In Progress: Four Freedoms Park / Louis Kahn

Via Bloomberg

Last September, we shared the news of ’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 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.

Portaali / Gia Wolff

Courtesy

Gia Wolff’s latest architectural installation features a 25 ft diameter portal suspended above 2 Avenue between 36 and 35 Street in Industry City, .  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.

‘After You Left, They Took It Apart’: Paul Rudolph Exhibition at Colgate

Twitchell House / ©

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.

Taking a second look at MoMA’s Rising Currents Exhibit, Zone 0 by ARO and dlandstudio

Soho Neighborhood, via Daily Mail © Sarah Blakeley

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 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 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.

Video: New York City Visualized Through Smart Shoes

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.

Conference Addresses Performativity of Architects

© SHoP Architects

Local architect Gregg Pasquarelli of SHoP Architects recently gave a speech at the . 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.

Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero / Steven Spielberg

Tune into the Discovery Channel tonight at 8 E/P for executive producer ’s .  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!

9/11 Memorial Time Lapse


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 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.

Mexico City’s High Line Park

Courtesy of Federal District Public Space Authority


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 ’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.   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 Building Fashion Competition Winners

© - Nicola Formichetti / Gage/Clemenceau Architects

Boffo is a 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.

Update: BMW Guggenheim Lab / Atelier Bow-Wow

Exterior view from East First Street. Photo: Paul Warchol

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 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.

Sacred Spaces in Profane Buildings: A New York Archive Exhibition

Courtesy of

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 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.

SYPartners / A+I Design Corp

© Magda Biernat

Architects: A+I Design Corp
Location: City, ,
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Magda Biernat

Campus Commons, SUNY at New Paltz / ikon.5 architects

© Peter Mauss/Esto

Architect: ikon.5 architects
Location: ,
Project Area: 12,000sqf
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Peter Mauss/Esto

Video: +FARM

This summer design/build program for architecture students aims to get their hands dirty with both design and construction experience. Relocating from their studio home at Direct Design Institute students and professorers participated in a one week building work shop at the Five Sisters Farm in Perrysville, . Funded by Kickstarter (today is the last day to donate!) +FARM provides students with the opportunity to learn about “direct design” by observation and the physical act of making a movable Chicken Coop and restoring an old farm house to be later used as an artist colony and hunter’s house.

Midtown Manhattan Ranks Second in 2011 Survey of U.S. Green Real Estate Markets

Photo by SkilliShots - http://www.flickr.com/photos/skillicorn/

Cushman & Wakefield, in collaboration with the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s BetterBricks Initiative, recently released its second annual Green Building Opportunity Index and three City submarkets cracked the top ten.   Midtown, Midtown South, and Downtown placed second, fourth, and seventh, respectively in the Index.  One of the goals of this initiative is to assist urban planners and policymakers in examining data to understand what new policies and incentives may be useful in accelerating green building practices at the local level.

837 Washington Street Approved / Morris Adjmi Architects

© Morris Adjmi Architects


After patiently evolving the design of 837 Washington Street,  the Meatpacking District’s newest addition,  -based Morris Adjmi Architects are happy to announce the project’s recent approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission.  The new office and retail building, which will rise from a 1930s warehouse, will be Adjmi’s fourth building in the Meatpacking District.  The project has been struggling to gain approval, primarily due to its height, as the building was originally conceived to stand 100 feet tall; however, the most recent design scheme shows the building measuring just below 80 feet, allowing it to blend more graciously with its surroundings.

More about the project after the break.

Twins: Houses in Five Parts / William O’Brien Jr

© William O'Brien Jr rendering by Peter Guthrie

Architects: William O’Brien Jr. LLC
Location: Upstate New York
Design Principal: William O’Brien Jr
Project Team: Bhujon Kang
Project Year: 2009-2011
: Peter Guthrie