550 Madison Avenue (née the AT&T Building, more recently Sony Plaza) is among the more recognizable figures on New York’s skyline. Designed by architect-provocateur Philip Johnson, the 37-story skyscraper stands out thanks to its curious headgear: a classical pediment broken by a circular notch, inviting frequent comparisons to the top of a Chippendale grandfather clock. A singular, if largely inoffensive presence on today’s icon-heavy streetscape, the design was positively shocking on its debut in 1979, when Johnson himself appeared on the cover of Time holding a model of the project, then still four years from completion. The image heralded the arrival of something new in American architecture: the fading of the flat-crowned Modernist towers of the midcentury and the onset of the Postmodernist wave.
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New York-based firm Marvel revealed schematic designs for The Bronx Museum's new multi-story entrance and lobby, as part of the museum's revamp for its 50th anniversary. With a budget of USD $26 million and slated for completion in 2025, the renovation will relocate the access on the Grand Concourse Street, one of the most iconic The Bronx boulevards, and focus on the cohesion of the multiple sections for a fully accessible route through all of the galleries. Coinciding with this announcement, the Museum reinvented its brand identity and website for the first time in over two decades to reflect its ethos as a vital space at the intersection of art and social justice in New York City.
The 1970’s were a dark time for New York City. While the economy was down, crime rates were at an all-time high. The negative public image also kept tourists away, driving the city into a financial crisis. To change perceptions about The Big Apple, the New York State Department for Economic Development approached advertising firm Wells Rich Greene to create an inviting marketing operation. After 45 years, the resulting I Love NY campaign remains fresh in the minds of locals and tourists, successfully revamping New York City’s brand. Cities across the world like Paris, Amsterdam and Jerusalem have similarly invested heavily in constructing magnetic brands for themselves.
The Constant Future: A Century of the Regional Plan, an October exhibit at Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal is a succinct yet gripping display of civic dreams selected from the imagination of the Regional Plan Association (RPA), an independent non-profit that conducts research on the environment, land use, and good governance with the intention of promoting ideas that improve economic health, environmental resiliency, and quality of life in the New York metropolitan area. The occasion is the organization’s centennial, and the show is a testament to its powerful role in developing the tri-state region. Not all of its ideas have been good, but the city owes a debt to the group’s long-term view.
The Second Studio (formerly The Midnight Charette) is an explicit podcast about design, architecture, and the everyday. Hosted by Architects David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet, it features different creative professionals in unscripted conversations that allow for thoughtful takes and personal discussions.
A variety of subjects are covered with honesty and humor: some episodes are interviews, while others are tips for fellow designers, reviews of buildings and other projects, or casual explorations of everyday life and design. The Second Studio is also available on iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube.
This week David and Marina are joined by Mitchell Joachim, PhD, Associate Professor, NYU and Co-Founder, Terreform ONE to discuss the complexities of urban design; the role of the urban designer; the real-life applications of his research; funding projects; cricket farms; and more.
The Transportation Alternatives and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have initiated a new digital tool, Spatial Equity NYC, to help users understand how space is distributed and restricted across the neighborhoods of New York City. The tool asses the use of streets, sidewalks, and public spaces, as they are key factors that influence data such as pollution, traffic fatalities, accessibility, or air quality. The data collected shows a direct correlation between neighborhoods with low-income communities and communities of color and the detrimental ways in which public space is used, leading to health and mobility issues in those communities.
The scene is almost identical, no matter which borough of New York City you’re in. Narrow sidewalks are lined by mountains of trash bags and other large objects, waiting for their turn to be taken away by the fleet of sanitary workers and trucks who will dispose of them. Large rodents seek shelter in their temporary plastic homes, feeding on discarded scraps, becoming a regular sighting for New York City residents. The City That Never Sleeps has a bigger problem than the flashing lights and noisy streets- it’s all of the trash that’s left to sit out on the sidewalks.
High-Rise Award (IHA) selected five buildings from Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America from 34 nominated high-rise buildings from 13 countries. Vancouver House by BIG, TrIIIple Towers in Vienna by Henke Schreieck Architekten, The Bryant in New York by David Chipperfield Architects, Singapore State Courts by Serie Architects+ Multiply Architects, and Quay Quarter Tower in Sydney by 3XN, are the 2022/23 finalist for exemplifying sustainability, and social aspects in a high-rise building.
The IHA has aimed at architects and developers whose buildings are at least 100 meters high and have been completed in the past two years. Previous recipients include Norra Tornen by OMA (2020), Torre Reforma by LBR&A Arquitectos (2018), and Torre Agbar by Ateliers Jean Nouvel (2006).
A developer in NYC purchased the first-ever non-fungible token (NFT) Office building in New York City. "Located" at 44 West 37th Street, the 4700 square meters NFT serves as an immutable digital asset that points to transforming how we design, build, operate, and monetize our spaces with only "one-click". The 16-story building was created by spatial intelligence company Integrated Projects and questions the function of architecture in Real Estate and the Metaverse.
Whether you live in an urban, suburban, or rural area, there’s a good chance that using a sidewalk, in some capacity, is part of your everyday routine. Whether crossing over a sidewalk to get to your car in a parking lot or walking several blocks on your commute to your office downtown, sidewalks are critical for creating safe places for pedestrians away from the streets. But what happens when cities don’t take ownership over sidewalk maintenance, and they’re left to be protected by the people who just use them?
The first and only formal architecture union in the American private sector was just formed by Bernheimer Architecture's employees after two years of the union campaign. The Union aims to reframe the discipline and profession and create an established sector of better labor rights standards and work conditions. The BA Union will be associated with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers to reshape the industry at a large scale and work on Industrywide problems like long hours and low pay.
This article was originally published on Common Edge.
In 2007, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed congestion pricing for Manhattan. The state legislature rejected the plan. Fifteen years later, we’re still debating the idea, fiddling while the planet burns.
The newest problem is that a new environmental study and traffic model from the MTA, The Central Business District Tolling Program Environmental Assessment, says that what’s good for 1.63 million residents of Manhattan and the planet, in general, will increase the pollution in the already unhealthy air in the Bronx. Yes, that’s a problem. Turning the perfect into the enemy of the good is also a problem. We need a plan that benefits all.
Construction has begun at 126 East 57th street, a project designed by architecture office ODA, with interiors designed by Gambellini Sheppard. On 57th street, a copper mirrored gateway leads residents through the 6-story atrium and toward the 28-story residential tower. The site spans the width of a city block from 56th to 57th street and the proposed tower measures 175,000 square feet, complete with private outdoor terraces for every unit, as the pixelated cast-in-place concrete façade recesses at irregular intervals.
Humane cities center around the relationships between people and places. Communities thrive on shared resources, public spaces, and a collective vision for their locality. To nurture happy and healthy cities, designers and the public apply methods of placemaking to the urban setting. Placemaking—the creation of meaningful places—strongly relies on community-based participation to effectively produce magnetic public spaces.
The New York City Senate and Assembly have passed the SIGH act, prohibiting the construction of new schools near major roadways. The act, named The Schools Impact by Gross Highways Act, aims to protect school-age children from air pollution. Under this law, the commissioner of education for the city will not be able to approve the plans for the construction of any new schoolhouse within 500 feet (150 meters) of a controlled-access highway unless the commissioner determines that space limitations are so severe that there is no other site to erect such new schoolhouse.