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Writing Pavilion / Architensions

  • Architects: Architensions
  • Location: Brooklyn, NY 11222, USA
  • Architects in Charge: Alessandro Orsini, Nick Roseboro
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Cameron Blaylock

© Cameron Blaylock © Cameron Blaylock © Cameron Blaylock © Cameron Blaylock

SOFTLab’s “Nova” Transforms Flatiron Public Plaza for the Holiday Season

The Flatiron Public Plaza has unveiled its centerpiece for this year’s “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” – SOFTLab’s Nova, the winner of a closed-competition hosted by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (BID) and Van Alen Institute. The project will become the center of the neighbourhood’s festivities for the holiday season, as well as “a highly visible landmark” in the heart of New York

Courtesy of Van Alen Institute Courtesy of Van Alen Institute Courtesy of 3M Courtesy of Van Alen Institute

BIG High Line Project Unveiled

New York Yimby has unveiled BIG's latest New York skyscraper: 76 11th Avenue. Planned for one of the largest plots along the High Line, the nearly 800,000-square-foot proposed project is comprised of two towers perched on a podium of retail, gallery and hotel space in the city's Meatpacking district. Rising 302-feet to the east and 402-feet to the west, the towers are divided by a "diagonal cut" through the site that opens up more views for residents to the High Line.

David Chipperfield Reveals His First Residential Project in New York

Details on David Chipperfield's first large-scale residential project in New York has been revealed. The last development to take place at Bryant Park, The Bryant condominium tower will feature 57 one to four bedroom residences, including two triplex penthouses, on a boutique hotel at 16 West 40th Street. The HFZ Capital Group development was designed with Chipperfield's "intelligent simplicity," as the architects describe. Each residence will occupy a corner of the tower.

REX to Design World Trade Center Performing Arts Building in New York

A commission that was originally set to be Frank Gehry's, Brooklyn-based REX has been selected to design The Performing Arts Center at New York's World Trade Center site - PACWTC. REX was chosen over finalists Henning Larsen Architects and UNStudio through a "rigorous invitational process" that focused on the practices' experience with similar projects, including REX's Dee and Chales Wyly Theater in Dallas, Seattle Public Library and Vakko Fashion Center in Istanbul.

"Throughout the architectural selection process, REX presented us with an inspired vision. Joshua [Prince-Ramus] totally blew us away with his innovative ideas about how to present cutting-edge culture, but also about how to make the PAC relate to everyone who comes to the WTC site," said PACWTC director and president Maggie Boepple.  

ODA's Manhattan Tower Offers Residents a Slice of Suburbia in the Sky

Inspired by the recent trend for super-skinny, super-tall skyscrapers currently dominating the Manhattan luxury residential market, ODA New York has developed a design for 303 East 44th Street which they describe as "a new urban reality" for the city. By taking a prototypical, modestly-sized tower building and stretching it skyward, the firm has inserted sculptural skygardens in the voids opened up between the floors to create a tower that combines the advantages of urban living with the spatial benefits of the suburban home.

© Moso Studio © Moso Studio © Moso Studio © Moso Studio

New Images Released of Foster + Partners' Seagram-Adjacent Condos in New York

RFR and Foster + Partners have released new images of One Hundred East 53rd Street, a 63-story luxury residential tower in New York next to Mies van der Rohe's famed Seagram Building. The skyscraper, which was announced last year, will contain 94 residences, a swimming pool, wellness facility, spa, library and sitting rooms, and its trademark Foster minimalism is intended to "provide a counterpoint to the Seagram’s bronze edifice," according to the developers RFR.


Brooklyn’s First Supertall Skyscraper to be Designed by SHoP

The first image of what will be Brooklyn's tallest building has been unveiled. Designed by SHoP Architects, the 1000-foot-tall skyscraper will boast a 12:1 ratio, as New York Yimby reports, making it one of New York's skinniest towers - despite being double the width of the practice's 111 West 57th Street project

"340 Flatbush," as it's known, is being developed by JDS. Upon its (tentative) completion in early 2019, the building will offer 466,000-square-feet of residential space, forming 550 units, and 140,000-square feet of commercial space. 

Can Anyone Win in Architecture Criticism? An Appeal for a "New Sincerity"

In the mid-1980s, after literature had long been held hostage by postmodernist irony and cynicism, a new wave of authors called for an end to negativity, promoting a "new sincerity" for fiction. Gaining momentum into the 1990s, the movement reached a pinnacle in 1993 when, in his essay E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction, pop-culture seer David Foster Wallace, a proponent of this "new sincerity," made the following call to action: “The next real literary ‘rebels’ in this country might well emerge as some weird bunch of anti-rebels, born oglers who dare somehow to back away from ironic watching, who have the childish gall actually to endorse and instantiate single-entendre principles... These anti-rebels would be outdated, of course, before they even started. Dead on the page. Too sincere. Clearly repressed. Backward, quaint, naive, anachronistic. Maybe that’ll be the point. Maybe that’s why they’ll be the next real rebels. Real rebels, as far as I can see, risk disapproval. The old postmodern insurgents risked the gasp and squeal: shock, disgust, outrage, censorship, accusations of socialism, anarchism, nihilism. Today’s risks are different. The new rebels might be artists willing to risk the yawn, the rolled eyes, the cool smile, the nudged ribs, the parody of gifted ironists, the ‘Oh how banal.'"

Architecture, ever in debt to the styles and ideas of other art forms, could learn a thing or two now from the resuscitation of American fiction at the turn of the millennium. It too is enduring an identity crisis, mired by pessimism and uncertainty - a reality made painfully clear this past January when a New York Times Op-Ed by Steven Bingler and Martin C. Pedersen, How to Rebuild Architecture, divided camps and made the design world fume. In the editorial, the authors spoke vehemently of an architectural profession that has become mired by egos and been disconnected from public needs. Things quickly got ugly, critics wrestled with critics and subsequently the public got involved. What no one seemed to take into account is that this type of hounding is at the core of the problem. In its current landscape the discipline has struggled with its past, been deferential to its present, and wrestled with the uncertainty of its future. In a moment when we have become addicted to despondency, can anyone win?

Industrial Tribeca / Studio Esnal

© Miguel de Guzmán © Miguel de Guzmán © Miguel de Guzmán © Miguel de Guzmán

Jeanne Gang to Expand New York's American Museum of Natural History

A conceptual design by Studio Gang was unveiled today as the preferred expansion to the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York. The proposed building, named the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation, aims to host an array of public exhibition space as well as become a premier "active scientific and educational institution" that enhances connections with the existing Museum and encourages exploration amongst its users. 

“We uncovered a way to vastly improve visitor circulation and Museum functionality, while tapping into the desire for exploration and discovery that are emblematic of science and also part of being human,” said Jeanne Gang, founder of Studio Gang. “Upon entering the space, natural daylight from above and sightlines to various activities inside invite movement through the Central Exhibition Hall on a journey towards deeper understanding. The architectural design grew out of the Museum’s mission.”

SOFTlab Wins Second Annual Flatiron Competition in New York

SOFTlab has been chosen as the second annual winner of the Flatiron Public Plaza design competition in New York. Their winning proposal, Nova will open to the public next month on Wednesday, November 18th. Its "crystalline" structure aims to intrigue the passer-by, welcoming them inside for framed views of the Flatiron Building and surrounding landmarks, including the Met Life Tower and Empire State Building

Adjaye Associates' Sugar Hill Development Offers a Different Model for Public Housing

In discussion with Calvin Tomkins for a 2013 profile in The New Yorker, David Adjaye spoke intensely on the significance of his Sugar Hill Development. “Context,” said Adjaye, “is so important, not to mimic but to become part of the place. I wanted a building that acknowledges its surroundings.” The recently-completed project is the brainchild of Ellen Baxter, leader of Broadway Housing Communities (BHC), a non-profit that has made strides to create innovative housing schemes in Upper Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood. In an era where mixed-used developments are routine, Sugar Hill adds new dimensions to the typology by uniting affordable apartments, an early childhood education center, offices for the BHC, and the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling.

In conjunction with their full building review written by Rob Bevan, The Architectural Review has produced this video which introduces the broader public to the tenants, allowing us to better understand the building’s use, intentions, and the design philosophy.

Brooklyn Bridge Park: What a Design by O'Neill McVoy + NVda Says About the State of Architecture

In Mark Foster Gage’s essay “Rot Munching Architects,” published in Perspecta 47: Money, the Assistant Dean of the Yale School of Architecture strove to find meaning in the current design landscape. Taking the essay title from a larger stream of expletives spun across the facade of the Canadian pavilion as part of artist Steven Shearer’s installation at the 54th Venice Art Biennale in 2011, Gage found truth in the vulgarities, arguing that - in a very literal sense - “architectural experimentation has left the building” as the discipline has been made impotent under the hostage of late capitalist ambition.

Last summer, when Brooklyn Bridge Park unveiled 14 proposals as finalists for two residential towers at the park's controversial pier 6 site, you could be fooled into thinking that design is alive and well. A caveat of the park’s General Project Plan (GPP) was to set aside land for retail, residential and a hotel development, in order to secure funding and achieve financial autonomy. The plans had already fueled a decade of legal battles and fierce opposition from the local community, with arguments ranging from the environment, to park aesthetics, to money-making schemes, but last year a bright outcome appeared a possibility, when the park unveiled the competing plans including those by Asymptote Architecture, BIG, Davis Brody Bond, Future Expansion + SBN Architects, WASA Studio, and of particular interest, O’Neill McVoy Architects + NV/design architecture (NVda).

Harbor Pair and Pedestrian Bridge. Image Courtesy of O'Neill McVoy Architects View from Manhattan. Image Courtesy of O'Neill McVoy Architects Garden Spiral Tower. Image Courtesy of O'Neill McVoy Architects Brooklyn Waterfront. Image Courtesy of O'Neill McVoy Architects

These Interactive Graphics Show the Evolution of Tall Buildings in New York

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat has released a new research study called New York: The Ultimate Skyscraper Laboratory, which utilizes data to “develop graphic features showing the progression of tall building development in New York City.”

The Timeline of Skyscrapers in New York City Region 1906-2018 graphic illustrates “how skyscraper construction aligned with social or political events in history” in the context of key events, for example, building inactivity around the period of World War II.

Forward Slash ( / ) ARCHITEKTUR Selected to Design Performa 15 Hub in NYC

Performa has selected the office of Christoph A. Kumpusch, Forward Slash ( / ) ARCHITEKTUR, as the winner of the competition to design the Performa 15 Hub. Held in New York City, Performa is a Biennale dedicated to live performance across artistic disciplines. This year’s Biennial, Performa 15, will take place November 1 -22, and the Performa Hub serves as the biennial's headquarters, offering a venue for special performances, screenings, panel discussions, artists’ seminars, a lounge, a shop and a visitor information center. Read more about the winning entry and Performa after the break.

Sneak Peek at the World's First Underground Park - The Lowline

A 1,200 square-meter "test lab" of what aims to be the world's first underground park has opened its doors to New Yorkers. View a sneak peek above, shared with ArchDaily by The Spaces, to see just how the Lowline (as the project's known) plans to "plumb" sunlight into an abandoned trolley terminal beneath the city's Delancey Street in an attempt to transform the forgotten space into a sun-lit, subterranean public garden. 

Stevens' Hurricane-Resilient SU+RE House Wins Solar Decathlon 2015

A student-led team from Stevens Institute of Technology (SIT) in New Jersey has won the 2015 Solar Decathlon with a “Coastal Home of the Future" - the SU+RE House. Affordable, net-zero, and entirely solar-powered, the home was inspired by the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. It hopes to serve as a prototype for coastal homes.

"SU+RE HOUSE powers itself with clean solar power, and uses 90 percent less energy than its conventional cousins," says the winning team. "In the aftermath of a storm, SU+RE HOUSE can become a hub of emergency power for surrounding neighborhoods."