militants in May and destroyed. By no means an isolated case, IS have looted and demolished a number of similar architectural and anthropologically important sites that "pre-date Islam in Iraq," condemning them as "symbols of idolatry."
The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission has approved COOKFOX Architect's plans for a mid-rise, 66-unit condominium building in Manhattan. Planned for two parcels of land in the West End Collegiate Historic District, next to one of the Churches' five ministries, the project aims to "fit harmoniously with the distinct streetscape" while "interweaving the rich historic details of the Upper West Side with subtle contemporary and sustainable design."
Located on 527 West 27th Street, in “the heart of West Chelsea” and overlooking the highline, Jardim is a set of two, 11-storey luxury condominium buildings designed by Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld. His first project in New York, the buildings comprise 36 condominium residences, each with between 1-4 bedrooms. Many of the residences will have private outdoor spaces, providing “seamless indoor-outdoor living."
In his latest article for Vulture, art critic Jerry Saltz celebrates the latest crop of public art in New York City, such as Deborah Kass' OY/YO sculpture, sitting near the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn, commenting on the success of such pieces even though (or perhaps because) many of them have been curated by art-world insiders rather than publicly accountable arts commissions or community engagement processes. But for Saltz, this new wave of high-quality public art has come at the expense of quality public space. Despite his admiration for the art installations, he expresses skepticism of the privately-funded public spaces that house them, such as the much-celebrated High Line, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) and James Corner Field Operations, as well as future projects such as Pier 55 by Heatherwick Studio, and the "Culture Shed" at the Hudson Yards development also by DS+R. His critique even references a phrase from DS+R that belongs on our list of words only architects use. Read Saltz's full discussion of public art and public space here.
It has been over fifty years since Jane Jacobs' book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, revolutionized discourse on urban planning, and her words still carry a huge influence today. But in the intervening decades New York City has changed in ways Jacobs could never have imagined when she was writing in the 1960s. In a recent article for City Journal, Judith Miller tries to imagine how Jane Jacobs would have responded to some of New York City's recent projects - taking as examples the imminent domain actions and tax breaks that made Brooklyn's Atlantic Yards (now also known as Pacific Park) possible, the cluster of skyscrapers and public venues planned for Hudson Yards on the west side of Manhattan, and the supertall luxury condo towers that are beginning to cast their long shadows over Central Park. Read Miller's article in full here.
In recent years New York has become famous for an unusual method of bringing green space to the city, the hugely popular “High Line” which reused industrial infrastructure in the creation of a new park. But as unconventional as the High Line is, it’s nothing compared to James Ramsey's of Raad Studio and Dan Barasch’s state-of-the-art proposed counterpart, the subterranean “Lowline." Working alongside others including Signe Nielsen, principal at Matthew Nielsen Landscape Architects, and John Mini, the pair recently opened the Lowline Lab, an environment similar to that of the actual Lowline site that gives the team a space to put their theories and ideas to the test, gather results and make final decisions. I had a chance to catch up with Ramsey and Nielsen to discuss the landscape of their test space.
This isn't your typical New York skyscraper; Mark Foster Gage has been commissioned to design a 1492-foot-tall luxury tower in Manhattan - 41 West 57th Street. Described by Skyscraper City as the "missing link between Beaux Arts, Art Deco, Expressionism, Gaudi-Modernisme and Contemporary architecture," the outlandish design boasts a uniquely carved facade cloaked in balconies custom tailored for each of its 91 residential units.
"I think that many of the supertall buildings being built in New York City are virtually free of architectural design - they are just tall boxes covered in a selected glass curtain wall products. That is not design," said Gage.
Venice, Berlin and New York City are the first to be featured in LEGO®'s new Architecture Skyline Collection. Unlike its single-building series, these new kits will allow you to recreate famous skylines by constructing up to 5 of each city's most iconic buildings.
New York City's skyline will be represented by the One World Trade Center, Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Statue of Liberty, and Flatiron Building. Venice will feature the Rialto Bridge, St. Mark’s Basilica, St. Mark’s Campanile, St. Theodore and the Winged Lion of St. Mark, and the Bridge of Sighs. And Berlin's skyline will include the Reichstag, Victory Column, Deutsche Bahn Tower, Berlin TV Tower, and Brandenburg Gate.
Heatherwick Studio and Diamond Schmitt Architects have been chosen to collaborate on the "renovation and reimagination" of David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center’s largest concert hall in New York City. The team, chosen through a two-year competition and over 100 firms, will design a 21st-century concert hall for the New York Philharmonic home and transform it into a center capable of hosting "a broader, ongoing array of community activities and events."
"The inspiring combination of Heatherwick and Diamond Schmitt will bring contemporary design excellence, respect for the historic architecture of the hall, and extensive experience creating acoustically superb performance halls," said Katherine Farley, chairman of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.
Until recently, the only options for providing clients and the public with visualizations of what a prospective building would look like were almost exclusively hand drawn renderings, or scale models built by hand. Both of these practices are still in use today, but now there is a much wider range of options with 3D modeling software providing the bulk of renderings, the growing presence of 3D printing, and even video fly-throughs with special effects that rival the latest Hollywood action movie. This 16mm film created by architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) in 1984, and digitized by illustrator Peter Little, reminded us of what the early days of digital 3D modeling looked like.
Minoru Yamasaki (December 1, 1912 – February 7, 1986) has the uncommon distinction of being most well known for how some of his buildings were destroyed. His twin towers at the World Trade Center in New York collapsed in the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, and his Pruitt-Igoe complex in St. Louis, Missouri, demolished less than 20 years after its completion, came to symbolize the failure of public housing and urban renewal in the United States. But beyond those infamous cases, Yamasaki enjoyed a long and prolific career, and was considered one of the masters of “New Formalism,” infusing modern buildings with classical proportions and sumptuous materials.