Foster + Partners’ New York Public Library Redesign in State of Limbo

© dbox, Courtesy of

Foster + Partner’s controversial renovation plans for the Public Library (NYPL) are currently in a state of limbo while the city decides their course of action. Foster’s proposal for the 20th century Carrère and Hastings “masterpiece” on 5th Avenue is a response to the cultural shift from traditional stacks to online resources, as the library has experienced a 41% decrease in the use of collections over the last 15 years. 

Calatrava’s World Trade Center Transit Hub Fails to Impress

© , LLC

“How can a $3.94 billion building be made to look cheap?” A small part of Santiago Calatrava’s World Trade Center Transportation Hub has been opened to the public, and the critics aren’t impressed. According to the  Times’ article by David Dunlap, the buildings “chunky fixtures” and “rough workmanship” “detract from what is meant to be breathtaking grandeur.” Read more, here.

Tadao Ando to Design First New York City Building

© Architect & Associates

Tadao Ando has been commissioned to design his first building. Though little information has been released, the residential development firm Sumaida + Khurana has closed a deal with the Japanese architect to design a 32,000 square foot, eight-unit, luxury condominium building at 152 Elizabeth Street in Nolita. Construction is expected to begin later this year and the building will be completed in 2016.

WORKac to Design Brooklyn Art Facility for Eyebeam

© / Bernheimer Architecture

Eyebeam, a non-profit art and technology center currently based in Manhattan, has commissioned WORKac to design its future Brooklyn home. Planned for the corner of Lafayette Avenue and Ashland Place, within a mixed-use development designed by Dattner Architects and Bernheimer Architecture that will include market-rate and subsidized housing as well as a restaurant, the 27,000 square foot cultural facility will accommodate for the organization’s world-renowned artist residency program, diverse public programming and innovative education offerings for adults and teens. According to the developer, Jonathan Rose Companies intends to break ground next year with completion slated for late 2016. 

Symposium: Cities and Citizenship

Architects, Sociologists and Environmentalists explore the intersection between design and the social sciences at large by explicating the concept of “city” and “citizen” in parallel.

Cities and Citizenship is a three-day symposium, consisting of a conference series and workshops, that explores how the design of cities can promote a more engaged citizenry.

The event will engage leading designers, architects, landscape architects, planners, urbanists, historians, and scientists. Cities and Citizenship is co-sponsored by the Goethe-Institut New York, Parsons The New School for Design, NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study and Global Design NYU.

Title: Symposium: Cities and Citizenship
Website: http://www.gdnyu.com/events.html
From: Thu, 13 Mar 2014 
Until: Sat, 15 Mar 2014 
Venue: Goethe-Institut, Wyoming Building / University, Gallatin School of Individualized Study
Address: 5 East 3rd Street, New York, NY 10003,

Norman Foster’s Ultra-Thin Condominum Tower to Rise Above Seagram Building

610 Lexington Avenue. Image ©

Construction is officially underway on 610 Lexington Avenue, a 700-foot ultra-thin condominium tower designed by Foster + Partners in City. Designed as a contrast to its neighboring landmark, Mies van der Rohe’s midcentury Seagram Building, the slim 61-story tower will feature 91 luxury units encased within a pure white glass facade.

Exhibition / Brazil: Night & Day, by Photographer Andrew Prokos

© Andrew Prokos

Among last year’s winners of the International Photography Awards Competition, were some fantastic night photographs of Oscar Niemeyer’s Brasilia taken by architectural photographer Andrew Prokos. The awarded photos, and more photographs taken by Andrew in , will be exhibited in “: Night & Day”, at Banco do Brasil, 11 W 42nd St., .

Sponsored by Banco do Brasil and the Year of Brazil at Queens College, CUNY, the exhibition will include photographs from Niemeyer’s Brasilia, panoramic cityscapes of Rio de Janeiro at night, landscapes from Rio’s Botanical Gardens, and Rio street scenes. It will be on display from April 3 to April 25.

Waterfront Housing In a Post-Sandy World

Domino Sugar Site by SHoP Architects

Almost 400,000 New Yorkers live in floodplains, a number that should double by 2050 due to sea level rising. After Hurricane Sandy, the waterfront neighborhoods in which they live were dramatically re-envisioned, taking into account the heavy downpours and high winds that come with coastal storms. Is it possible to live safely while enjoying life at the water’s edge?

On March 17, the Center for Architecture will host a discussion with architects working on some of ’s major waterfront residential developments. Lisa Schwert (SHoP Architects), Oliver Schaper (Gensler), and Eran Chen (ODA) will be there discussing their projects.

More information and registration here.

Title: Waterfront Housing in a Post Sandy World
Website: http://cfa.aiany.org/index.php?section=calendar&evtid=6904
Organizers: AIANY
From: Mon, 17 Mar 2014 18:00
Until: Mon, 17 Mar 2014 20:00
Venue: Center for Architecture
Address: 536 LaGuardia Place, New York, NY 10012,

Rafael Viñoly’s Structural Experiment at Park Avenue Armory

Courtesy of Artvest Partners / Rafael Viñoly Architects

’s Park Avenue Armory, originally built in 1861 for the Seventh Regiment of the National Guard and restored by Herzog & de Meuron in 2007, is about to be temporarily taken over by Rafael Viñoly. On April 30th 2014 Artvest Partners will launch Spring Masters New York, “a fair for art produced between antiquity and the 20th century, which corresponds with Christie’s and Sotheby’s signature Impressionism and modern art auctions”. Viñoly’s hexagonal grid of exhibition rooms will fill the 55,000 square foot Drill Hall in an attempt to break with the monotony of the rectangular grid format.

Weill Cornell Medical College / Todd Schliemann | Ennead Architects

© Jeff Goldberg

Architects: Todd Schliemann | Ennead Architects
Location: 413 East 69th Street, New York, NY,
Architect In Charge: Craig McIlhenny
Project Team: Barrett Brown, Ilya Chistiakov, Margaret Gorman, John Jordan, Zubair Kazi, James Macho, Patricia Salas, Margaret Tyrpa
Area: 480,000 sqft
Year: 2014
Photographs: Jeff Goldberg

Crowdfunding in Architecture: Game Changer or PR Game?

The design for the 17 John Cotel in Manhattan. Image Courtesy of Prodigy Network

Building off of the success of their crowdfunded BD Bacatá building in Colombia, the real estate group Prodigy Network has announced a plan to bring this same funding method to New York, with an apartment hotel in Manhattan named 17 John.

The project, a glassy rooftop extension to the existing art deco building at 17 John Street, has much in common with Prodigy Network’s past projects: the same funding method as their skyscraper in Bogotá as well as the same designer, Winka Dubbeldam, head of the New York practice Archi-Techtonics. Dubbeldam also previously helped them to crowdsource ideas for the future development of in the “My Ideal City” project.

However, when applied to the USA, this funding paradigm – which is so promising in – becomes twisted beyond recognition. Upon close inspection, 17 John more resembles the standard developer’s model than anything else – and the claims of ethical superiority begin to melt away.

VIDEO: Liz Diller on the High Line, A Mile of Respite in the City that Never Sleeps

Liz Diller, one of the three partners of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, discusses the history of the High Line and the active design decisions which led to its success.

The elevated railroad, which was designed to penetrate city blocks rather than parallel an avenue, saw its last delivery (of frozen turkeys) in 1980. By 1999, a “very strange landscape had formed, with a whole eco system around it,” says Diller. Advocacy for the site’s preservation began with two local residents, and culminated in its reclamation with the multidisciplinary collaboration of city officials and impassioned designers (namely James Corner Field Operations, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and planting designer Piet Oudolf). “The project couldn’t have happened without the right people, the right time and the right administration.”

Today, thirty-feet above the hardscape in the canopy of the New York City jungle, the High Line pauses for a meditative mile. “The high line, if it’s about anything, it’s about nothing, about doing nothing. You can walk and sit, but you can’t be productive,” comments Diller.

Skyscrapers Shedding Ice in NYC

One World Trade Center as seen from the Hudson River. Image © Joe Mabel via Wikipedia

As begins to thaw after record breaking winter conditions, city dwellers are forced to be on high alert for falling ice. Streets surrounding the 1,776-foot One World Trade Center have been closed following reports of ice shearing from its surface. Some blame the more energy efficient buildings for the deadly occurrence, believing that because the newer structures are able to hold in more heat their exteriors remain colder which aids the formation of ice. Materials and building form can help prevent this phenomena. You can learn more here.

Design Writing and Research Summer Intensive

The School of Visual Arts MFA Design Criticism invites you to join them for a two-week intensive to research and write about design. Participants will be introduced to a range of techniques for constructing compelling narratives about images, objects,and spaces. You will experiment with different research methods, writing formats, and complete several projects across media, including a collaboratively produced publication.

Along with working closely with leading writers, editors, curators, and researchers, each participant will have their own workstation in D-Crit studio at Chelsea district in NY. A series of seminars, lectures, workshops, one-on-one consultations, along with visit to design collections, archives, libraries, design and architecture studios, will be part of the daily activities.

Application are due April 1, through the event’s official website.

Title: Design Writing and Research Summer Intensive
Website: http://dcrit.sva.edu/intensive/
From: Mon, 02 Jun 2014
Until: Fri, 13 Jun 2014
Venue: School of Visual Arts, NY
Address: 209 East 23rd Street, , NY 10010,

Symposium: Narratives and Design Studies: A Task of Translation

What unites contemporary design? What is the through line that connects designers between continents and across decades? This spring, The MA program in Design Studies at Parsons The New School for Design presents a two-day symposium that will bring together a rare interdisciplinary group of professionals and academics to explore narratives surrounding the field of design, and attempt to answer these questions. The conference, Narratives and Design Studies: A Task of Translation, will be held March 7 – 8.

This is the conference’s second year. In 2013, it was one of the first events held by the then-new MA in Design Studies. It brought together an international roster of scholars, practitioners, and entrepreneurs who considered how design shapes specific experiences and embodies fundamental assumptions about our relationship to the world and each other.

For more information, please click here.

Exhibition: Beyond the Supersquare

Livia Corona (b. Mexico, 1975; based in New York) / From the series: “Two Million Homes for Mexico / 47,547 Homes for Mexico Ixtapaluca, 2007 / Archival Chromogenic Print / 30 x 40 inches / Courtesy of the artist and Galeria Agustina Ferreyra, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Beyond the Supersquare brings together a select group of contemporary artists whose insightful work addresses the remnants of the Modern Movement in Latin America and the Caribbean. While the exhibition will address how Modernism defined a number of decisive aspects related to contemporary architecture, urbanism, and art in Latin America, this exhibition will also examine the larger political and social underpinnings of these cultural and environmental developments.

Through drawings, photography, sculpture, installation, and video, Beyond the Supersquare presents a series of responses to the aggressive rise of Latin America’s urban centers and the ways in which they have evolved since the mid-twentieth century.

For more information on this exhibition, please click here.

Title: Exhibition: Beyond the Supersquare
Website: http://www.bronxmuseum.org/exhibitions/beyond-the-supersquare
Organizers: The Bronx Museum of the Arts
From: Thu, 01 May 2014 
Until: Sun, 11 Jan 2015 
Venue:
Address: 1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10456,

Behind “Hy-Fi”: The Organic, Compostable Tower That Won MoMA PS1′s Young Architects Program 2014

The Living’s Hy-Fi, winning design of the 2014 Young Architects Program. The Museum of Modern Art and MoMAPS1. Image © The Living

This article, published by Metropolis Magazine as “Behind the Living’s “100% Organic” Pavilion for MoMA PS1“, goes behind the plans for this year’s PS1 Young Architects Program’s winning design, “Hy-Fi” – looking at the compostable eco-bricks which make the design possible.

“It all starts on local farms with waste corn stalks,” says Sam Harrington of Ecovative, who will help build this year’s winning entry for the MoMA PS1 Young Architect’s Program. Hy-Fi, designed by the -based firm The Living, will be made of bricks that are entirely organic and ultimately, compostable. A good chunk of that material is corn stalks, stained clay-red with an organic dye from Shabd Simon-Alexander and Audrey Louisere . The rest is mycelium—mushroom roots to you and me—that will hold the corn stalks together as they cohere into a molded shape. The technology, developed by Ecovative in 2007, has so far been used as a packaging material. “But we love the chance to try something bold, and that’s what PS1 is all about,” Harrington says.

Read more about the bricks behind Hy-Fi after the break

David Zwirner Gallery / Selldorf Architects

© Jason Schmidt

Architects: Selldorf Architects
Location: 537 West 20th Street, , NY,
Area: 30,000 sqft
Year: 2013
Photographs: Jason Schmidt