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Brooklyn’s First Supertall Skyscraper to be Designed by SHoP

11:18 - 9 November, 2015
Brooklyn’s First Supertall Skyscraper to be Designed by SHoP, The proposed "340 Flatbush" Avenue tower. Image © SHoP Architects; H/T New York Yimby
The proposed "340 Flatbush" Avenue tower. Image © SHoP Architects; H/T New York Yimby

The first image of what will be Brooklyn's tallest building has been unveiled. Designed by SHoP Architects, the 1000-foot-tall skyscraper will boast a 12:1 ratio, as New York Yimby reports, making it one of New York's skinniest towers - despite being double the width of the practice's 111 West 57th Street project

"340 Flatbush," as it's known, is being developed by JDS. Upon its (tentative) completion in early 2019, the building will offer 466,000-square-feet of residential space, forming 550 units, and 140,000-square feet of commercial space. 

Can Anyone Win in Architecture Criticism? An Appeal for a "New Sincerity"

09:30 - 9 November, 2015
Can Anyone Win in Architecture Criticism? An Appeal for a "New Sincerity"

In the mid-1980s, after literature had long been held hostage by postmodernist irony and cynicism, a new wave of authors called for an end to negativity, promoting a "new sincerity" for fiction. Gaining momentum into the 1990s, the movement reached a pinnacle in 1993 when, in his essay E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction, pop-culture seer David Foster Wallace, a proponent of this "new sincerity," made the following call to action: “The next real literary ‘rebels’ in this country might well emerge as some weird bunch of anti-rebels, born oglers who dare somehow to back away from ironic watching, who have the childish gall actually to endorse and instantiate single-entendre principles... These anti-rebels would be outdated, of course, before they even started. Dead on the page. Too sincere. Clearly repressed. Backward, quaint, naive, anachronistic. Maybe that’ll be the point. Maybe that’s why they’ll be the next real rebels. Real rebels, as far as I can see, risk disapproval. The old postmodern insurgents risked the gasp and squeal: shock, disgust, outrage, censorship, accusations of socialism, anarchism, nihilism. Today’s risks are different. The new rebels might be artists willing to risk the yawn, the rolled eyes, the cool smile, the nudged ribs, the parody of gifted ironists, the ‘Oh how banal.'"

Architecture, ever in debt to the styles and ideas of other art forms, could learn a thing or two now from the resuscitation of American fiction at the turn of the millennium. It too is enduring an identity crisis, mired by pessimism and uncertainty - a reality made painfully clear this past January when a New York Times Op-Ed by Steven Bingler and Martin C. Pedersen, How to Rebuild Architecture, divided camps and made the design world fume. In the editorial, the authors spoke vehemently of an architectural profession that has become mired by egos and been disconnected from public needs. Things quickly got ugly, critics wrestled with critics and subsequently the public got involved. What no one seemed to take into account is that this type of hounding is at the core of the problem. In its current landscape the discipline has struggled with its past, been deferential to its present, and wrestled with the uncertainty of its future. In a moment when we have become addicted to despondency, can anyone win?

Industrial Tribeca / Studio Esnal

09:00 - 6 November, 2015
Industrial Tribeca / Studio Esnal, © Miguel de Guzmán
© Miguel de Guzmán

© Miguel de Guzmán © Miguel de Guzmán © Miguel de Guzmán © Miguel de Guzmán +27

Jeanne Gang to Expand New York's American Museum of Natural History

11:35 - 5 November, 2015
Jeanne Gang to Expand New York's American Museum of Natural History, The new Central Exhibition Hall, which also serves as the Columbus Avenue entrance. Image © AMNH/D. Finnin
The new Central Exhibition Hall, which also serves as the Columbus Avenue entrance. Image © AMNH/D. Finnin

A conceptual design by Studio Gang was unveiled today as the preferred expansion to the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York. The proposed building, named the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation, aims to host an array of public exhibition space as well as become a premier "active scientific and educational institution" that enhances connections with the existing Museum and encourages exploration amongst its users. 

“We uncovered a way to vastly improve visitor circulation and Museum functionality, while tapping into the desire for exploration and discovery that are emblematic of science and also part of being human,” said Jeanne Gang, founder of Studio Gang. “Upon entering the space, natural daylight from above and sightlines to various activities inside invite movement through the Central Exhibition Hall on a journey towards deeper understanding. The architectural design grew out of the Museum’s mission.”

SOFTlab Wins Second Annual Flatiron Competition in New York

14:06 - 30 October, 2015
SOFTlab Wins Second Annual Flatiron Competition in New York, © SOFTlab
© SOFTlab

SOFTlab has been chosen as the second annual winner of the Flatiron Public Plaza design competition in New York. Their winning proposal, Nova will open to the public next month on Wednesday, November 18th. Its "crystalline" structure aims to intrigue the passer-by, welcoming them inside for framed views of the Flatiron Building and surrounding landmarks, including the Met Life Tower and Empire State Building

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.”