There’s a new tower in town, and for once it’s not made of steel and glass… After a month of construction, David Benjamin and his firm, The Living, have completed the world’s first large-scale structure made of mushroom bricks. Better known as ‘Hy-Fi‘, the tower is the winning design of this year’s MoMA Young Architects Program, and like the works that preceded it, it’s an idea that asks us to rethink what we know about materials, fabrication and architecture in an urban context.
Connecting the two floors of this Upper East Side townhouse was no easy task for the team at LTL Architects. That’s because six — that’s right, six — distinct floor elevators stood in their way. Not only that, but the levels in the back and front don’t align, making the conversion of separate units into a single-family home even more difficult.
So how did the architects maneuver their way around the multiple obstacles? By installing two stunning staircases that not only tied together the four levels of the 19th-century townhouse, but also double as stand-alone centerpieces.
Philip Johnson lovers rejoice! It was just announced that the city will put aside $5.8 million to restore the dilapidated crown jewel of the 1964-65 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Funding for the restoration of the “Tent of Tomorrow” came via Mayor Bill de Blasio, who contributed $4.2 million to the project, while the rest was provided by the City Council and Borough President Melinda Katz. Katz has been a champion for restoring the iconic structure, even forming a task force of civic leaders to save the work. Efforts to restore the project will begin soon, but a bumpy road lies ahead…
Filling up the ole’ gas tank is not a glamorous job, and usually not a task that leaves one marveling at the surrounding architecture. But in 1927, Prairie-style extraordinaire Frank Lloyd Wright put together plans for a fuel filling station in Buffalo, New York that would leave even the most seasoned driver awe struck.
Now, almost 90 years later, the Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum has realized Wright’s vision and constructed the station as a one-of-a-kind installation housed in a 40,000-square-foot glass and steel atrium, made possible by a $6.3 million state grant. The arts-and-crafts gas station, the third Wright recreation in Buffalo, makes a nod to Native American design and thoughtfully mixes practicality with visual appeal.
INTERVIEW: Resolution: 4 Architecture’s Joseph Tanney Talks Prefab Homes and Designing NYC Apartments, Fri, June 27, 2014
Since it was founded in 1994, Resolution: 4 Architecture (RE4A) has been a game-changing force in the world of building and design. Founders Joseph Tanney and Robert Luntz were some of the first architects to embrace the idea of modular prefabricated homes, a concept that continues to grow in popularity for its cost0-efficiency, eco-friendly nature and versatility in design.
The RE4A team has worked on numerous projects, ranging from envy-inducing vacation retreats to space-efficient lofts to the headquarters for Equinox gym. While they have helped design and build spaces across the nation, the firm calls New York City — specifically, Chelsea — home and plenty of Big Apple sensibilities show up in their work, which is bold, yet functional. We recently spoke with Tanney about RE4A’s mission and upcoming work, plus his tips for creating a storage-friendly apartment.
NYC’s Billboards to be the Biggest in the USA: Even More Wattage Being Added to Times and Herald Squares, Fri, June 27, 2014
Billboard signs along Times Square, and now Herald Square, are growing ever bigger and brighter as LED displays become the top choice for developers of new supersigns. Projects such as the upcoming Mariott Edition, Vornado‘s Marriott Marquis renovation, and the revamping of the Herald Center all include LED displays that will be among the largest in the world.
Though more expensive to install than the standard illuminated billboard, the light-emitting diode canvasses have the primary advantage of being eco-friendly by using less electricity and lasting 25 times longer than their incandescent alternatives. Their cost depends on size, complexity, and resolution; and may run upward of $1000 a square foot. But new technology in the past decade has cut the average price in half allowing for a brighter and more prolific future in the city.
Coming on the heels of a rezoning last spring that will yield much more residential and retail development in the area just north of Canal Street, the Hudson Square Connection Business Improvement District embarked on an ambitious $27 million campaign to create more open space and beautify the neighborhood’s streets.
First up was a $200,000 investment at Freeman Plaza West a few months after the City Council approved the rezoning. The vacant property near the entrance to the Holland Tunnel was magically transformed into an unexpected but charming garden respite with the addition of umbrellas, tables, chairs and trees.
As New Yorkers we love to think of ourselves as original and cutting edge, but there’s no denying that many of us have a soft spot for things that harken back to gentler times. In a sea of towers and shiny new boutiques, Williamsburg‘s newest hotel addition bucks the steel and glass trend for a beautiful Adirondack design that will appeal to even the most unwavering modernist.
If you’re looking for an oasis in this concrete jungle of ours, look no further than the Urban Cowboy Bed & Breakfast, a ranch-style escape sure to turn any city dweller into a cowboy complete with a twang.
Modular Post-Disaster Housing Prototype by Garrison Architects Features Flexibility and Quick Assembly, Wed, June 25, 2014
We all remember where we were when we first saw the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. We all remember the residents who were forced from their homes and separated from their families and their support system. In a better world, we would never have to see such heartbreaking images again. That’s where Garrison Architects come in. Hired by American Manufactured Structures and Services (AMSS), Garrison Architects has provided a post-disaster urban housing prototype for residents displaced during a crisis.
What’s a little more glass and metal in a town overrun by supertalls, right? After getting shot down by the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) for their design of a two-story, mixed-use glass crown to top the Pastis Building in the Meatpacking District, BKSK Architects went back to the drawing board only to emerge with a new idea that’s won the LPC’s blessing. Set to top the low-rise brick building at 9–19 9th Avenue, the redesign is a somewhat more subdued iteration that uses the same materials and form, but with much less glass.