A McDonald’s Controversy Raises Debate on Designing for the Elderly

© Flickr CC User symmetry_mind

In an article for the New York Times, Michael Kimmelman gets to the bottom of an unusual local dispute: a McDonald’s in Queens, New York is kicking out groups of elderly Koreans who are out-staying their 20-minute welcome (and who have no access to community spaces nearby). The story raises an important question: how can we design our with elder populations in mind (a generation on track to out-number all others in the next few years)? You can read this poignant tale in full here.

The Living Wins P.S.1 with Compostable Brick Tower

Courtesy of

The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 has selected ”Hy-Fi,” a “circular tower of organic and reflective bricks” designed by The Living (David Benjamin), as the winner of the 15th annual Young Architects Program () in New York. An exemplar of the cradle-to-cradle philosophy, the temporary installation will be built entirely from organic material via a new method of bio-design.

Four Practices Re-Envision Parking in Long Island Downtowns

Parks and Rides. Image © and the Index

Long Island’s downtowns have more than 4,000 acres of surface area dedicated to parking lots. That’s roughly 6.5 square miles of prime real estate, a phenomenon quite common in most American cities. When necessary, these lots are often exchanged for a standard “set of concrete shelves” that share little to no connection with their surroundings. This leads to the question, why must parking garages be so monofunctional and, well, ugly?

To help solve this nationwide issue, the Long Island Index challenged four leading architectural firms to envision a more innovative way to free up surface lot space in four Long Island communities.

See what they came up with, after the break…

Six Firms Named 2014′s “New Practices New York”

Haffenden House / PARA-Project

The American Institute of America’s New York Chapter (AIANY) has selected six young, and “pioneering” firms as the winners of the 2014 portfolio competition. The award is designed “to recognize and promote” emerging practices that are less than a decade old and based within the five boroughs of New York City. As a result, each winner will be featured in an exhibition at the from October 1, through January 15, 2015.

Without further ado, the 2014 New Practices New York winners are:

Case Studies in Coastal Vulnerability: Boston, Seoul, Hamburg, Bangladesh & New York

Water floods the Plaza Shops in Manhattan after Superstorm Sandy, 2012. Photo: Allison Joyce/Getty Images.

This article originally appeared in the latest issue of ArchitectureBoston as “Troubled Waters.“ 

The challenges of sea-level rise cross boundaries of all sorts: geographic, political, social, economic. Proposed mitigation strategies will also necessarily shift and overlap. Here, we present five case studies from across the globe that offer intriguing ways—some operational, some philosophical—to address the threats associated with . Drawing on a research initiative focused on vulnerabilities in Boston, a team at Sasaki Associates developed these additional design-strategy icons to illustrate the layered approaches. They are adaptable, the better to meet the unique demands of each coastal community.

New Images Released of Foster + Partners’ Luxury Manhattan Condominium

© Hayes Davidson, Courtesy of

Foster + Partners has released new images of their revised, 19-story luxury condominium tower planned for West Chelsea in . Named after its address, 551 West 21st Street, the cast-concrete and glass structure plans to open its 44 residences, and three penthouses, to occupancy in the Fall of 2015. 

The Architectural League Spring Events

The Architectural League announced their Spring 2014 calendar of events. ‘First Friday’ events are held at the offices of the hosting firms. It started January 10 with Toshiko Mori and future participants include COOKFOX Architects, SHoP Architects, and GLUCK+.

‘Current Work’ lectures are held at The Cooper Union and are co-sponsored by The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union. The lectures will start this Thursday, January 23 with Richard Meier, and future lecturers include Yung Ho Chang, Farshid Moussavi, and Sou Fujimoto.

For more information on the events, please go to ’s official website.

Current Work: Richard Meier

Richard Meier & Partners–Jesolo Lido Condominium, Jesolo, Italy | Photo: Roland Halbe

Each year The Architectural League in its Current Work program presents the work of significant international figures who powerfully influence contemporary architectural practice and shape the future of the built environment. Richard Meier will present his work in a public lecture to be followed by a conversation with a moderator and fellow partnersBernhard Karpf, Reynolds Logan, and Dukho Yeon in honor of fifty years of independent practice.

Recent projects completed by Richard Meier & Partners include the Arp Museum in Germany; the OCT Shenzhen Clubhouse in China; the Broad Art Center at UCLA; and United States Courthouses in San Diego and Islip, .  Currently under construction are offices in Rio de Janeiro; a hotel complex is Jesolo, Italy; a residential tower in Tel Aviv; a resort in South Korea; two residential towers in Tokyo; and the first phase of a master plan for downtown Newark.

For more information please click here.

Title: Current Work: Richard Meier
Website: http://archleague.org/2014/01/richard-meier/
Organizers: The Architectural League NY
From: Thu, 23 Jan 2014 19:01
Until: Thu, 23 Jan 2014 22:00
Venue: The Cooper Union
Address: 7 East 7th Street, New York, NY 10003,

World Trade Center Progress Report: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Cranes over the Transport Hub in July of 2012. Image © Mark Lennihan, AP

Slowly, and surely not lacking critique, Santiago Calatrava’s transport hub rises $2 billion over budget, ’s Freedom Tower — now, more mundanely referred to as 1WTC — is recognized as the tallest building in the western hemisphere and there is still a considerable amount of development yet to be done on the . Read Edwin Heathcote’s article on the Financial Times regarding the good, the bad and the ugly: ”Rebuilding the World Trade Center: A Progress Report.”

Should NYC Be Curbing Its Tall Buildings?

111 West 57th Street by SHoP Architects. Image Courtesy of SHoP Architects

Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman puts forward his opinion on what should be done about the new breed of supertall residential buildings threatening to place Central Park ”inside the world’s biggest chessboard”. While he accepts that they may be an important factor in bringing wealth (and tax revenue) to New York, he offers some simple changes in legislation that could protect the city’s famous skyline from abuse by high-power development firms. Read the full article here.

New Images Unveiled of Cornell Tech’s Roosevelt Island Campus

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New information has been released — along with a series of renders — seven months after the New York City Council approved Cornell University’s two million square foot technology campus in . Envisioned as “a campus built for the next century,” Cornell Tech’s first set of buildings has tapped into the talent of some of the most respected architecture firms in the city: Morphosis‘ Pritzker Prize-winning Thom Mayne, Weiss/Manfredi Architecture, Handel Architects, and Skidmore Owings & Merrill.

New images of the buildings, after the break…

Considering the Quake: Seismic Design on the Edge

Shenzhen Stock Exchange HQ / OMA / Photo © Philippe Ruault

Opened to a full house, last year, at the Design Exchange in downtown Toronto, Considering the Quake: Seismic Design on the Edge, explores the elegant, and oftentimes, elusive intersection between the aesthetics of architectural form and the technicality of structural design, through the lens of earthquake engineering. Curated by Professor Ghyslaine McClure, P.Eng and founded/curated by Dr. Effie Bouras, of the McGill University Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics, this exhibit emerged from their research on the resiliency of emergency shelters and civil protection buildings, such as schools and hospitals, in earthquake zones throughout the world.

Envisioned as a “science center” for design, the exhibition, which is tailored not only for the architecture and engineering communities, but an invested public as well, will feature full-sized seismic technology utilized in buildings, architectural and structural models, seismic testing videos, including clips from Tomas Koolhaas’ new documentary titled REM, and a 500N shake table from North American Wave Spectrum Science and Trade Inc.

Bloomberg’s Next Move: Leading an ‘Urban SWAT Team’

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

After a 12 year mayoral run, many have been wondering what ’s next move will be. The answer: be mayor of every city (kind of). Bloomberg, along with most of his Hall team (including transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan), has shifted his focus to Bloomberg Associates, a consultancy group that – like an ‘urban SWAT team’ – offers advice to cities that call for it. For free. To learn more about Bloomberg’s newest initiative, read the full article here on The New York Times. 

Boffo Building Fashion 2013 / Neiheiser & Valle

© Naho Kubota

Architects: Neiheiser & Valle
Location: , NY,
Collaborators: Focus Lighting, Boffo
Area: 640.0 ft2
Year: 2013
Photographs: Naho Kubota , Evan Joseph , Courtesy of Neiheiser & Valle

Design: A Long Term Preventative Medicine

New York City’s High Line. Image © Iwan Baan

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and MIT’s Center for Advanced has produced a new report examining urban in eight of the USA’s largest cities, which has been translated into a collection of meaningful findings for architects, designers, and urban planners. With more than half of the world’s population living in urban areas – a statistic which is projected to grow to 70% by 2050 – the report hinges around the theory that “massive urbanization can negatively affect human and environmental in unique ways” and that, in many cases, these affects can be addressed by architects and designers by the way we create within and build upon our cities.

Remembering Neimeyer: The Works of a Master

© Flickr User el_floz

Many architects enter the profession with hopes of creating something that outlives them, something that is bigger than themselves, that can advocate for a better world. Oscar Niemeyer was such an architect, one who fought for designs that would serve everyone. The master of Brazilian architecture passed away one year ago after complications from a previous kidney condition. In honor of what would have been his birthday today, we’ve rounded up a few of his masterpieces, from his elegant and curvy Niterói Contemporary Art Museum, his collaboration on the United Nations Headquarters in , the traditional spectacle space of his Sambadrome, the spiraling Niemeyer Center in Aviles, and the powerful parabolic expression in his Cathedral of Brasilia. Enjoy!

MOS Architects Take on Humanitarian Design in Nepal

Lali Gurans Orphanage and Learning Centre. Image ©

In this article, which originally appeared on Australian Design Review as “Reframing Concrete in Nepal,“ Aleksandr Bierig describes how New York-based MOS Architects, a firm better known for its experimental work, is designing an orphanage for a small community in Nepal.

Strangely enough it has become almost unremarkable that an office such as New York-based MOS Architects would find itself designing an orphanage for a small community in Nepal. Now under construction in Jorpati, eight kilometres north-east of the capital, Kathmandu, is the Lali Gurans Orphanage and Learning Centre, which finds itself at the intersection of any number of tangential trends: the rise of international aid and non-governmental organisations, the seeming annihilation of space by global communications networks and the latent desire of architects to use their designs to effect appreciable social change. Emphasizing simple construction techniques and sustainable design features, the building hopes to serve as a model for the surrounding communities, as an educational and environmental hub, the provider of social services for Nepalese women and as a home for some 50 children.

MOS Architects, founded in 2003 by US architects and Hilary Sample, is not a practice known for its involvement in humanitarian projects. Its work is often experimental and, at times, willfully strange. Alongside its architecture, MOS makes films, teaches studios, designs furniture and gives lectures on its work. It was after one lecture in Denver, Colorado in 2009 that Christopher Gish approached Meredith and Sample to ask if they would be interested in designing an orphanage.

Elevated Park Planned for World Trade Center

Early Schematic Rendering of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and Liberty Park. Image Courtesy of Tribeca Citizen

The World Trade Center’s “best-kept secret” has been revealed. As reported by the New York Times, the Port Authority released details on what will be “Liberty Park,” an acre-sized, elevated park lifted 25 feet above Liberty Street on the WTC site. Planned for completion in 2015, the $50 million landscaped terrace will connect the financial district with Battery Park City, while providing a panoramic view of the National September 11 Memorial and serving as a forecourt for the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. More information on Liberty Park can be found here.