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Films & Architecture: "North by Northwest"

Our latest movie in our Films & Architecture series is another ’60s classic, this time by the master filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock. In North by Northwest we see a New York in the heyday of its architectural glory, with one scene taking place at a newly constructed United Nations building. In fact, the last scene takes place in a “house” that, under Hitchcock’s instructions, was meant to seem designed by Frank Lloyd Wright (in reality, the house was just another set design). The film shows a variety of urban spaces, and puts special emphasis on the contrast between the densities of  urban and rural realms.

As always, enjoy and comment!

Event: Buell Center at Columbia University presents “Comments on Comments”

How do we talk about architecture? Housing? Cities? Culture? Politics? And, equally important, how don’t we talk about them? Comments on Foreclosed, a forthcoming book and online archive of public reactions to Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream, a 2012 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York that was co-curated by the Buell Center, has been produced to document just this kind of public discussion and the various platforms that shape it. On February 18th, The Buell Center will mark the completion of the book and website, www.commentsonforeclosed.com, with a public event, “Comments on Comments”.  A performance of excerpts from the archive will open a multimedia panel discussion and Q&A.  In so doing, certain gaps in the public conversation on American housing and urbanism will be identified, and systemic deficiencies called out.

100 Norfolk Street / ODA

Designed by ODA, 100 Norfolk Street expresses the unlimited potential and ambition hidden in the New York Block as it stands significantly taller than its neighbors. Located within the Lower east side Manhattan, the design creates a rather unusual condition, a mid-block – freestanding building overlooking the area, offering strong light exposure for the interior residential spaces and direct views of Downtown, Midtown and the Williamsburg Bridge. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Ezra Stoller: Beyond Architecture

Now on view at the Yossi Milo Gallery through March 2, rarely-seen images by modernist architectural photographer Ezra Stroller (American, 1915-2004) captures a Post-War American landscape with stunning images of industry, technology, transportation and working class Americans. 

Beyond Architecture covers the full range of Stoller’s work, including photographs commissioned by Fortune, Architectural Forum, and House Beautiful magazines in the 1940s and for commercial projects for IBM, Upjohn Pharmaceuticals and CBS in the 1940s and 1950s. Included are photographs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s John Hancock Building, Chicago, and the United Nations Headquarters, designed by an international team of architects led by Wallace K. Harrison and including Oscar Niemeyer and Le Corbusier.

A selection of these images after the break...

Preservationists Prevail: Paul Rudolph’s Brutalist Landmark Spared from Destruction

Although preservationists continue to mourn the seemingly inevitable demise of Chicago’s Prentice Women’s Hospital, a solid victory for Brutalism has finally been confirmed. Lawmakers in Goshen, New York, have passed a proposal to renovate Paul Rudolph’s iconic Orange County Government Center, authorizing $10 million in design funding. The 15-6 vote was secured by the overwhelming evidence that an upgrade would be more cost effect than County Executive Ed Diana’s fallback plan to replace two-thirds of the building and preserving only the court section. In addition, lawmakers felt the pressure of a March 12 deadline that would risk losing up to $2.7 million in federal funds to repair water damage caused by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in 2011. 

More after the break...

Situ Studio's 'Heartwalk' Opens in Times Square

Just in time for Valentine's Day, Situ Studio has unveiled the fifth edition of Times Square’s annual Heartwalk installation - a heart-shaped “room within the city” made of salvaged Sandy debris. Inspired by the “collective experience of Hurricane Sandy and the love that binds people together during trying times,” Heartwalk begins as two weathered ribbons of wooden planks that gradually lift to form an illuminated heart enclosure in the middle of Duffy Square. 

People are already falling in love, as you can see Instagram's #heartwalktsq is filling up with images of elated New Yorkers standing within the “heart of New York City”.  

More images after the break...

BIG’s West 57th Pyramid Wins Final Approval

© BIG
© BIG

After an “arduous” public review and a heated debate over affordable housing, New York’s City Council has unanimously awarded final approval to BIG’s tetrahedral-shaped West 57th apartment building in Manhattan. As reported by Crain’s New York Business, a compromise has been made to include 173 affordable housing units within the 32-story, 750-unit residential building and the neighboring industrial building that will be converted into 100 additional rental apartments. As you may recall, the community board and Councilwoman Gail Brewer initially threatened to “torpedo the project” if the apartments were only made affordable for a 35 year period. However, Durst apparently won them over by contributing one million dollars into an affordable housing fund. 

"The good news, which is the matra of my office and community board No. 4, is there will be, yes, by law, 35 years of income-restricted affordable housing," stated City Councilwoman Brewer, who represents the area.

Foster Responds to Kimmelman’s “Offensive” Diatribe Regarding the New York Public Library

The New York Public Library’s (NYPL) main building on Fifth Avenue, is a Beaux-Arts masterpiece designed by architects Carrère & Hastings. Image via Flickr User CC wallyg.
The New York Public Library’s (NYPL) main building on Fifth Avenue, is a Beaux-Arts masterpiece designed by architects Carrère & Hastings. Image via Flickr User CC wallyg.

When applying “major surgery” to a beloved, 20th century “masterpiece”, you’re going to face some harsh criticism. Such is the case for Norman Foster, as the legendary British architect has been receiving intense backlash from New York’s toughest critics for his proposed renovation to the New York Public Library. First, the late Ada Louise Huxtable exclaimed, “You don’t “update” a masterpiece.” Now, the New York Time’s architecture critic Michael Kimmelman claims the design is “not worthy” of Foster and believes the rising budget to be suspect. 

More on Kimmelman's critique and Foster’s response after the break...

'The City That Never Was' Symposium

Organized by Christopher Marcinkoski and Javier Arpa, in cooperation with the Architectural League of New York, ‘The City That Never Was’ symposium will be taking place Friday, February 22, from 9:00am-5:30pm EST at the Scholastic Building in New York. The one day event will use the current economic and housing crisis in Spain as a lens to reconsider how planners, designers, politicians, and financiers conceive of and realize large-scale contemporary urbanization and settlement. It will be organized through four primary themes — infrastructure, waste, landscape, and instant urbanism – in order to explore new possibilities for how future patterns of urbanization can be conceived, financed, planned, deployed, and inhabited. For more details, including the complete itinerary and speaker information, please visit here.

Oiio Reveals Proposal for Guggenheim Expansion

Courtesy of Oiio Architecture Office
Courtesy of Oiio Architecture Office

With many museums worldwide seeking to extend, to accommodate larger collections, Athens-based Oiio Architecture Office have asked: “What if we decided we needed a little more of Guggenheim?”

Their solution is to stretch Frank Lloyd Wright’s original building skywards, by continuing its iconic ramp, creating an additional 13 floors. 

More on the design after the break...

Martin Barry: Collaborative Ideas for More Livable Cities Lecture

Martin Barry, founder and director of reSITE in Prague and associate at W Architecture and Landscape Architecture in New York, will give an evening lecture at 6:30pm EST on February 7th. Taking place at the NYU Silver Center, his lecture will focus on how organization is advocating for more transparent, contemporary and sustainable urban planning in Czech cities. Martin will discuss the outcomes of reSITE 2012 and describe their plans for reSITE Festival and Conference to take place in June 2013. The event is presented by NYU Department of Art History & Urban Design and Architecture Studies with Czech House NYU. For more information, please visit here.  

Sushi-teria / form-ula

  • Architects: form-ula
  • Location: 601 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10022, USA
  • Design Team: Ajmal Aqtash, Richard Sarrach, Tamaki Uchikawa
  • Fabrication Team: Tai-Li Lee, Brian Chu, Zack Fine, Arianna Lebed, Andrew Reitz, David Kim
  • Collaborators: Sebastian Misiurek
  • Contractor: John Gallin & Son
  • Area: 1,000 ft2
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Barkow Photo

© Barkow Photo © Barkow Photo © Barkow Photo © Barkow Photo

Mayor Bloomberg Announces Winner of adAPT NYC Competition

“My Micro NY” Winter © nycmayorsoffice/Flickr
“My Micro NY” Winter © nycmayorsoffice/Flickr

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced the winner of adAPT NYC - a city-sponsored competition that challenged developer-led teams to design an innovative micro-apartment that responds to 21st century housing problems. With an all time high of 8.4 million people, and an expected million more by 2030, New York City’s shortfall of affordable one and two person apartments is continuing to grow at a staggering rate. In an effort to solve this imbalance, the winner of adAPT NYC will build an experimental project on a piece of city-owned land in Kips Bay, Manhattan, that has been alleviated from the 1987 density restriction that requires all new apartments to be greater than 400 square feet. 

“The growth rate for one- and two-person households greatly exceeds that of households with three or more people, and addressing that housing challenge requires us to think creatively and beyond our current regulations,” said Bloomberg.

So, who won adAPT NYC? Find out after the break!

The Reyner Banham Symposium: ‘On Error’

Taking place January 23rd from 2:00pm-7:oopm EST, the Reyner Banham Symposium, ‘On Error’, focuses on how error can be many things. In its most common display, however, it is something we are taught to avoid. It is often characterized by mannerisms that were once trends but are now condemned or qualified by a lack of command over formal logic, material tolerances, construction techniques, and space planning, to name but a few. The accepted belief is that by avoiding error we promote progress. It seems only fitting to surrender to this logic as it is much easier to agree on what constitutes a mistake than it is to admit to a measure of success. The event is organized by the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning and will be held at the Darwin Martin House’s Greatbatch Pavilion. For more information, please visit here.

Whitney Studio / LOT-EK Architecture & Design

© Danny Bright
© Danny Bright
  • Architects: LOT-EK Architecture & Design
  • Location: Madison Avenue, New York, NY, USA
  • Design Team: Ada Tolla, Giuseppe Lignano
  • Project Architect: Virginie Stolz
  • Area: 700.0 ft2
  • Photographs: Danny Bright

© Danny Bright © Danny Bright © Danny Bright © Danny Bright

CODA wins P.S.1 with Skateboard Scrap ‘Party Wall’

Courtesy of MoMA
Courtesy of MoMA

The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 has selected CODA’s (Caroline O’Donnell, Ithaca, NY) large-scale, self-supporting Party Wall, made from leftover shreds of skateboard material, as winner of the 2013 Young Architects Program (YAP). Drawn from five finalists, the porous skin of CODA’s temporary urban landscape will shade visitors of the Warm Up Summer Music series with its reclaimed woven screen, while providing water in refreshing cooling stations and seating with its detachable wooden skin on the lower half of the linear structure.  

Artist Antonio Pio Saracino & Salt ‘N Pepa to Unveil Arches of Hope Installation

Created and conceived by Patrick Duffy, the creative director of the OUT NYC, and designed by award-winning Italian designer and architect Antonio Pio Saracino, the Arches of Hope installation will be launched at its opening reception on Thursday, January 17, from 6:30pm-8:30pm at the OUT NYC and be on display until January 24. In collaboration with Lifebeat: Music Fights HIV/AIDS and the MTV Staying Alive Foundation, the stunning and inspiring interactive art installation will be unveiled on the eve of President Obama’s second inauguration as part of a multi-faceted campaign aimed at raising awareness of the rise of HIV and AIDS in young people. More images and information after the break.

Situ Studio to Construct Valentine's Day Installation with Salvaged Sandy Debris

© Situ Studio
© Situ Studio

Situ Studio has been selected from eight competitors as winner of the fifth annual Times Square Valentine Heart Design, cosponsored by Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance, along with Design Trust for Public Space. The young, Brooklyn-based practice won the jury over with their Heartwalk proposal made of New York and New Jersey boardwalk boards that were salvaged from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The installation will be unveiled on Tuesday, February 12, 2013, and remain on view until March 8, 2013. Learn more about Situ Studio’s winning proposal after the break.