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Dwell on Design Heads to NY, October 9-11!

Dwell on Design NY, curated by the editors of Dwell magazine, debuts at 82 Mercer in SoHo, NY. Join 5,000 design elite as Dwell upends the standard ‘trade show’ format and creates a unique forum to engage, learn, inspire and connect. ArchDaily readers can receive $10 off show passes for the inaugural event with code DODNY registering here

At this groundbreaking event, influential designers, architects, industry thought leaders and you, will discuss, collaborate and address today's most pressing design challenges in the contract design industry and beyond. Over three days, attend 20+ Dwell-curated presentations, panel discussions and dialogues on ‘hot button’ issues across hospitality, travel, office, academia, public spaces, urban infrastructure and more. Be sure not to miss program highlights Reimagining New York City’s Terra Firma, The Future of Transit, Building for ResiliencyThe New Malleable Office and more.

New York Shows that Protected Cycle Lanes are a Win-Win Improvement

The introduction of protected bike lanes in many cities usually raises objections from motorists who believe that devoting an entire road lane to cyclists will restrict the flow of cars and add to congestion in cities. However, a study of New York's streets, which has been ongoing since the first protected bicycle lanes opened in 2007, has recently shown that the opposite is actually true: by separating different types of traffic, cars can actually get around faster.

That's before we even begin to discuss the safety benefits of protected bike lanes, with the study showing the risk of injury to cyclists, drivers and pedestrians all falling on streets where the protected lanes were installed.

Read on after the break for more results of the study

Construction Halted on SHoP Architects' Atlantic Yards Housing Project

The saga of the long-awaited housing component in SHoP Architects' Atlantic Yards masterplan in Brooklyn took a dramatic turn this week, as contractor Skanska USA decided to halt all construction on the B2 BKLYN project, the first of 14 planned apartment buildings at the site. The decision is the result of a long-running dispute between Skanska and the developer Forest City Ratner (FCR) over the slow pace of construction, with only 10 of the building's 32 stories constructed so far - despite the project's initial deadline having passed three months ago.

The project was lauded before construction began in 2012 for its plan to use a system of fast and cheap modular construction. However Skanska claims that the design of this system, which was developed by SHoP Architects in collaboration with Arup, was flawed. With both the contractor and developer claiming that the other is to blame for cost overruns into the tens of millions of dollars, Richard Kennedy of Skanska told the New York Times that they "came to the decision to stop work on the project until our significant commercial issues are resolved."

More on the dispute after the break

Frank Gehry’s Design for Ground Zero Arts Center Shelved

Frank Gehry’s design for the performing arts center at ground zero in New York has been shelved and the planning board will instead select a design from three other finalist architects, the New York Times has reported. This follows on reports from February that Frank Gehry’s original design was being revised and his plans for an initial 1,000 seat center were being abandoned. “We’re in the process of selecting a new architect,” said John E. Zuccotti, the real estate developer who is the chairman of the arts center’s board. “Three architectural firms are being considered.” Gehry, however, has said that he’s heard “zero at ground zero” and hasn’t been informed of the board’s decision. To learn more about the plans for the performing arts center see the full article from the New York Times.

The 6th Annual Architecture & Design Film Festival Returns to New York City

The 6th Annual Architecture and Design Film Festival is set to return to New York City on October 15th for five days of premieres and showings. With a special themed focus on Women in Architecture, the US's largest architecture-related film festival will present over twenty five feature-length and short films in a programme curated by Kyle Bergman and Laura Cardello. Designed to provide "rare glimpses and intimate portrayals of seminal figures and growing movements in the fields of architecture, design, urbanism and fashion," this year's festival will also feature a 3D film series exploring six iconic structures from filmmakers such as Wim Wenders and Robert Redford.

Explore the highlights and find out more about the festival after the break.

"Cathedrals of Culture: Centre Pompidou". Image Courtesy of Architecture & Design Film Festival "Dior & I". Image Courtesy of Architecture & Design Film Festival "Why a Film About Michele De Lucchi". Image Courtesy of Architecture & Design Film Festival "Christiana - 40 Years of Occupation". Image Courtesy of Architecture & Design Film Festival

Apple Awarded Patent for Flagship Store Design

The US Patent and Trademark Office have awarded a patent to Apple for the design of their flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New Yorkreports MacRumors. The patent, applied for by Apple in 2012, applies to the above-ground glass cube, which was originally designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and - after a renovation in 2011 - is made of just 15 glass panels with minimal steel fixings. More on the patent after the break.

New York's Oyster Bar: Serving up Reefs and Resiliency

As part of Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects' ongoing blog at Metropolis Magazine about effective implementation of landscape design principles, this article discusses one of the more unusual methods developed to create resilience and prevent storm damage: oysters. Drawing on her experiences creating an oyster reef at Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects' Pier 42 project in New York, Johanna Phelps explains the challenges and opportunities that arise in establishing this unusual type of natural infrastructure in an urban location.

Since Hurricane Sandy struck New York in 2012, the city’s waterfront design discussions have focused on ideas of resiliency and planning for storm events. The recent Rebuild by Design competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Presidential Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, featured six winning proposals that all envisioned a beefed-up Manhattan shoreline capable of handling large storm events and other hazards effects of climate change. Of the handful of ambitious designs, Scape/Landscape Architecture's Living Breakwaters plan was the most interesting: the project called for the reestablishment of New York's erstwhile oyster reefs, which the architects said would improve local ecology.

A City Without Cars: New York's Recovery from Automobile Dominance

Originally published by Metropolis Magazine as “Playing in Traffic“, this article by Jack Hockenberry delves into the relationship between man and vehicle, illustrating the complex dynamic created in New York - a city with over 2.1 Million registered vehicles. Contrary to the car-centric schemes of New York's infamous former Master Planner Robert Moses, Hockenberry argues that the city is the "negative space" while vehicles are obscured by our unconscious. 

It is a curiosity of modern urban life that the more cars crowd into cities, the more they become invisible. It’s a great feature that comes standard on any model these days. Unfortunately we can’t control it from the driver’s seat—however much we would like to wave our hands and watch through our windshields as gridlocked cars disappear, liberating us from traffic imprisonment. The invisibility I am speaking about only works if you’re a pedestrian or bicyclist. The number of motorized vehicles parked or driving at any given moment on the streets of New York City is astounding. An estimated 2.1 million are registered in the city, according to the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. Yet we never fully register them visually when we’re walking on the streets. The city is the negative space and that is how our eyes increasingly navigate urban landscapes. Everything around the cars and trucks gets knitted together by the eye and, even though the vehicles are present, we have gradually learned to ignore them unless we’re standing in the direct line of moving traffic.

Spatial Relations Take Centre Stage in MoMA's Newest Architectural Exhibition

What influence do art and space have on the contemporary architectural design process? MoMA's most recent exhibition on architecture and design Conceptions of Space strives to answer this question. Themed under the umbrella of spatial relations, Curator Pedro Gadanho ruminates on the subject in a broad and philosophical sense. The exhibition delves into the topic using an interdisciplinary approach, incorporating research from French philosopher Michel Foucault on the subject of the expanded field. The exhibition aims to explore the relationship between the development of space and its deep-seated roots in the creative arts. 

Fourteen Tower Proposals Unveiled for Controversial Brooklyn Bridge Park Development

New York City have released images of fourteen tower proposals as part of a controversial scheme to bring affordable housing to the 85 acre Brooklyn Bridge Park, originally designed by Michael van Valkenburgh and realised in 2004. The schemes, designed to be located on “two coveted development sites” on Pier 6, have been actively met with strong opposition from local community members. The park and surrounding area has seen a number of interesting recent regeneration proposals, from an 11,000ft² beach beneath the Brooklyn Bridge to a triangular pier proposed by BIG. Read on to see the proposals in detail, including those by AsymptotePelli Clarke Pelli, Davis Brody Bond, and Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG).

Asymptote Architecture´s proposal. Image Courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation via Architects Newspaper Pelli Clarke Pelli's proposal. Image Courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation via Architects Newspaper BIG´s + Alloy Design's proposal. Image Courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation via Architects Newspaper WASA Studio's proposal. Image Courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation via Architects Newspaper

What Happened to Manhattan's Lowline Project?

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.

Official Image Released Of New York's 1775-Foot Nordstrom Tower

Update May 20th 2015: Once again uncovered by New York YIMBY, development company Extell has released the first official rendering of 217 West 57th Street, also known as the Nordstrom Tower, as shown above. Below, see our coverage of the first unofficial images from last year.

The designs of the Nordstrom Tower in New York, the world's tallest residential building at 1,775 feet tall, have been revealed to New York YIMBY by an anonymous tipster close to the project. The project at 225 West 57th Street by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture will be one foot short of 1 World Trade Center, and with its 1,451 high roof will finally reclaim the title of United States' tallest roof from Chicago's Willis Tower.

More on the Nordstrom Tower after the break

Foster + Partners Unveils New Images of 425 Park Avenue

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.

via Visualhouse via Visualhouse New Render showing mezzanine floors on either side of the entrance lobby. Image via Visualhouse via Visualhouse

AA Studio Designs Redevelopment of Disused Dock Building

AA Studio have revealed their plans for the development of Brooklyn's iconic New York Dock Company building, transforming the 230,000 square foot structure into a mixed-use complex of six commercial spaces on the ground floor, 70 residential loft apartments, and a rooftop deck and gardens above.

The design aims to be as faithful to the original structure as possible, retaining the existing poured concrete columns and walls and exposing the high concrete ceilings. As one of the earliest structures to use the technology, the retention and celebration of these features is a key aspect of the building's conservation.

Read on after the break for more on the design

© AA Studio © AA Studio © AA Studio © AA Studio

ArchDaily, Fast Company, CLOG, and More to Lecture at "Viral Voices III: Globalization" in NYC

The AIANY Global Dialogues Committee has dedicated this year to “(dis)Covered Identities.” The theme aims to explore ways by which cultures, cities, and voices define or refine their identities through a global exchange of ideas and conversations covering multiple topics, perspectives and trends of our time. "Viral Voices" will specifically explore the impact of social media, technology, and device culture on our design process and the way we practice. How do we shape a global conversation?

Greg Lindsay, contributing writer for Fast Company and co-author of Aerotropolis with David Basulto and David Assael of ArchDaily will come together for a lecture discussing the relationships between social media and the profession. Following the lecture, Robyn Peterson from Mashable, Jaime Derringer from Design Milk, Diana Jou from the The Wall Street Journal, Rafi Segal from MIT Architecture / Architect/Blogger, Mark Collins from The Morpholio Project | The GSAPP CloudLab, and Kyle May from Clog will join the speakers for a panel discussion. Visit for further information.

Four Freedoms Park: Louis Kahn's "Ancient Temple Precinct" in NYC

Built four decades after Louis Kahn's death, New York City's Four Freedoms Park - the architect's posthumous memorial to Franklin D. Roosevelt and his policies - is becoming one of the architect's most popular urban spaces. In a recent article for the GuardianOliver Wainwright investigates what he describes as perhaps Kahn's "best project". Wainwright's spatial description of the monument is interweaved by fragments of Kahn's personal history, building up a picture of a space with "the feel of an ancient temple precinct" and "a finely nuanced landscape". Although Gina Pollara, who ultimately realised the plans in 2005, argues that Four Freedoms Park "stands as a memorial not only to FDR and the New Deal, but to Kahn himself", can a posthumous project ever be considered as an architect's best? Read the article in full here.

VIDEO: How The Living's Mushroom Tower Was Built

Our friends at The Creators Project have shared with us an awesome video of the latest MoMA PS1 installation: Hy-Fi. Designed by The Living, who have - in a fascinating move - recently been acquired by Autodesk, the tower's many organic, biodegradable bricks are grown from a mushroom root in five days, with no energy required and no carbon emissions. In fact, the tower will be composted after MoMA PS1's summer program is over. Learn more about this ingenious tower from the creator David Benjamin in the video above. And check out more images of the tower after the break.

© Andrew Nunes © Andrew Nunes © Andrew Nunes © Andrew Nunes

Alcohol and Urbanism, a Case Study: Breaking New York City’s Open Container Law

Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. Image © Rennie Jones
Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. Image © Rennie Jones

If there is one thing to be learned from the unsuccessful prohibition period of the 1920s, it is that we, the people, will go to great lengths to exercise our right to drink alcohol in the company of others. Our determined forefathers could have simply enjoyed a small-batch bathtub brew in the comfort of their own homes, but instead they established a system of secret places to congregate and consume collectively, even under threat of federal prosecution. Though it is no longer a felony to consume alcohol, New Yorkers are still pushing the legal limits of drinking with others, challenging the open container laws that prohibit public drinking.

Drinking is a recreational activity. It is a means of stepping beyond the realm of normal perception and seeing things differently, in the metaphorical sense (though sometimes a literal one). It is an act of recreation and repose, the parallel of peering at passerby from a park bench. In New York City, as in most of the United States, it is illegal for any person to possess an open container of an alcoholic beverage in any public place, “except at a block party, feast or similar function for which a permit has been obtained." Rarely do individuals have the resources for a block party or occasion for a full-scale public feast. More likely, they simply seek to crack open a can with neighbors on their front steps or with friends in Central Park, thereby enjoying a beverage in one of the country’s most vibrant and diverse public spheres for a mere penance. Unfortunately, that is not a legal option. Even the outdoor space we own is not completely open to our discretionary use: a resident cannot drink on his own stoop because it is “a place to which the public or a substantial group of persons has access."