‘Manta’ Installation for SmartGeometry 2012 Conference / Guillermo Bernal, Eric Ameres, Zackery Belanger, Seth Edwards

© M. Leo Villardi

Drawing from creative minds of Guillermo Bernal, Eric Ameres, Zackery Belanger, and Seth Edwards, and with the support of Smartgeometry, Grimshaw Architects, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute‘s Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, Manta represents the potential of multidisciplinary design. that required expertise in architecture, fabrication, interactive technology, and acoustics. This combination drove the assembly of the design team, who came together for the first time from disparate careers and backgrounds. The result could only be achieved with a holistic design approach: all team members worked together on all aspects of Manta. More images and the team’s description after the break.

modeLab Material Matters Workshop

Courtesy of Studio Mode /

Studio Mode / modeLab is putting on Material Matters II, a two-day intensive design, prototyping, and fabrication workshop to be held in City during the weekend of May 12-13. As the next installment in the modeFab series and building upon the research developed in Material Matters I, this workshop will examine the procedural distinctions between two modes of design production: the first relying primarily on cerebral processing (a conceptual domain isolated from the wildness of matter and energy) and the second motivated by material’s capacity to act as an agent in the discovery of form.

The workshop will operate through a framework of computational and fabrication strategies that hinge on the peculiarities of material and the emergent set of knowledge associated with the work of the hand. In a fast-paced and hands-on learning environment, they will iteratively develop digital and fabricated prototypes utilizing Grid-Based Modeling techniques via Paneling Tools and Machining Strategies with RhinoCAM. Furthermore, the workshop will provide participants with instruction in digital fabrication techniques and direct access to CNC equipment. For more information, please visit here.

Documenting Your Work in a Digital Age: An Interactive Discussion

Taking place at the Center for Architecture in April 16 from 6-8pm, the ‘Documenting Your Work in a Digital Age: An Interactive Discussion’ will be an informal panel discussion put on by AIA New York focused on the range of digital tools currently in use to describe and define architecture. The discussion will range from architectural photography to other forms of digital communication, 3D display, and user experience design. Presenters, including Peter Aaron, Sam Travis Ewen, and Matthew Bannister, will integrate ideas about how to optimize digital content so that it can be easily found and viewed online by target audiences. To register and for more information, please visit here.

Syracuse University Practice Football Facility / Bernheimer Architecture

Courtesy of

Designed by Bernheimer Architecture for University, the football practice facility along with a larger strategic masterplan for the Lampe Athletic Campus situated about 3 miles south of the Main Campus seeks to create an identity for this new “middle campus” by making an assemblage of disparate buildings into a strong collection. By creating an environment that would enhance the practice session, the architects stay true to one of Vince Lombardi’s favorite quotes, “Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect”. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Video: Matthew Grzywinski of Grzywinski + Pons on Hotel on Rivington


Architect Matthew Grzywinski gives Crane.tv a tour of the Lower East side boutique establishment, Hotel on Rivington. Offering panoramic views of New York’s skyline through its floor-to-ceiling windows, this chic hotel plays part in the gentrification of the district du jour, the Lower East Side, once the city’s poorest and grittiest of areas.

2012 President’s Medal / Amanda Burden

Film still courtesy of Courtesy Swiss Dots Ltd.

has been making a big impact on the City.  As Chair of the Planning Commission and Director of the Department of City Planning, Ms. Burden’s efforts to revitalize New York have resulted in the preservation of the High Line, the creation of the East River Waterfront Esplanade, and the future development of Freshkills Park – a former landfill in Staten Island, to name a few.  Both on an architectural and urban level, and also from a sustainability policy viewpoint, Ms. Burden’s years as Chair has effectively “raised the quality of design in our city and our expectations about design and city life.”

This week, Ms. Burden has been recognized by the Architectural League of New York and has been awarded their highest honor, the President’s Medal.  Such an award is rightly deserved as Ms Burden’s impact on architecture and planning initiatives has shaped the public spaces that have grown to define New York.  The President’s Medal is an honor that is awarded by peers from an organization that is independent of any professional or policy agenda, and with this recognition, Ms. Burden joins recent recipients such as Massimo and Lella Vignelli, Hugh Hardy, Richard Meier, Ada Louise Huxtable, Robert A.M. Stern, Kenneth Frampton, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, and Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown.

More about the award after the break. 

World of Chlorophyll / IAMZ Design Studio

Courtesy of

World of Chlorophyll, a project by IAMZ Design Studio, is an idea for a conceptual skyscraper containing the form of residential units in the near future. Their main concept involves the units taking the form of leaves, stemming mainly from the columns, based upon all residential units. This way, the building mimics nature, and in conformity with it, also makes for an easy configuration. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Largest Rooftop Farm Coming to Brooklyn, NY

© BrightFarms

BrightFarms CEO, Paul Lightfoot is obsessed with efficiency.  Spending most of his career improving market supply chains he has now turned his attention to the market supply chains of America’s produce.  BrightFarms is an innovative and straight forward program whose goal is to eliminate the wasted energy expended on travel times between the farm and the shelf, to provide more nutritious and safer produce that is grown for the table and not for the endurance of days and weeks of transport, and to create a local market where consumers know their farmers and where the food is coming from and who is responsible for growing it.  Littlefoot describes the blatant problems with the food industry today – efficiently factory farming and preserving produce that moves from one and end of the country to the other and inefficiently providing nutritious and tasty produce.

The challenge is to create a model that ensures quality while keeping costs down and BrightFarms appears to have found a strategy that works: hydroponic rooftop gardening near supermarket distribution centers or local markets.  The newly renamed Federal Plaza #2, soon to be known as Liberty View Industrial Plaza to be developed by Salmar Properties, in Brooklyn, NY is set to be the world’s largest rooftop garden which will reportedly grow “1 million pounds of local produce per year, including tomatoes, lettuces and herbs”.  Find out how it works after the break!

Schools in the Sky / Filipe Magalhaes, Ana Luisa Soares, André Vergueiro

Courtesy of , , André Vergueiro

The proposal, Schools in the Sky, by Filipe Magalhaes, Ana Luisa Soares, and André Vergueiro for the ‘Rooftops, Why Not?’ competition asks the question, ‘What if suddenly the education would become the highest, most visible value of a society?’ The American education system is sustained by the private sector. As a result, many colleges and schools have become, over time, ghettos for rich people, leaving a huge part of the students out of options. Assuming the will to fix, or at least to discuss, a biased system, it is proposed to offer public schools in places that are usually closed to society. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Rockefeller Arts Center Expansion / Deborah Berke & Partners Architects

Render - Courtesy of

Deborah Berke & Partners Architects have released their plans for the expansion and renovation of I.M. Pei’s 1969 Michael C. Rockefeller Arts Center (RAC). Located at Fredonia’s State University College in , the visual and performing arts complex has served as a major cultural center for western and northwestern Pennsylvania. Continue reading after the break for more.

New Finnish Architecture – The New Generation / Newly Dawn – Emerging Finnish Architects

Courtesy of

New Finnish Architecture – The New Generation, taking place April 20-21 in , will include two events on young architects & architecture practices by Newly Dawn – Emerging Finnish Architects. The events introduce the most interesting young, up-and-coming Finnish architects and their latest projects, visions and ways of working. Social interaction, pleasant user experience and transparency have appeared as key elements in emerging Finnish architectural offices. The architects Janne Teräsvirta (ALA Architects), Anu Puustinen (Avanto Architects), Mikko Summanen (K2S Architects) and Tuomas Toivonen (NOW for Architecture and Urbanism) will offer a fresh look into some of their upcoming projects and the latest developments in Finnish architecture. More information on the events after the break.

Cornell School Of Ecology / Gruzen Samton • IBI Group

© Paul Warchol

Architects: Gruzen Samton • IBI Group
Location: , USA
Photographs: Paul Warchol Photography

  

Video: Manhattan Memorious / Reiser + Umemoto

Created by Reiser + Umemoto for the Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale, “Manhattan Memorious” explores what Manhattan could have been. The film visualizes several unrealized projects from Manhattan, including Buckminster Fuller’s dome over Midtown, ’ City of the Captive Globe, ’s East River Corridor, Paul Rudolph’s Eastside Redevelopment Corridor, Morphosis’ West Side Yard and others.

Jesse Reiser, Principal of Reiser + Umemoto, explains; “Before a city becomes a thing of steel, concrete and glass it is a theater of visions in conflict. As a city ages, the visions do not die but come up against the physical and ideological resistance of the place and its people. The city we see today is the direct result of radical visions, gradually changing the way the future is realized. This is an account of a Manhattan that could have been – might have been. A phantasmagorical Manhattan where the visionary meets the everyday – the absurd and the sublime. The island as we know it is but a pale reflection of a city designed by visionaries – a city of mad, incongruous utopias.”

Tovin Studios / Sebastian Quinn Building Workshop

© Francois Dischinger

Architects: Sebastian Quinn Building Workshop
Location: Nyack, ,
Area: 3,000 sq. ft.
Engineer: Bernard Grossfield PE
Photographs: Francois Dischinger

  

Video: 1920s New York

Filmed in 1921, Manhatta reveals a typical day in Lower in the early part of the 20th century. Painter Charles Sheeler and photographer Paul Strand created this silent film to discover the relationship between film and photography, while exploring their love to the City. Just as it is today, the City is amidst endless chaos.

The excerpts interspersed throughout the film are from Walt Whitman. We first spotted this video Urbanophile and the Architects Newspaper.

Update: Resistance to NYU 2031 Expansion Heightens

Illustrative Rendering of the Greene Street Walk, Part of the 2031 Expansion Plan. © 2031

The contenders: NYU and the Greenwich Village community. Let Round 2 commence.

Almost two years after we first brought you news about NYU 2031, NYU’s plans for expansion in Brooklyn, Governor’s Island, and (most controversially) in Greenwich Village, and the fight has not only continued, but escalated. A debate, hosted by The Municipal Art Society of New York, two nights ago brought about 200 NYU affiliates and community residents together, but only spatially; there was a considerable lack of willingness to compromise from either camp.

NYU’s plan, thought up by Toshiko Mori Architect, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, and Grimshaw Architects, has ruffled feathers mostly for the fact of its bulk. The 2.5 million square-foot development (1.1 million of which would be underground) is the largest ever proposed for the Village, and has drawn criticism for its potential to diminish light, greenery, and open space in the neighborhood.

From Mad Men to Mies: Why Modernism Holds Sway

© Megan Jett

It’s June 1966. Mies’ iconic Seagram Building dominates New York City. Bob Dylan has just released Blonde on Blonde. The Vietnam War is escalating. John Lennon has yet to meet Yoko Ono. Martin Luther King, Jr. has yet to be assassinated. And Don Draper is readjusting to married life – with his 25 year-old secretary.

The excitement over Mad Men, while always eager, was positively explosive last Sunday. The season 5 premiere resulted in the show’s highest ratings to date (3.5 million viewers, up 21% from last year). While the show has always received critical acclaim, now, for whatever reason, it has reached a fever-pitch of popularity.

On a purely aesthetic level, it’s easy to explain. The show draws in audiences with a meticulous, sumptuous set design that allows a nostalgic journey back in time: when design was innovative & clean, architecture was confident (cocky even),  and modernism still held its promise.

But on another level, the show is successful because of its inevitability. The very knowledge of the ephemerality of that confidence, a theme particularly relevant to audiences in the wake of the Recession, is what strikes a chord, what makes the show positively hypnotizing.

Watching is like watching a Modernist car crash. A beautiful demise.

More on the Modernist Landscape of Mad Men and why the show has struck a chord with audiences today after the break. 

Update: The High Line + Koons

Image by James Corner Field Operations, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and . Courtesy of Friends of the

In the middle of March, we attended a community meeting for the third installment of the High Line and shared James Corner and DS + R’s visions for the final stretch of the elevated rail line.   While the meeting offered an in depth look as to how it would tie together the previously featured conceptual elements, perhaps the already daring project needs a little more spice…perhaps, the High Line needs Jeff Koons.  The American artist has been in contact with the founders of the Friends of the High Line (the nonprofit which saved the railway from being demolished) as it is possible the public park could be outfitted with his lastest sculpture, Train, a massive replica of a 1943 Baldwin 2900 steam locomotive.  Oh, and did we mention that the train would be danging dramatically in the air, suspended from a crane?

More about Train after the break.