Last Summer, Two Trees bought the Domino Sugar Factory site in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn to be developed into a new mix-use master plan. The previously proposed scheme by Rafael Viñoly Architects (seen here) consisted of four large towers along the East River water front, but the design was largely disliked by the community, and as a result Two Trees hired SHoP Architects along with James Corner Field Operations to have a go at the design. The result is a wildly different scheme, consisting of five towers with 60% more open space along the water front, 631,000 square feet of new office space (versus the previous 98,000 square feet), and over two-thousand new apartments. This marks a huge change for what could be considered as the most important waterfront real estate in Brooklyn, and potentially become the new image of Brooklyn for the whole world.
Downtown Houston has exploded over the past few years with development targeted specifically toward attracting citizens into its downtown center beyond work hours. Some of these efforts have been a huge success; others have yet to justify themselves. But none so far have reached the architectural caliber that Houston’s latest competition has. The current light rail system in Houston is looking to expand rapidly in the near future to keep up with growing downtown attractions, most notably of which being the new and much anticipated Houston Dynamo Stadium by Populous.
The original scheme called for two new separate stations on Main Street – one at the 600 block, and one at the 800 block. The resolution was then made to create a larger, combined light rail hub in between the two at the 700 block of Main Street, and hold a competition led by Dean Patricia Oliver of the University of Houston Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Dean Sarah Whiting of the Rice University School of Architecture. A short list was created composed of internationally renowned architecture firms, and the competition winner is to be announced in the upcoming weeks. More to come once the finalist is announced.
Vishaan Chakrabarti, Director of Columbia Center for Urban Real Estate, will join SHoP Architects as its seventh partner – and only the second partner not related to the firm’s founders by blood or marriage. Chakrabarti’s expertise with large scale urban development projects will allow the firm to expand their urban reach, invigorating their “think-tank” approach to confront larger architectural problems that respond to global issues. “We are thrilled to have Vishaan join the firm. His background and depth of experience allow SHoP to add expertise to our bench while continuing our firm-wide focus on both planning and building,” said William Sharples, SHoP Partner. “Our interests extend beyond building beautiful skyscrapers, museums, university buildings and airport terminals. We want to build in such a way that our buildings give back to our cities and to our clients through use of public space, density, sustainability, and innovative construction methods.”
More about SHoP’s new partner after the break.
We have been keeping close watch on the progress of Barclays Center, SHoP’s 650,000+ stadium for Brooklyn at Atlantic Yards. The project has an interesting history as the client, Bruce Ratner, originally looked to Gehry to design an urban solution and iconic image for the 22 acre site, prior to teaming with Ellerbe Becket and SHoP. As we’ve reported earlier, SHoP’s response has developed to become a sweeping pre-fabricated volume, with a perforated latticework steel skin and a transparent ground level. Photographer Roger Edwards has shared some recent photos with us of the construction process as the building is quickly beginning to take shape.
Check out more photos after the break.
SHoP Architects has shared with us the B2 Bklyn building which will be the first of the residential developments for Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn, New York to break ground, scheduled for 2012. Standing at 32 storeys, it will be the world’s tallest pre-fab building, saving both on cost and waste.
More after the break.
Local New York architect Gregg Pasquarelli of SHoP Architects recently gave a speech at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture’s Teachers Seminar 2011. 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.
Architect Magazine‘s third-annual ranking of American architecture firms takes a look at three factors: profitability, sustainability, and design quality. This whole picture approach provides an opportunity for small and large firms to go head to head, with a result of the best architecture firms, not necessarily the biggest.
Take a look at the complete rankings after the break.
Ousting 17 other companies from Europe, USA and Africa, SHoP Architects was awarded first prize for their design of the Botswana Innovation Hub. The 270,000 sqf office and research building will be a testament to Botswana’s support of research, as well as her promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship.
More about the winning design after the break.
Bruce Ratner originally looked to Frank Gehry to design the Atlantic Yards’ basketball arena, a 22 acre development project in Brooklyn. Gehry’s scheme looked promising as the arena and surrounding buildings were carefully categorized in different zones and then reassembled to create “startling urban moments.” When Gehry was fired early in the summer and replaced by Kansas-based firm Ellerbe Becket, many were worried that the project would not be realized with the care Gehry had given it. When Becket’s original design seemed below par, Ratner quickly hired SHoP Architects to get the design back on track.
More about SHoP’s addition to the Atlantic Yards after the break.
The Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum will celebrate outstanding achievement in design this fall with its 10th annual National Design Awards program. Today, Cooper-Hewitt Director Paul Warwick Thompson announced the winners and finalists of the 2009 National Design Awards, which recognize excellence across a variety of disciplines.
Among several categories, some of the winners are:
Seen at Bustler. Images of the winners after the break.
Our dear friends over at CASE have been featured on Archinect´s Working out of the Box, a a series of features presenting architects who have applied their architecture backgrounds to alternative career paths. Personally, I don´t agree with this as I don´t feel that what they do is an “alternative” path, but something that should be into the core of any practice.
On CASE: CASE Design is a design technology consultancy based in NYC. CASE provides strategic advising to AEC firms seeking to transform their practices through technological innovation. We help our clients identify and implement technologies that enable more effective coordination, communication, collaboration and information exchange.
We featured an interview with SHoP a while ago, with Federico Negro from CASE. Also, we featured the construction progress of the 290 Mulberry St project, which was run by Federico while still at SHoP.
Read the complete article here.
SHoP Architects PC is a New York based practice we meet a few months ago. We knew a little about them, because of the PS1 Competition they won back in 2000, the Porter House condos in NY -a great example of urban renovation- and the East River Waterfront Renovation, currently in progress.
Something that interested me before getting to know them in person, was the fact that they stated “we believe in both ideas and profitability”, as a middle point between academia and service firms – something that some architects escape from.
During our conversation, they told us something very important for current practices: how to manage the growth of your office, how to work in a multidisciplinary environment and how to get the most out of computer aided design technologies, not just in terms of design, but in streamlining the construction process and create new efficiencies and cost-savings.
After the break, the office profile and some selected works from SHoP.
290 Mulberry is defined by its context through a direct response to zoning and building code regulations. Located in Nolita, New York, this building is bound on the north by Houston Street and on the west by the historic Puck Building on Mulberry Street. A zoning district requirement specifying a masonry enclosure for the two street walls created an opportunity to respond directly to the Puck Building, one of New York’s most recognizable masonry buildings. We then focused the idea on the reinterpretation of local laws and regulations with a contemporary response to masonry construction and detailing that doesn’t attempt to imitate the past.