New York’s City Council have unanimously backed a proposed plan to restore and redevelop the aging giant that is Pier 57. Built in 1952, the 300,000 square foot pier was hailed by Popular Mechanics as a ‘SuperPier’ for its vast size and unconventional construction, as most of the pier’s weight is supported by ‘floating’ air-filled concrete cassions. The pier was originally used as a bus depot by the New York City Transit Authority, however it has been lying vacant since 2003. The latest decision brings a concrete end to years of speculation as to what the fate of the pier would be.
Read more about the proposal after the break…
“There are of course the personal feelings — your buildings are like your children, and this is a particular, for us, beloved small child. But there is also the feeling that it’s a kind of loss for architecture, because it’s a special building, a kind of small building that’s crafted, that’s particular and thoughtful at a time when so many buildings are about bigness.” – Billie Tsien, quoted in The New York Times
After only 12 years, the Tod Williams & Billie Tsien-designed American Folk Art Museum is slated to be demolished. Despite the acclaim it has received from critics, including high praise from the likes of Paul Goldberger and Herbert Muschamp, and the importance it has been given in New York’s architectural landscape, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA, which bought the building in 2011) reports that it must tear down the building to make way for an imminent expansion.
At the time of its construction, the building was of the first new museums built in New York in over thirty years. Unfortunately, the building will more likely be remembered for its short life, taking, in the words of The New York Times reporter Robin Pogrebin, “a dubious place in history as having had one of the shortest lives of an architecturally ambitious project in Manhattan.”
Read more about the American Folk Art Museum’s imminent demolition, after the break…
Taking place April 11-12 in New York, the Facades+ Performance Symposium will focus on cutting through the jargon to consider the heart of high performance building envelopes. Presented by The Architect’s Newspaper and enclos, they recently announced that an additional workshop will take place on Friday, April 12. This workshop will focus on the fundamental concepts and workflows for creating performance-based design models with the parametric design tool, Grasshopper for Rhino3D. Using Grasshopper, participants will be guided through a series of exercises designed to emphasize the relevant applications of parametric design for professional practice. To sign up, and for more information on the two-day event, please visit here. A video can be viewed after the break.
Whole Foods has teamed up with New York’s local organic grower, Gotham Greens, to build the first commercial-scale greenhouse attached to a supermarket. The 20,000-square-foot greenhouse, expected to open in Brooklyn this Fall, will provide locally grown produce year-round to nine Whole Foods stores in New York City area.
Organized by New York Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (nycobaNOMA), lighting designer Abhay Wadhwa, founder and design principal of AWA Lighting Designers, will speak about Contextualizing Light: The Impact of Culture and Climate on Lighting Design at the 2013 Design Talk. AWA Lighting Designers are known for their architectural lighting designs nationally and internationally and were just featured in the Index Furniture Journal’s January-February 2013 issue. The event will take place at the Mohawk Showroom in New York City on April 18th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. For more information, please visit here.
As part of Season of Cambodia, a multidisciplinary arts festival taking place this spring in New York City, Parsons The New School for Design and Cambodian Living Arts will be presenting a two-day colloquium titled, ‘Living Arts City: Art and Urbanism in Phnom Penh and New York’. Taking place April 6-7, the event will bring together artists, performers, curators, arts managers, scholars and students in a series of facilitated workshops and discussions on how to make the arts central to a sustainable future in Cambodia, in the face of rapid growth and urban development. For more information, including a complete schedule of events, please visit here.
Prefabrication has long been heralded as a possible way to infill New York’s vacant sites; however, it has only recently become a solid practical solution rather than an experimental concept. Riding the crest of the wave of new prefabricated housing is GLUCK+ (formerly Peter Gluck & Partners), in collaboration with developers Jeffrey Brown and Kimberly Frank. Together they have begun construction on one of New York’s first prefabricated steel and concrete residential buildings.
Read more about this and New York’s recent wave of prefabricated buildings after the break…
Presented by The Architectural League of New York, the Wang Shu lecture is coming up this Tuesday, April 2nd, at The Cooper Union at 7:00pm. The 2012 Pritzker laureate will be discussing his current work and how Amateur Architecture Studio, founded by him and wife Lu Wenyu, incorporates his knowledge of everyday techniques to adapt and transform materials for contemporary projects. Some of his most important built works include the Library of Wenzheng College, Suzhou University; Ningbo Contemporary Art Museum; the Xiangshan Campus of the China Academy of Art; and the Ningbo History Museum. For more information, please visit here.
Re-zoning midtown would ultimately lead to the demolition of the corporate steel and glass skyscrapers, which preservationists argue are emblematic of the cutting edge modernism that swept 1950′s America. However, landlords contest that – for the most part – they are poorly built copycats of seminal landmarks such as the Seagram and Lever buildings and are not particularly significant or suited for modern needs.
More information after the break..
Selected for this year’s Emerging Voices of the Architectural League of New York, PRODUCTORA of Mexico City will be delivering a lecture this Thursday, March 28th, at 7:00pm at the Scholastic Auditorium. PRODUCTORA was selected for their distinct design voice and their potential to influence architecture on a global scale. Being named an Emerging Voice is one of the most coveted awards in North American architecture, and the program has an excellent thirty year track record of identifying and nurturing firms that go on to have influential practices.
Other winning firms included in this year’s selection are Cao-Perrot Studio of Los Angeles and Paris, DIGSAU of Philadelphia, dlandstudio of Brooklyn, Gracia Studio of Tijuana and San Diego, MASS Design Group of Boston and Kigali, Rwanda, Ogrydziak Prillinger Architects of San Francisco, and SO-IL of New York City. For more information on the event, please visit here.
nARCHITECTS is designing a cultural education complex for the Wyckoff House Museum in Brooklyn on the site of New York‘s oldest house. The Wyckoff House has an immense history as it was the first landmark designated by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1968. nARCHITECTS’s educational complex will act as a portal between its present day environment and historical site. Due to its exceptional spatial and temporal intervention, the design was recently awarded an AIA New York Design Merit Award.
The Woolworth Building @ 100 Exhibtion, taking place at the Skyscraper Museum in New York City until July 14, 2013, celebrates its centennial year in the process of conversion, with office space remaining below and luxury residences planned for the upper tower. Still radiant on the lower Manhattan skyline, the landmark heralds both the past and future of New York as it became the preeminent silhouette on the New York skyline and took the title of world’s tallest office building in 1913 when eighty thousand incandescent bulbs illuminated the New York night. The brilliant spectacle was a career-crowning achievement for the tower’s owner, the five-and-dime store king Frank W. Woolworth, who paid for the skyscraper with his personal fortune and took a hands-on role in every decision of its design. For more information on the event, please visit here.
The New York office of The Trust for Public Land recently issued an RFP for a feasibility study, framework plan, and conceptual design for the QueensWay–a potentially transformative 3.5-mile project which will enhance quality of life in central and southern Queens, New York by reclaiming the abandoned Rockaway Rail Line, a largely elevated rail corridor. The project, which includes a pedestrian and bicycle pathway connecting the communities of Rego Park, Forest Hills, Richmond Hill, and Ozone Park, will provide a new public green space, celebrating the cultural diversity of Queens with art, sculpture, and food from around the world.
There is a mandatory Pre-Submittal Meeting March 28, and the proposal submittal deadline is April 23. For more information, please visit here.
Throughout history, people have spent a great deal of time pondering what the future holds. Scientific discovery and technological innovation – along with rebellious androids, zombies, flying cars, hover crafts, visiting aliens – have been consistently used as stereotypes that emerge in predictions for our imagined future. And while Hollywood was busy exploring dystopian scenarios of this near-future, architects were composing utopian images of an optimistic vision for cities.
Architects have built careers upon predicting what cities can potentially become – developing forms, functions, plans and visions of possibilities in the social, political, economic and cultural realms through architecture. In 1962, Mayor Robert Wagner of NYC predicted a culturally diverse, economically viable, global city for New York in 2012. In 1988, Los Angeles Times Magazine gave its 25-year forecast for Los Angeles in 2013, predicting what a life for a family would be like, filled with robots, electric cars, smart houses and an abundance of video-conferencing. Find out how their predictions fared after the break.
Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) recently held a lecture featuring performance artist Marina Abromović alongside OMA principle Shohei Shigematsu in the anticipation of the Marina Abromović Institute for the Preservation of Performing Art (MAI) 2014 opening. In the lecture, Shigematsu speaks about the process in which they transformed a former theater in Hudson, New York, into a structure that’s capable of assisting the institute’s mission to develop new kinds of performance, while functioning as a space for preserving and hosting historic performance pieces. Shigematsu references OMA’s history of designing spaces that combine architecture and art, such as the Quebec National Museum and a recent collaboration with Kanye West.
More on this discussion after the break…
On view now until April 13, is the Stamberg Aferiat + Associates designed exhibition for Frank Gehry prints and a sculpture for the Los Angeles-based artists’ workshop Gemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl in New York City. The exhibition celebrates architecture, a more than ten-year collaboration with the renowned architect, and their one-year anniversary in a designed space by architects Peter Stamberg and Paul Aferiat. The exhibit features a newly editioned sculpture and an enlarging of Gehry’s Marques de Riscal Winery image. More images and description of the exhibition after the break.
One friend said, “It looks a bit austere.” At first glance, it probably is. But like so many great minimal environments, it asks for patience and generosity. You give, and in turn it gives back.
This is also what the artists Mark Rothko, Richard Serra, Donald Judd, and, more recently, Olafur Eliasson ask. Trust them with your time and you may be rewarded with a small measure of serenity—perhaps even with the connection between art and the divine that Dominique de Menil was so focused on.
Designed by Louis Kahn, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park is an outdoor sanctuary at the southern tip of what is now called Roosevelt Island, created as a memorial to FDR. The park opened last fall. Kahn’s gift took 40 years to be realized, but it presents a path for human beings to treat each other to peace.
Continue reading after the break…