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National September 11 Memorial / Handel Architects with Peter Walker

North Pool looking South © Joe Woolhead
North Pool looking South © Joe Woolhead

Today in Lower Manhattan, thousands of visitors are crossing a landscaped plaza of oak trees towards two black granite, sculptural voids, carved deep into the earth, to commemorate the victims of September 11, 2001. Designed by Michael Arad of Handel Architects, the National September 11 Memorial has transformed the last remnants of the former World Trade Center (WTC) towers into a power civic space for contemplation and healing. Here, the painful memory of 9/11 is preserved and honored, while the necessary bustle of everyday life is able to move forward. Continue after the break for more images and information.

9/11 Retrospective / A Family Picture of the Freedom Tower

September 2001 © R. Cilento
September 2001 © R. Cilento

The Twin Towers had a profound presence in my life.  I would greet them every morning, watching the sunlight dance across their facades, and, in the evening, I would search for patterns in the office lights that never seemed to fade.  As a child, I would stand at the base of the towers and crane my neck in an effort to see the very top where the towers met the sky, trying not to stumble backward onto the stone of the plaza, mesmerized by their dizzying height and stoic duality. I was in science class in the 6th grade when the towers were hit. And, so began the quest of what would fill the emotional and physical gap left in my city.  But, my focus today, on this day of remembrance, is the progress that has been made at the site and the promise for its future.

Video: Darwin Martin House / Frank Lloyd Wright

Update: The Hegeman / Cook + Fox

© Cook+Fox Architects
© Cook+Fox Architects

Architects: Cook + Fox Architects Location: Brooklyn, NY Project Name: The Hegeman Client: Common Ground Comunities Completion: 2012 Size: 64,469 SF

© Cook+Fox Architects © Cook+Fox Architects © Cook+Fox Architects © Cook+Fox Architects

'Past Futures, Present, Futures' Exhibition

Storefront for Art and Architecture is opening up its fall exhibition season starting September 25th with ‘Past Futures, Present, Futures’. The exhibition, which will be up until November 17th, presents 101 unrealized proposals for New York City, with 101 reenactments by invited artists, architects, writers, and policy-makers to create alternative visions for the present and future of the city. The exhibition is curated by Eva Franch and designed by Leong Leong. An opening reception will take place on September 25, 2012 from 7pm to 9pm. For more information, please visit here.

nycobaNOMA ‘Crafting the Interview 3.0′ Event

The New York Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (nycobaNOMA) will be hosting the ‘Crafting the Interview 3.0′ event, which has been postponed to take place October 13 at FXFOWLE from 11am – 5pm. In order to provide the necessary tools to craft a successful interview, they have planned a Portfolio + Resume Review Day for graduating college students and young professionals seeking feedback on their portfolio. A panel presentation will provide information about the job hunting process and current market trends. The event will offer constructive one-on-one feedback to participants and a panel discussion comprised of professionals representing different sectors of the architectural + design community. To register for the event and for more detailed information, please visit here.

Imagining the Lowline

Courtesy of James Ramsey and Dan Barasch
Courtesy of James Ramsey and Dan Barasch

Mark your calendars – the Lowline is going public! After a great gallery exhibition and tons of international support, the Lowline founders are launching a public exhibition to showcase their innovative technological approach to creating the world’s first underground park on the Lower East Side of New York City. The full scale exhibition will take place in the Essex Market Building D, an abandoned warehouse just above the proposed Lowline Park, from September 15-27. More after the break.

Guesthouse / HHF architects + Ai Weiwei

© Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

Architects: HHF architects + Ai Weiwei Location: Ancram, New York, USA Design Team: Mio Tsunemaya, Madeleine Kessler, Jeff Mansfield Project Year: 2011 Photographs: Iwan Baan

Community Board Approves SPURA Redevelopment Plan, What's Next?

Courtesy of NYC EDC
Courtesy of NYC EDC

SPURA is one of the many adopted acronyms used to describe New York City’s division of neighborhoods. But unlike SOHO, NOHO, or Tribeca, SPURA is actually the name of a development site in Lower Manhattan, the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area, to be exact. The history of the site is a story of politics, economics and social pressures. After fifty years of debates between community leaders, activists and designers, the City Planning Commission has given a proposed development plan the green light. That means that following a land-use review process called ULURP, a city council vote and the Mayor Bloomberg’s final approval, the site may finally transition from a street level parking lot into a mixed-use development full of retail stores, offices, community facilities, a new Essex Street market, a hotel, a park and 900 apartments that will occupy 1.65-million-square-feet. Join us after the break to read more on the development and to see other alternative creative proposals that this site has inspired over the years.

115 Norfolk / Grzywinski+Pons

  • Architects: Grzywinski+Pons
  • Location: New York, NY
  • Design Team: Matthew Grzywinski, Amador Pons
  • Area: 0.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2011
  • Photographs: Floto + Warner

© Floto + Warner © Floto + Warner © Floto + Warner © Floto + Warner

NYU Bobst Library Renovation / Joel Sanders Architect

© NYU
© NYU

As reported by David W Dunlap for the NYTimes, the safety-restoration applied to Philip Johnson and Richard Foster’s Elmer Holmes Bobst Library on the NYU campus near Washington Square is close to completion.   While the library, which was constructed in the early 1970s, remains intact, the tremendous atrium space – a soaring 150 ft void – is proving to be more of a safety hazard than the magnificent architectural experience the architects intended.  Since 2003, the library has been marred by claiming the lives of three students who leaped to their deaths (even after the university installed 8ft polycarbonate barriers).   Charged with the task of eliminating the possibility for such a future occurrence, Joel Sanders Architect responded with a perforated alumium screen that completely walls off the atrium from the library’s levels. More after the break.  

West 18th Street / ODA

Recently, we shared ODA’s honorable mention proposal for the National Library of Israel which fosters an open haven for learning and activity.  The New-York based firm is also working on projects a bit closer to home in Manhattan that approach zoning restrictions with an air of optimism.  ODA explained, “We embrace those parameters (zoning ordinances) and use them as the DNA of our buildings. If carefully studied, NYC’s zoning allows for many interpretations that follows logical principals.” More about the residences after the break.

“Untold Stories from an Eclectic, Exceptional Practice” Presentation by David Rockwell

In conjunction with its current exhibition The Landmarks of New York, the Parrish Art Museum will host an illustrated presentation by multi-talented, award winning architect David Rockwell titled “Untold Stories from an Eclectic, Exceptional Practice.” A brief discussion between Rockwell, who founded Rockwell Group in 1984 to focus on a diverse array of projects that range from hotels to hospitals, restaurants to airport terminals, and Broadway set designs to consumer products, and exhibition curator Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel will follow the talk. The program will take place Thursday, August 23, at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $5 for Parrish members, $10 for nonmembers. Reservations are strongly recommended. For more information on the event, please visit here.

The openAEC Challenge: A Collaboration Competition

The OpenAEC Challenge is an architectural competition where the criteria for winning is based on how well you collaborate with others and not on how well you design in isolation. In that sense, it’s less a competition, and more a challenge. The sole purpose of this Challenge is to abolish a pervasive myth undoubtedly shared by a vast majority of architectural students around the world: That real-world buildings are designed by a sole, mastermind architect, working in isolation. This Challenge will be centered around a real project—a 48 acre (19.5 ha) sustainable, agro-tourism farm, called Flocktown Farm, located an hour outside of New York City. It will be broken down into eight, two-week long phases or charrettes, over the length of the Fall semester, 2012. For more information, please visit their website here.

Modern Tide: Midcentury Architecture on Long Island

The relationship between social dynamics and architecture has always been intimate.  It is a constant dialogue between social norms and politics, stylistic trends and aesthetic choices, individual preferences and the collective good.  The Modernist Period was a time when architecture took on the challenge of many social problems.  In all the arts –  architecture, design, music and film – the period was highly politicized and the choices often gave way to a utilitarian ideal that was a hybrid of efficiency, simplicity and comfort.  Jake Gorst’s new film Modern Tide: Midcentury Architecture on Long Island, supported by Design Onscreen, is a message of preservation that takes us through the history of the modernist housing boom that took place on Long Island, NY in the period between the Great Depression and the 1970s.

On August 14th, Cook+Fox Architects hosted a private film screening at their office on 641 Ave of the Americas, presenting the treasures along the island’s shore that have fallen between the cracks of history.  The film looks at works from Albert Frey, Wallace Harrison, Frank Lloyd Wright, Marcel Breuer, Philip Johnson, Charles Gwathmey, Barbara and Julian Neski and many others.

Follow us after the break to catch up on the history of the development of these houses on Long Island.

The Tallest Ferris Wheel

Staten Island, arguably New York’s most often forgotten borough, may finally be getting its moment in the spotlight.  Talks are in the works of creating a giant 600 ft Ferris wheel near the Staten Island Ferry Terminal to generate activity for the waterfront.   To put 600 feet in perspective, think bigger than the Singapore Flyer at 451 feet and the London Eye’s 450 ft marker, and much bigger than Coney Island’s Wonder Wheel at 150 feet.   While millions enjoy the free trip across the harbor on the ferry every year, few venture far from the boat.  The Ferris Wheel is intended to capitalize on the Island’s amazing views of Manhattan and build up the Island’s visitor flow.  “It’s the greatest thing that has been proposed for Staten Island, especially on the waterfront.  This could landmark us. We have 2 million tourists a year on the ferry, so we have a built-in audience to use it, and it’s a different audience every day. Once you can attract them off that boat, you got them here,” James Molinaro, the borough president, stated. More after the break.