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Adjaye Associates' Sugar Hill Development Offers a Different Model for Public Housing

06:00 - 28 October, 2015

In discussion with Calvin Tomkins for a 2013 profile in The New Yorker, David Adjaye spoke intensely on the significance of his Sugar Hill Development. “Context,” said Adjaye, “is so important, not to mimic but to become part of the place. I wanted a building that acknowledges its surroundings.” The recently-completed project is the brainchild of Ellen Baxter, leader of Broadway Housing Communities (BHC), a non-profit that has made strides to create innovative housing schemes in Upper Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood. In an era where mixed-used developments are routine, Sugar Hill adds new dimensions to the typology by uniting affordable apartments, an early childhood education center, offices for the BHC, and the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling.

In conjunction with their full building review written by Rob Bevan, The Architectural Review has produced this video which introduces the broader public to the tenants, allowing us to better understand the building’s use, intentions, and the design philosophy.

Brooklyn Bridge Park: What a Design by O'Neill McVoy + NVda Says About the State of Architecture

08:30 - 26 October, 2015
Brooklyn Bridge Park: What a Design by O'Neill McVoy + NVda Says About the State of Architecture, Garden Spiral Tower on the Harbor. Image Courtesy of O'Neill McVoy Architects
Garden Spiral Tower on the Harbor. Image Courtesy of O'Neill McVoy Architects

In Mark Foster Gage’s essay “Rot Munching Architects,” published in Perspecta 47: Money, the Assistant Dean of the Yale School of Architecture strove to find meaning in the current design landscape. Taking the essay title from a larger stream of expletives spun across the facade of the Canadian pavilion as part of artist Steven Shearer’s installation at the 54th Venice Art Biennale in 2011, Gage found truth in the vulgarities, arguing that - in a very literal sense - “architectural experimentation has left the building” as the discipline has been made impotent under the hostage of late capitalist ambition.

Last summer, when Brooklyn Bridge Park unveiled 14 proposals as finalists for two residential towers at the park's controversial pier 6 site, you could be fooled into thinking that design is alive and well. A caveat of the park’s General Project Plan (GPP) was to set aside land for retail, residential and a hotel development, in order to secure funding and achieve financial autonomy. The plans had already fueled a decade of legal battles and fierce opposition from the local community, with arguments ranging from the environment, to park aesthetics, to money-making schemes, but last year a bright outcome appeared a possibility, when the park unveiled the competing plans including those by Asymptote Architecture, BIG, Davis Brody Bond, Future Expansion + SBN Architects, WASA Studio, and of particular interest, O’Neill McVoy Architects + NV/design architecture (NVda).

Harbor Pair and Pedestrian Bridge. Image Courtesy of O'Neill McVoy Architects View from Manhattan. Image Courtesy of O'Neill McVoy Architects Garden Spiral Tower. Image Courtesy of O'Neill McVoy Architects Brooklyn Waterfront. Image Courtesy of O'Neill McVoy Architects +15

These Interactive Graphics Show the Evolution of Tall Buildings in New York

14:00 - 24 October, 2015
These Interactive Graphics Show the Evolution of Tall Buildings in New York, © CTBUH
© CTBUH

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat has released a new research study called New York: The Ultimate Skyscraper Laboratory, which utilizes data to “develop graphic features showing the progression of tall building development in New York City.”

The Timeline of Skyscrapers in New York City Region 1906-2018 graphic illustrates “how skyscraper construction aligned with social or political events in history” in the context of key events, for example, building inactivity around the period of World War II.

Forward Slash ( / ) ARCHITEKTUR Selected to Design Performa 15 Hub in NYC

12:00 - 24 October, 2015
Forward Slash ( / ) ARCHITEKTUR Selected to Design Performa 15 Hub in NYC, Model. Image Courtesy of Forward Slash ( / ) ARCHITEKTUR
Model. Image Courtesy of Forward Slash ( / ) ARCHITEKTUR

Performa has selected the office of Christoph A. Kumpusch, Forward Slash ( / ) ARCHITEKTUR, as the winner of the competition to design the Performa 15 Hub. Held in New York City, Performa is a Biennale dedicated to live performance across artistic disciplines. This year’s Biennial, Performa 15, will take place November 1 -22, and the Performa Hub serves as the biennial's headquarters, offering a venue for special performances, screenings, panel discussions, artists’ seminars, a lounge, a shop and a visitor information center. Read more about the winning entry and Performa after the break.

Sneak Peek at the World's First Underground Park - The Lowline

16:00 - 23 October, 2015

A 1,200 square-meter "test lab" of what aims to be the world's first underground park has opened its doors to New Yorkers. View a sneak peek above, shared with ArchDaily by The Spaces, to see just how the Lowline (as the project's known) plans to "plumb" sunlight into an abandoned trolley terminal beneath the city's Delancey Street in an attempt to transform the forgotten space into a sun-lit, subterranean public garden. 

Stevens' Hurricane-Resilient SU+RE House Wins Solar Decathlon 2015

16:05 - 20 October, 2015
Stevens' Hurricane-Resilient SU+RE House Wins Solar Decathlon 2015, © Thomas Kelsey / U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon
© Thomas Kelsey / U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

A student-led team from Stevens Institute of Technology (SIT) in New Jersey has won the 2015 Solar Decathlon with a “Coastal Home of the Future" - the SU+RE House. Affordable, net-zero, and entirely solar-powered, the home was inspired by the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. It hopes to serve as a prototype for coastal homes.

"SU+RE HOUSE powers itself with clean solar power, and uses 90 percent less energy than its conventional cousins," says the winning team. "In the aftermath of a storm, SU+RE HOUSE can become a hub of emergency power for surrounding neighborhoods."

Installation Two: Volume and Void / Jordana Maisie

15:00 - 16 October, 2015
Installation Two: Volume and Void / Jordana Maisie, © Nicholas Calcott
© Nicholas Calcott

© Nicholas Calcott © Nicholas Calcott © Nicholas Calcott © Nicholas Calcott +27

Bringing Design to a Broad Audience: The 7th New York Architecture and Design Film Festival

12:00 - 16 October, 2015
Bringing Design to a Broad Audience: The 7th New York Architecture and Design Film Festival, Still from "Concrete Love" showing Gottfried Böhm's Neviges Mariendom. Image Courtesy of New York Architecture & Design Film Festival
Still from "Concrete Love" showing Gottfried Böhm's Neviges Mariendom. Image Courtesy of New York Architecture & Design Film Festival

October has become a busy month in the design world. If you’re living in the United States, New York specifically, it means Archtober: a portmanteau that means the city is flooded with architecture activities, programs and exhibitions, piled onto an already rich design calendar. One of these events is the New York Architecture & Design Film Festival, which started on Tuesday night and runs through Sunday October 18th, and will screen 30 films from around the world in 15 curated, themed programs.

This week, I was able to visit the festival to absorb the atmosphere and speak to the festival's director Kyle Bergman, to learn the ins and outs of this year’s festival, how things got started, and where it will go in the future.

Spotlight: César Pelli

14:00 - 12 October, 2015
Spotlight: César Pelli, Petronas Towers . Image © Flickr User: einalem licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Petronas Towers . Image © Flickr User: einalem licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

A diversity of approaches and locales is the calling card of American based, Argentinian born architect Cesar Pelli (born October 12, 1926). The common thread of Pelli’s work is a strong sensitivity to place and environment. Beginning his solo career with the Pacific Design Center (1975) in Los Angeles, and shifting through the World Financial Center (1988) (now Brookfield Place) in New York, to the Petronas Towers (1996) in Kuala LumpurMalaysia, and the now under-construction, Transbay Transit Center and Salesforce Tower in San Francisco, each project is a unique response to context.

The Power of Photography: How Images Continue to Shape the Built Environment

09:30 - 12 October, 2015
The Power of Photography: How Images Continue to Shape the Built Environment, © Iwan Baan for New York Magazine
© Iwan Baan for New York Magazine

In a culture dominated by smartphones and Instagram, with estimates that over one trillion photographs will be taken this year alone, it might seem impossible for photographs to make and shape issues in the ways they once did. Despite this, images still steer debates with shocking resiliency and, with luck, become iconic in their own right. As architecture is synonymous with placemaking and cultural memory, it is only logical that images of the built environment can have lasting effects on the issues of architecture and urbanism. It's never been easier for photographs to gain exposure than they can today, and with social media and civilian journalism, debates have never started more quickly.

New Website Visualizes Human Activity in Cities Across the World

16:15 - 7 October, 2015
New Website Visualizes Human Activity in Cities Across the World, Screenshot of ManyCities, showing clusters of New York areas with similar timeline patterns. Image © ManyCities
Screenshot of ManyCities, showing clusters of New York areas with similar timeline patterns. Image © ManyCities

The SENSEable City Laboratory at MIT has developed a new tool with Ericsson to better understand human behavior. "ManyCities" is a new website that "explores the spatio-temporal patterns of mobile phone activity in cities across the world," including London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong. Taking complex data and organizing it in a intuitive way, the application allows users to quickly visualize patterns of human movement within the urban context down to the neighborhood scale. You can imagine how useful a tool like this can be for urban planners or even daily commuters, especially once real time analytics come into play. Take a look at ManyCities yourself, here

Sugar Hill Development / Adjaye Associates

09:00 - 5 October, 2015
Sugar Hill Development / Adjaye Associates, © Ed Reeve
© Ed Reeve

© Ed Reeve © Ed Reeve © Wade Zimmerman © Wade Zimmerman +51

Zaha Hadid Releases New Image of New York Condominium Project Near High Line

12:30 - 1 October, 2015
Zaha Hadid Releases New Image of New York Condominium Project Near High Line, © Hayes Davidson
© Hayes Davidson

Just as the luxury condominium high rise opens for sales, Zaha Hadid Architects and Related Companies have released a new image of 520 West 28th - Zaha Hadid's first residential building in New York. Planned for a prime location in West Chelsea, alongside the High Line and nearby Renzo Piano's newly-opened Whitney Museum and Diller Scofidio + Renfro's future Culture Shed, the 11-story development is offering 39 distinct residences, some reaching up to 6,391-square-feet. 

“I’ve always been fascinated by the High Line and its possibilities for the city. Decades ago, I used to visit the galleries in the area and consider how to build along the route. It's very exciting to be building there now,” said Zaha Hadid. “The design engages with the city while concepts of fluid spatial flow create a dynamic new living environment.”

PBS Film Explores the Life of Frank Lloyd Wright Photographer Pedro E. Guerrero

12:00 - 26 September, 2015

PBS’ American Masters series and Latino Public Broadcasting’s VOCES series have teamed up for the first time to delve into the life and work of Pedro E. Guerrero, a Mexican American photographer from Mesa, Arizona, who is known for his photography of the works of Frank Lloyd Wright, among other artists.

The film, Pedro E. Guerrero: A Photographer’s Journey, explores Guerrero’s photography, showing his collaboration with Frank Lloyd Wright to “produce insightful portraits of important modernist architecture,” which launched him to become “one of the most sought-after photographers of the ‘Mad Men’ era.” While Guerrero was extremely popular at the time, his story today is still largely unknown.

Richard Silver's Stunning Vertical Panoramas of New York Churches

12:35 - 25 September, 2015
Richard Silver's Stunning Vertical Panoramas of New York Churches, Church of St. Vincent Ferrer. Image © Richard Silver Photo
Church of St. Vincent Ferrer. Image © Richard Silver Photo

Seasoned photographer Richard Silver has captured the beauty of New York's churches unlike any other. By seamlessly stitching together a series of composite images from each location, Silver has created a stunning set of vertical panoramas that reveal the interiors of New York's most impressive religious structures

“Finding the perfect location in the center aisle then shooting vertically from the pew to the back of the church gives the perspective that only architecture of this style can portray,” Silver told Colossal.

Church of St. Francis Xavier. Image © Richard Silver Photo Church of the Village. Image © Richard Silver Photo Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Bernard's Church. Image © Richard Silver Photo St. Monica's Church. Image © Richard Silver Photo +15

Competition Challenges Architects to Reimagine New York's MetLife Building

16:00 - 22 September, 2015
Competition Challenges Architects to Reimagine New York's MetLife Building, © Wikipedia User: Shaqspeare, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
© Wikipedia User: Shaqspeare, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Metals in Construction magazine has launched a competition for architects, engineers, students, designers, and others from all over the world to submit their vision for recladding 200 Park Avenue, built a half-century ago as the world’s largest corporate structure, the Pan Am Building (now the MetLife Building).

The mandate is to reimagine this New York City icon with a resource-conserving, eco-friendly enclosure—one that creates a highly efficient envelope with the lightness and transparency sought by today’s office workforce while preserving and enhancing the aesthetic of its heritage. Entrants may now register on the competition's official website. The deadline for final submission is February 1, 2016.

7 Buildings That Show Norman Foster's Architecture Has Always Been Ahead of the Curve

09:31 - 22 September, 2015
7 Buildings That Show Norman Foster's Architecture Has Always Been Ahead of the Curve, Aerial View of Spaceport America. Image © Nigel Young
Aerial View of Spaceport America. Image © Nigel Young

If Norman Foster were a household item, he would surely be a Swiss Army Knife. Foster, who turned 80 this year, is unrelenting in producing architectural solutions to problems that other architects can only theorize - just last Wednesday, for example, his firm released their design for a previously-unheard-of building typology, a droneport in Rwanda.

It is surprising then to find the man or his eponymous firm Foster + Partners absent from a list like Fast Company’s “The World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Architecture,” organized into superlatives: MMA Architects, “for thinking outside the big box,” Heatherwick Studio, “for reimagining green space,” or C.F. Møller Architects, “for rethinking high-rise living.” This is not to say that Foster or his firm should be substituted for any of these deserved accolades, but rather that for five decades Foster and his firm have ceaselessly worked to enhance and expand on the human experience with architectural solutions that are both inventive and practical - a fact that is perhaps lost as a result of his position within the architectural establishment.

With that in mind, we thought it was worth highlighting the many occasions over the decades where Foster + Partners has shown themselves to be among the world's most innovative practices. Read on for more.

Ground Level View of Lunar Habitation. Image Courtesy of Foster + Partners Interior Concourse of Chek Lap Kok Airport. Image Courtesy of Flickr CC user Jorge Láscar Hearst Tower. Image © Chuck Choi Aerial View of Willis Faber and Dumas Headquarters. Image © Wikimedia CC user Mato zilincik +14

Alternative Realities: 7 Radical Buildings That Could-Have-Been

09:30 - 21 September, 2015
Alternative Realities: 7 Radical Buildings That Could-Have-Been, Masterplan for the World Trade Center by Richard Meier & Partners, Eisenman Architects, Gwathmey Siegel and Associates, and Steven Holl Architects. Image © Jock Pottle. Courtesy Richard Meier & Partners Architects
Masterplan for the World Trade Center by Richard Meier & Partners, Eisenman Architects, Gwathmey Siegel and Associates, and Steven Holl Architects. Image © Jock Pottle. Courtesy Richard Meier & Partners Architects

In It’s A Wonderful Life the film’s protagonist George Bailey, facing a crisis of faith, is visited by his guardian angel, and shown an alternate reality where he doesn’t exist. The experience gives meaning to George’s life, showing him his own importance to others. With the increasing scale of design competitions these days, architectural “could-have-beens” are piling up in record numbers, and just as George Bailey's sense of self was restored by seeing his alternate reality, hypothesizing about alternative outcomes in architecture is a chance to reflect on our current architectural moment.

Today marks the one-year-anniversary of the opening of Phase 3 of the High Line. While New Yorkers and urbanists the world over have lauded the success of this industrial-utility-turned-urban-oasis, the park and the slew of other urban improvements it has inspired almost happened very differently. Although we have come to know and love the High Line of Diller Scofidio + Renfro and James Corner Field Operations, in the original ideas competition four finalists were chosen and the alternatives show stark contrasts in how things might have shaped up.

On this key date for one of the most crucial designs of this generation, we decided to look back at some of the most important competitions of the last century to see how things might have been different.

Joseph Marzella's second-place design for the Sydney Opera House. Image via The Daily Mail Designs for the Chicago Tribune Tower by Adolf Loos (left) and Bruno Taut, Walter Gunther, and Kurz Schutz (right). Image via skyscraper.org Design for the High Line by Zaha Hadid Architects with Balmori Associates, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP and studio MDA. Image via University of Adelaide on Cargo Collective Moshe Safdie's design for the Centre Pompidou. Image Courtesy of Safdie Architects +16