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Symposium: Cities and Citizenship

Architects, Sociologists and Environmentalists explore the intersection between design and the social sciences at large by explicating the concept of “city” and “citizen” in parallel. 

Exhibition: Brazil: Night & Day, by Photographer Andrew Prokos

Among last year's winners of the International Photography Awards Competition, were some fantastic night photographs of Oscar Niemeyer's Brasilia taken by architectural photographer Andrew Prokos. The awarded photos, and more photographs taken by Andrew in Brazil, will be exhibited in "Brazil: Night & Day", at Banco do Brasil, 11 W 42nd St., New York. 

Norman Foster's Ultra-Thin Condominum Tower to Rise Above Seagram Building

Construction is officially underway on 610 Lexington Avenue, a 700-foot ultra-thin condominium tower designed by Foster + Partners in New York City. Designed as a contrast to its neighboring landmark, Mies van der Rohe’s midcentury Seagram Building, the slim 61-story tower will feature 91 luxury units encased within a pure white glass facade.

Waterfront Housing In a Post-Sandy World

Almost 400,000 New Yorkers live in floodplains, a number that should double by 2050 due to sea level rising. After Hurricane Sandy, the waterfront neighborhoods in which they live were dramatically re-envisioned, taking into account the heavy downpours and high winds that come with coastal storms. Is it possible to live safely while enjoying life at the water's edge?

Rafael Viñoly's Structural Experiment at Park Avenue Armory

New York's Park Avenue Armory, originally built in 1861 for the Seventh Regiment of the National Guard and restored by Herzog & de Meuron in 2007, is about to be temporarily taken over by Rafael Viñoly. On April 30th 2014 Artvest Partners will launch Spring Masters New York, "a fair for art produced between antiquity and the 20th century, which corresponds with Christie’s and Sotheby’s signature Impressionism and modern art auctions". Viñoly's hexagonal grid of exhibition rooms will fill the 55,000 square foot Drill Hall in an attempt to break with the monotony of the rectangular grid format.

The Exhibition Space (updated February 2015). Image © Román Viñoly The Exhibition Space (updated February 2015). Image © Román Viñoly The Exhibition Space (updated February 2015). Image © Román Viñoly The Exhibition Space (updated February 2015). Image © Román Viñoly

Weill Cornell Medical College Belfer Research Building / Todd Schliemann | Ennead Architects

  • Architects: Todd Schliemann | Ennead Architects
  • Location: 413 East 69th Street, New York, NY 10021, USA
  • Design Partner : Todd Schliemann
  • Management Partner : Duncan Hazard
  • Project Manager: Lois Mate
  • Project Architect: Craig McIlhenny
  • Project Team: Elizabeth Arnaiz, John Barrett, Matt Bissen, Barrett Brown, Colin Davis, Margaret Gorman, Frank Guittard, Katherine Huber, John Jordan, Zubair Kazi, Paul Keene, Stephen Kim, Whasook Lee, Apichat Leungchaikul, Christopher Lewis, James Macho, Nathan MaRae, Dona Orozova, Charmian Place, Graeme Reed, Allison Reeves, Patricia Salas, Adam Sheraden, Paul Stanbridge, Margaret Tyrpa, Marcela Villarroel, Ted Wagner
  • Area: 480000.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Jeff Goldberg/Esto

© Jeff Goldberg/Esto © Jeff Goldberg/Esto © Jeff Goldberg/Esto © Jeff Goldberg/Esto

Crowdfunding in Architecture: Game Changer or PR Game?

Building off of the success of their crowdfunded BD Bacatá building in Colombia, the real estate group Prodigy Network has announced a plan to bring this same funding method to New York, with an apartment hotel in Manhattan named 17 John.

The project, a glassy rooftop extension to the existing art deco building at 17 John Street, has much in common with Prodigy Network's past projects: the same funding method as their skyscraper in Bogotá as well as the same designer, Winka Dubbeldam, head of the New York practice Archi-Techtonics. Dubbeldam also previously helped them to crowdsource ideas for the future development of Bogotá in the "My Ideal City" project.

However, when applied to the USA, this funding paradigm - which is so promising in Colombia - becomes twisted beyond recognition. Upon close inspection, 17 John more resembles the standard developer's model than anything else - and the claims of ethical superiority begin to melt away. 

VIDEO: Liz Diller on the High Line, A Mile of Respite in the City that Never Sleeps

Liz Diller, one of the three partners of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, discusses the history of the High Line and the active design decisions which led to its success.

The elevated railroad, which was designed to penetrate city blocks rather than parallel an avenue, saw its last delivery (of frozen turkeys) in 1980. By 1999, a “very strange landscape had formed, with a whole eco system around it,” says Diller. Advocacy for the site’s preservation began with two local residents, and culminated in its reclamation with the multidisciplinary collaboration of city officials and impassioned designers (namely James Corner Field Operations, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and planting designer Piet Oudolf). "The High Line project couldn’t have happened without the right people, the right time and the right administration."

Skyscrapers Shedding Ice in NYC

As New York begins to thaw after record breaking winter conditions, city dwellers are forced to be on high alert for falling ice. Streets surrounding the 1,776-foot One World Trade Center have been closed following reports of ice shearing from its surface. Some blame the more energy efficient buildings for the deadly occurrence, believing that because the newer structures are able to hold in more heat their exteriors remain colder which aids the formation of ice. Materials and building form can help prevent this phenomena. You can learn more here.

Design Writing and Research Summer Intensive

The School of Visual Arts MFA Design Criticism invites you to join them for a two-week intensive to research and write about design. Participants will be introduced to a range of techniques for constructing compelling narratives about images, objects,and spaces. You will experiment with different research methods, writing formats, and complete several projects across media, including a collaboratively produced publication.

Symposium: Narratives and Design Studies: A Task of Translation

What unites contemporary design? What is the through line that connects designers between continents and across decades? This spring, The MA program in Design Studies at Parsons The New School for Design presents a two-day symposium that will bring together a rare interdisciplinary group of professionals and academics to explore narratives surrounding the field of design, and attempt to answer these questions. The conference, Narratives and Design Studies: A Task of Translation, will be held March 7 – 8.

Exhibition: Beyond the Supersquare

Beyond the Supersquare brings together a select group of contemporary artists whose insightful work addresses the remnants of the Modern Movement in Latin America and the Caribbean. While the exhibition will address how Modernism defined a number of decisive aspects related to contemporary architecture, urbanism, and art in Latin America, this exhibition will also examine the larger political and social underpinnings of these cultural and environmental developments. 

Behind "Hy-Fi": The Organic, Compostable Tower That Won MoMA PS1's Young Architects Program 2014

This article, published by Metropolis Magazine as "Behind the Living's "100% Organic" Pavilion for MoMA PS1", goes behind the plans for this year's MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program's winning design, "Hy-Fi" - looking at the compostable eco-bricks which make the design possible.

"It all starts on local farms with waste corn stalks," says Sam Harrington of Ecovative, who will help build this year’s winning entry for the MoMA PS1 Young Architect’s Program. Hy-Fi, designed by the New York-based firm The Living, will be made of bricks that are entirely organic and ultimately, compostable. A good chunk of that material is corn stalks, stained clay-red with an organic dye from Shabd Simon-Alexander and Audrey Louisere . The rest is mycelium—mushroom roots to you and me—that will hold the corn stalks together as they cohere into a molded shape. The technology, developed by Ecovative in 2007, has so far been used as a packaging material. "But we love the chance to try something bold, and that’s what PS1 is all about," Harrington says.

Read more about the bricks behind Hy-Fi after the break

AD Classics: Woolworth Building / Cass Gilbert

The Woolworth Building, an innovative and elegant early skyscraper completed in 1913, endures today as an iconic form on the New York City skyline. A historicist exterior sheaths a modern steel tower, embodying both the era’s modern spirit of progress and its hesitation to fully break from the past. Cass Gilbert, selected as the architect, believed the designer should “weave into the pattern of our own civilization the beauty that is our inheritance.”[1]  An ornate monument to the growing economic dominance of New York City, the building was dubbed the “Cathedral of Commerce.”

Blue and yellow accents. Image © Aaron Sylvan Stairs in the rear of the lobby. Image © Aaron Sylvan Woolworth Building under construction, circa 1912. Image Courtesy of Flickr Commons Project Typical upper level plan. Image © Penn State Libraries Pictures Collection

David Zwirner Gallery / Selldorf Architects

  • Architects: Selldorf Architects
  • Location: 537 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011, USA
  • Area: 30000.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Jason Schmidt

© Jason Schmidt © Jason Schmidt © Jason Schmidt © Jason Schmidt

Frank Gehry’s Ground Zero Performing Arts Scheme Abandoned

The recent hire of temporary artistic director David Lan has indicated that plans for Ground Zero’s “world center for the performing arts” is moving forward in New York. The famed London director will work alongside Charcoalblue managing partner Andy Hayles to revise the original Frank Gehry-designed scheme which, according to the center’s president, was prematurely designed. This leaves Gehry’s involvement unclear, as the initial 1000-seat center will be abandoned for a scaled down, three-theater house that ranges from 150 to 550 seats. Competition for funding also remains an obstacle, in light of venues such as Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s 2017 Culture Shed. You can learn more about the center’s update here

AD Classics: 2 Columbus Circle / Edward Durell Stone & Associates

Located on a small and irregular shaped island at Columbus Circle, one of the busiest intersections in Manhattan, lies 2 Columbus Circle, formerly known as the Gallery of Modern Art. Famously described as a “die-cut Venetian palazzo on lollipops” by Ada Louise Huxtable, the New York Times architecture critic at the time, the 10-story poured concrete structure has been a source of consistent controversy and public response since the 1960s.  Designed by Edward Durell Stone, an early proponent of American modern architecture, 2 Columbus Circle represents a turning point in his career.  Uncharacteristic of Stone’s prior work, his use of ornament on an otherwise modern structure can be seen as an important precedent of the development of the soon-to-emerge Postmodern movement.

Facade Detail. Image © Ezra Stoller/Esto 4th Floor Gallery. Image © Ezra Stoller/Esto North/East Facade. Image © Ezra Stoller/Esto Permanent Collection. Image © Ezra Stoller/Esto

Winning Submissions Envision Gateway for Abandoned Railway in Queens

The Emerging New York Architects (ENYA) committee of the AIA New York Chapter has announced the winners of its 2014 biennial design ideas competition, QueensWay Connection: Elevating the Public Realm. In an effort to imagine the ways in which The Trust for Public Land and Friends of the Queensway could transform an abandoned railway in Central Queens into a vibrant urban greenway, entrants were challenged to design a vertical gateway for the elevated viaduct portion of a 3.5 mile stretch along the rail. 

Of the 120 submitted proposals from 28 countries, the jury selected the following winners to represent the diverse array of ideas generated: