Amanda Burden has been making a big impact on the City. As Chair of the New York City 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, 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.
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!
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.
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 New York, the visual and performing arts complex has served as a major cultural center for western New York and northwestern Pennsylvania. Continue reading after the break for more.
New Finnish Architecture – The New Generation, taking place April 20-21 in New York, 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.
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, Rem Koolhaas’ City of the Captive Globe, RUR’s East River Corridor, Paul Rudolph’s Eastside Redevelopment Corridor, Morphosis’ West Side Yard and others.
Filmed in 1921, Manhatta reveals a typical day in Lower Manhattan 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 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.
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 Mad Men 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.
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.
The project of the New York City Theatre, designed by David Vecchi & Emanuela Ortolani, stems from the intent to promote the independent play and recover the pioneer spirit that distinguished Broadway at the beginning. Exhibited in the ESA gallery as part of the Selon du Dessin in Paris, The proposal is for a mixed-use building that, in addition to the main function of theater, welcome inside offices and residences. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Many of you may already be aware that Paul Rudolph’s iconic Orange County Government Center is at risk of being demolished. Leaky roofs and a damaging flood have convinced Orange Country executive director Eddie Diana to favor this dreadfully mundane neo-colonial office building over Rudolph’s Brutalist landmark. Cost is not an issue, as the price tag for the new building exceeds the cost to renovate the historical icon, and many understand the immense cultural value of preserving a legacy; however, this battle is nearing a loss and only solidarity will save it. The World Monuments Fund (WMF) has launched a petition to oppose the demolition. With the Orange County Legislature deciding the fate of Rudolph’s building next month (May 3), it is important you sign the petition now. WMF needs to collect 20,000 signatures. Sign the petition here.
Based on 2010 Census results, the nation’s most densely populated urbanized area is Los Angeles/Anaheim/Long Beach, California, with nearly 7,000 people per square mile. Surprised? Not only did the Los Angeles area rank first, but of the ten most densely populated urbanized areas, nine are in the West, with seven of those in California. Continue reading for more.
Pratt Manhattan Gallery has unveiled their exhibition “Bright Future: New Designs in Glass” featuring innovative and mesmerizing uses for the centuries-old material. The exhibit, which features furniture, tableware, architectural elements and lighting designs, will be on display until May 5th, 2012. The artists and firms featured here displays a refined use of glass in conjunction with metal, concrete and pigment to evoke its qualities of flexibility and transparency. In conjunction with this exhibit, Pratt will be hosting a free panel discussion: “Glass, Light and Public Space” on April 5th at 6pm in Lecture Hall 213 of Pratt’s Manhattan Campus at 144 West 14th Street, Second Floor. Read on after the break to see previews of the exhibit and for more on the panel discussion.
Designer: United Visual Artists Score: Scanner Client: The Creators Project Location: New York City (2011) and San Francisco (2012) Additional Audio Programming: Henrik Ekeus and Dave Meckin Producer: Keri Elmsly Photographer: James Medcraft
Architects: Arctangent Architecture + Design
Location: Upper West Side, New York City, USA
Principals In Charge: Keitaro Nei & David Hu
Project Designers: Mark Gumienny, Javier Oddo, & Bridgett Cruz
Structural Engineer: Efraim Goldstein, PE PC
Mep Engineer: A Joselow, PC
Lighting Design: PHT Lighting Design Inc.
Area: 2080.0 sqm
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Arctangent Architecture + Design
The Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP) at Columbia University will be holding the Interpretations: Promiscuous Encounters Syposium taking place Friday, March 23rd from 12:00pm – 8:30pm. Promiscuous Encounters, which is free and open to the public, has two main ambitions: first, to examine the fascinating blurriness and productive interplay between the critical, curatorial and conceptual capacities of architecture, including how and where they intersect and overlap and, second, to expand the definitions of what these terms mean in relation to theory and practice by reexamining the sites of criticality and their modes of operation. More information on the event after the break.