There is a lot of attention being paid to the New York skyline these days – and rightly so, as the Freedom Tower rises about 1 story a week. Yet, a little farther up the Island, an elegant faceted tower has caught our attention since its completion in 2008. Designed by New York-based Cook + Fox, the conceptualization behind the sleek volume, which rises gracefully from its base at One Bryant Park, is rooted in ideas of biophilia – the innate relationship between nature and man. Constructed to respectively take its spot as the second tallest building in NYC [soon to be the third after the Freedom Tower and the Empire State Building], the sustainable tower marks the first LEED Platinum commercial skyscraper in the world. Check out this short click featuring Principal Richard Cook as he offers a deeper explaination of how biophilia informed not only the formal attitude of the architecture, but also shaped the experiences and atmosphere of this 2,200,000 sqf skyscraper.
Syracuse University School of Architecture recently announced their Fall 2011 Lecture Series. The lectures take place at 5pm in the Slocum Hall Auditorium at the University (Syracuse, NY), unless otherwise noted.
Exhibitions are in the Slocum Hall Gallery. All events are free and open to the public. More information on the events after the break.
Pratt Institute School of Architecture and Latin Pratt, a student research organization, will present “Breaking Borders: New Latin American Architecture,” an exhibition highlighting contemporary architecture of the past 10 years from 45 firms representing more than 10 countries in Latin America from September 8 through November 30, 2011, at the Hazel and Robert H. Siegel Gallery at 61 Saint James Place in Brooklyn.
The exhibition and opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on September 8 are free and open to the public. It is curated by Ivan Rumenov Shumkov, Ph.D., adjunct associate professor of undergraduate architecture, and Andres Chavez and Julio Martinez, both students in Pratt’s undergraduate architecture program and founders of Latin Pratt. More information on the event after the break.
Last September, we shared the news of Louis Kahn’s memorial park for the southernmost tip of Roosevelt Island. Kahn had designed the park in the 70s, but after his sudden death, the plan was forgotten until 1992 when the MoMA featured the scheme in an exhibition. Upon learning of Kahn’s thoughtful and architecturally compelling ideas to commemorate FDR and his Four Freedoms speech, the public quickly advocated its completion. As we reported earlier, at the end of Kahn’s axial tree-lined triangular “Garden”, a 72 sqf “Room” will contain excerpts from the text of President Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms speech. This room, contained by 12 foot high granite columns, is meant for contemplation and remembrance as Kahn’s stoic material palette, clear formal attitude, and forced perspective of the skyline will create, what we imagine will be, a quiet and peaceful atmosphere. With Kahn’s simple gestures, the memorial will preserve a time in American history where FDR’s leadership inspired hope to endure the Great Depression and the second World War. We’re excited for the memorial to be completed and we’ll keep you up to date with its progress.
A great sample of construction photos and renderings after the break.
Gia Wolff’s latest architectural installation features a 25 ft diameter portal suspended above 2 Avenue between 36 and 35 Street in Industry City, Brooklyn. As part of Superfront Public Summer, the site specific piece is a reaction to the existing typological conditions and explores potential scenarios for the future of Industry City. Finnish for ‘portal’, Portaali refers to the Scandinavian dock workers who used to occupy the buildings in the late 1900s.
More about the installation, including a video, after the break.
The Picker Art Gallery at Colgate University will host a reception on Tuesday, September 13, 5-7 p.m. to celebrate the new exhibition, An Architect’s Vision: Paul Rudolph and Colgate’s Creative Arts Center and the concurrent exhibition, After You Left, They Took It Apart, photographs by Chris Mottalini. Both open on August 30th and remain on view through October 7th
In 2007 Mottalini photographed three homes by the late Modernist architect Paul Rudolph (1918-1997), just days prior to their demolitions. The resulting images capture a state of Modernist architecture few people have witnessed, revealing the grace of these homes as they stood in defiance of severe neglect and ‘progress’. Mottalini’s photographs are the final portraits of these destroyed homes. More information and images on the exhibition after the break.
In the wake of Hurricane Irene it only seemed appropriate to take a second look at Rising Current, an exhibit that was featured at the MoMA just last year. To give you a refresher, the exhibit was a cohesive showcase of five projects tackling the lingering truth that within a few years, the waterfront of the New York harbor will drastically change.
Team Zero, comprised of ARO and dlandstudio, specifically took a look at the lower Manhattan landscape, proposing to develop a new soft and hard infrastructure solution paved with a mesh of cast concrete and engineered soil and salt tolerant plants. This would create greenways that act as absorptive sponges for rainwater. The porous green streets address daily tidal flows and storm surges with 3 interrelated high performance systems (network of parks, wetlands and tidal salt marshes). These systems stop sewage overflow, block higher sea levels and mitigate storm surge.
Rising Current provided an emphasis on how to re-think the city, relevant before, and even more pressing now after the flooding from the hurricane. Let’s hope that the ideas for solutions that were generated from the exhibit can now be considered for implementation. More about Rising Currents and Team Zero’s solution following the break.
Brooklyn based interaction designer Cooper Smith has created an amazing series of videos documenting pedestrian travel within Manhattan. By tracking the paths of 1000 Nike Plus (Nike’s new smart running shoe) runs, he was able to produce and distill a wide variety of data. The results are quite elegant in terms of graphics, and offer insight into the patterns of urban travel. For more videos visit Cooper’s website.
Local New York architect Gregg Pasquarelli of SHoP Architects recently gave a speech at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture’s Teachers Seminar 2011. He addresses numerous issues that are currently being debated within the profession where the theme of the three-day seminar was “Performative Practices.” The roles of the architect and builder, the architect and engineer, etc. The roles of architects as instruction makers who outsource to specialists in façade or fabrication may not be as clear as in previous generations. His own firm is prime example of the shifting of roles. SHoP has branched off with its own SHoP Construction subsidiary that is managing the fabrication of their design for the new Barclays Center rusted steel skin. More details after the break.
Tune into the Discovery Channel tonight at 8 E/P for executive producer Steven Spielberg’s Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero. This two part 6-hour documentary (the second installation will run September 1st) will take viewers on the journey of the process and struggles behind constructing One World Trade Center. As George Pataki, former New York governor, explains, the construction site is vastly different from any other site as it is hallowed land. Working to keep the memory of those fallen alive, and provide a symbol of strength, the rebuilding process continually faces challenges as the complex’s four skyscrapers, transportation hub, museum and memorial are “all being constructed at the same time and on the same location.” Watching this short clip we spotted on The Hollywood Reporter gave me chills – especially the part about “Big Red” and its fallen ones. Let us know what you think of the documentary this evening; we are sure it won’t disappoint!
With the Freedom Tower rising about a storey a day, it is amazing to see the progress and the impact the structure is having on the New York skyline. We spotted this time lapse video of the construction of the Memorial, showing the filling of the towers’ footprints, to the thousands of gallons of water being pumped into the voids, and the hundreds of white oaks planted. Our favorite part is at the end of the video when it zooms to show the Memorial’s scale and positioning in relationship to the new built structures. As the tenth anniversary of this horrific tragedy quickly approaches, millions will be remembering the day in their own way, from a Hand-in-Hand public show of unity when thousands will join hands along the West Side of Manhattan on September 10 to an 1,800 person motorcycle ride from the South of the country to Ground Zero. We are also glad that New Yorkers and Americans will have a finished Memorial to show our strength, unity and growth.
To say New York’s High Line is a successful project is putting it very lightly. From the moment the overgrown landscape opened, thousands have flocked to experience the amazing public space and dozens have been inspired to incorporate similar urban reuse attitudes in their cities. Ruth Samuelson shared Mexico City’s inspired project which seeks to apply the New York High Line’s sense of serenity to a busy intersection by mid-2012. “The High Line in New York seemed to me a fresh breath of air, completely. Mexico City just needs – within so many streets, so many avenues – respite like this,” explained Daniel Escotto Sánchez, the general coordinator for the city’s Public Space Authority.
More about the project after the break.
Boffo is a New York City non-profit organization focused on culture and the arts. Through events and exhibitions Boffo draws attention to artists and designers while often giving them an opportunity to display their work. Boffo recently announced the winners of their Boffo Building Fashion competition, an open competition that called for architects to pair with fashion designers to build temporary spaces displaying both talents. Find out who the architects and designers are after the break.
Last Fall, we introduced the collaborative effort between the Guggenheim and BMW to create a modern day public form exploring a variety of urban issues. The New York Lab, designed by Atelier Bow-Wow, has just opened in the East Village on a leftover 2,000 sqf plot squished between two existing buildings. With the ground level open to passersby, the museum focuses on creating a transparent and welcoming atmosphere to house discussions, lectures and the like. “We wanted the Guggenheim Labs to be in the middle of an urban environment where people live, work and hang out,” Mr. van der Leer, a curator for the Guggenheim, told the Times.
More about the Lab, including a video courtesy Atelier Bow-Wow, after the break.
Storefront for Art and Architecture will present Sacred Spaces in Profane Buildings: a New York Archive, a project by Matilde Cassani opening on September 13th. The project unveils the hidden spaces within New York dedicated to the different beliefs of its citizens.
As part of an upcoming exhibition, they are developing a New York Archive of Sacred Spaces in Profane Buildings and they need your help. This is an open call for contributions that explain either a story or the memory of a visit, a sketch of a known space, a photograph of a street sign, a location in a map, anything that might help us construct the most comprehensive guide to the sacred unknown of New York. To participate, you are encouraged to submit any material at their website.
More information on the exhibition after the break.