Informality, which was first categorized and described in the 1970s, is now pervasive — across cities, in the places we live, work, and move through the everyday. For many, the informal is no longer a discrete sector appended to the workings of the “formal” city, but an integral effect of the structuring of cities and landscapes by contemporary economic, political, and technological change. Self-built architectures and urban agglomerations, ambivalent landscapes, nomadic and temporal spatial manifestations of informalized are situationally specific, but globally ubiquitous. Design Tactics and the Informalized City symposium, being put on by Cornell University on April 13-14, brings a discussion of this reality to disciplines that work on the city in material and spatial terms: architecture, urban design, landscape architecture, engineering, media and product design. More information on the event after the break.
In his State of the State address last week, New York Governor Cuomo introduced the notion of replacing the Jacob Javits Center along Manhattan’s West Side with a new convention center in Queens. Such a plan envisions a 3.8 million-square-foot exhibition center at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Jamaica, Queens – a project that would become the largest convention center in the United States and a major urban redevelopment project. Through a joint-partnership with Genting Americas, the government would provide the land and Genting would provide the $4 billion to finance the convention center. “Let’s build the largest convention center in the nation, period,” Mr. Cuomo said. “It will be all about jobs, jobs, jobs, tens of thousand of jobs.”
More about the Convention Center after the break.
Architects: Platt Byard Dovell White Architects
Location: 247 East 20th Street at Second Avenue, New York
Architects: Platt Byard Dovell White Architects
Project Team: Ray H. Dovell, AIA, Design Principal; Elissa Icso, AIA, Project Manager; Matthew Mueller, AIA, Project Architect; Erica Gaswirth, LEED AP, Steven Dodds
Cost: $31 million
Client: Simons Foundation, LearningSpring Elementary School, Margaret Poggi, Head of School, LearningSpring School, Jim Snyder, Board Member, LearningSpring School
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Frederick Charles
On December 17, 2011, the New York Chapter of the AIA held a panel discussion about the Occupy Wall Street events that have spurred people from all over the country into political involvement. The discussion featured nine panelists with introductory remarks from Lance Jay Brown and Michael Kimmelman and closing remarks by Ron Shiffman (all listed below). It focused on aspects of the built environment, public spaces and how they reflect the way in which people assemble.
Follow us after the break for more about this discussion, including video.
Through April 15th, the Museum of the City of New York is exhibiting The Greatest Grid: The Masterplan of Manhattan and The Unifinished Grid: Design Speculations for Manhattan. The two exihibits are in honor of the 200th anniversary of the Commissioners’ Plan of 1811 that transformed New York City into the city of endless streets and avenues we know it today, and speculations as to what the next 200 years will mean for the city.
More on the exhibits after the break.
Holm Architecture Office (HAO), in collaboration with VM Studio, recently received first place in a competition for the re-design of the Coleman Oval Skate Park in Manhattan. Nine New York design firms were invited to participate in the competition, which was sponsored by Architecture for Humanity and a Gamechangers grant from Nike, a campaign encouraging community organizations to empower youth through sports programs that spur social and economic development. The project is being developed with the New York City Parks & Recreation Department’s Adopt-a-Park program. More images and project description after the break.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is set to announce Cornell University and its partner, the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, winner of the intense, yearlong competition to build a New York City Tech Campus on Roosevelt Island. The announcement follows Stanford University’s unexpected withdraw from the competition after tense negotiations with the Bloomberg administration. Meanwhile, last Friday Cornell received a $350 million donation in support of their proposal, being the largest gift the University has ever received.
Tired of scurrying under makeshift unpleasant scaffolding hovering over the streets of Manhattan? Back in 2009, Bloomberg launched an urban design intervention initiative calling for designers to provide a “fresh new sidewalk shed” to replace its dingy predecessors. Entitled urbanSHED, the international design competition challenged participants to develop a sustainable and economic prototype to be used for New York’s 1,000,000+ linear feet of sidewalks. Such a prototype must meet or exceed the City’s current safety requirements and regulations, and improve technical and structural performance. The winning shed was designed by Young-Hwan Choi, a student from the University of Pennsylvania. The shed is the first design to be approved under the City’s Buildings Bulletin 2011 and will be installted in Lower Manhattan soon!
More about the design after the break.
Oppenheim Architecture + Design recently won the international competition to design a new hotel in Brooklyn, NY. A third pillar of the Williamsburg Bridge to emerge after 108 years. Their design of the Williamsburg hotel attempts to capture the essence of this vibrant neighborhood. Adjacent to both the Williamsburg Bridge and the historic Williamsburg Savings Bank, the building expresses itself as three dramatically proportioned, rectilinear volumes of varied height and materiality. Soaring high above the neighborhood, the hotel becomes the third pillar of the bridge, while serving as an archetypical tower to the domed basilica of the historical bank.
Sustainability was once again an important issue for Oppenheim Architecture + Design. The hotel will have geothermal, wind, and solar power generation, along with other resource saving strategies, for which they achieved Platinum LEED rating. More images and architects’ description after the break.
New Practices New York, a biennial competition since 2006, serves as the preeminent platform in New York City to recognize and promote new and innovative architecture and design firms. The juried portfolio competition is sponsored by the New Practices Committee of the AIA New York Chapter and honors firms that have utilized unique and innovative strategies, both for the projects they undertake and for the practices they have established. Participants must register by January 15th. To register and for more detailed information, please visit their website here.
A new not-for-profit art and architecture organization called ASAP (Archive of Spatial Aesthetics and Praxis), founded by former MoMA Curator Tina di Carlo, launches Monday, December 12 at the top of The Standard, New York with Bjarke Ingels, Alex Schweder La and Jerszy Seymour. More information on the event after the break.
As the Highline has everyone looking up, James Ramsey and Dan Barasch are asking people to start looking down. James Ramsey’s vision to transform the abandoned Williamsburg Bridge Trolley Terminal into a subterranean park filled with sunlight and lush vegetation is gaining international attention and support. The satellite engineer turned architect has developed a skylight using fiber-optic technology that will naturally light and bring life to this forgotten, graffiti-covered cavity below the streets of New York City.
Continue reading for more information, video and exclusive statements from Ramsey and Barasch.
Location: New York, NY, USA
Architect in Charge: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM)
Area: 625.0 ft2
Photographs: SOM | Eduard Hueber
SHoP Architects has shared with us the B2 Bklyn building which will be the first of the residential developments for Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn, New York to break ground, scheduled for 2012. Standing at 32 storeys, it will be the world’s tallest pre-fab building, saving both on cost and waste.
More after the break.
The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 has announced the 2012 finalists competing in the 12th annual competition under the Young Architects Program. Each year a group of emerging architects compete for the opportunity to design and construct a summer installation within MoMA PS1’s courtyard.
Just recently, the author of architectural videos blog shared with us a video on OMA’s founding partner Rem Koolhaas‘ lecture which he gave at Cornell University on October 20th. His lecture was given on the occasion of opening Milstein Hall, the new extension to the faculty of Architecture, Art and Planning designed by OMA.
On November 9th at the World Financial Center, all are invited to watch twenty-six of New York City’s top architecture, engineering and design firms will spend one adrenaline-filled evening configuring over 100,000 cans of food into gravity-defying sculptures for Canstruction, an exhibition, design competition and canned food drive to help feed hungry New Yorkers in need during the Thanksgiving season. While admission is free, visitors to the exhibit are encouraged to support the cause by contributing high-quality non-perishable foods, such as tuna, beans, and canned vegetables.
An annual art show, design competition, and food drive all rolled into one, Canstruction® raises hunger awareness by challenging teams of architects and engineers to create larger-than-life pop art masterpieces made entirely out of unopened cans of food. The eye-popping results will be displayed from November 10 through 21 before being donated to City Harvest for delivery to local community food programs. More information on the exhibit and images of last year’s winners after the break.
To honor the 50th anniversary of Jane Jacob’s The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Municipal Art Society of New York is hosting the Jane Jacobs Forum focusing on Women as Public Intellectuals. The forum will discuss three prominent female writers: Jane Jacobs, Rachel Carson (Silent Spring) and Betty Friedan (The Female Mystique) all of whom challenged the status quo. Their voices contributed to discussions about urban planning, environmental responsibility and the role of women in society. The forum will be moderated by Robin Pogrebin with five other panelists who will address the circumstances of these women’s successes and the role of women engaged in public critique today.