While the city continues to develop ways to quicken commutes between Manhattan and the outer boroughs (like the soon-to-be-launched NYC Ferry), the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) has taken matters into their own hands and created an idea for an aerial gondola. Similar to the East River Skyway proposal, which would transport passengers across the East River to ease the inconvenience of the impending L train shutdown, the gondola would take commuters in the sky from the borough to Bayonne, NJ where they’d connect to the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail and ultimately the PATH. As WYNC learned, starting this week and for seven days only, the gondola will be touring Staten Island on the back of a flatbed truck to boost support from officials to fund the project.
First Piece of Vessel Installed 04.18.2017 – courtesy of Related-Oxford
The standard for public art spaces has officially reached new heights. Today, the installation has begun on Vessel, an innovative landmark designed by Heatherwick Studio at Hudson Yards. As 6sqft previously wrote, the project’s idea stems from Related Companies‘ chairman Stephen Ross, who chose Heatherwick to design the $200 million (up as of today from the original $150 million estimate) large-scale piece of art. After being fabricated and constructed in Monfalcone, Italy, the first ten pieces of the 150-foot-tall steel structure arrived in January at the Port of Newark via ship and then traveled across the Hudson River. And as of this morning, Ross was on site to mark the first of these massive components (they each weigh close to 100,000 pounds) being put into place by crane.
Advocacy group Transportation Alternatives has been trying to stay focused on grounded solutions–literally, as opposed to the tunnel and skyway ideas that are also being discussed–to mitigate the anticipated possible chaos when the dreaded 15-month L train shutdown hits. The organization is aiming for the ear of the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the MTA which control street design and bus expansion, respectively. The group recently held an “L-ternative” contest seeking pedestrian-centered proposals for main transit corridors along the L line, such as 14th street, Gothamist reports. The winning proposal, called 14TH ST.OPS, imagines a (car) traffic-free 14th Street with a six-stop shuttle bus using dedicated lanes, plus protected bike lanes.
Roosevelt Island, the mile-long neighborhood that lies in the East River between Manhattan and Queens, will be a stop on the NYC Ferry route that connects Astoria to Wall Street beginning in August. While this will ease access to other parts of the city for residents of the island, French architect Victor Ostojic has another idea. As Curbed reported, Ostojic published a conceptual proposal of a cantilevered glass-covered ferry terminal on the western side of the island. Located parallel to Manhattan’s East 63rd Street, the terminal would include ground-floor retail, a food court, office space and a luxury hotel on top.
The first place winners of the New York Affordable Housing Challenge, an architectural competition run by Bee Breeders, have been announced. Kwong Von Glinow Design Office received first prize for their entry “The Table Top,” a modular system that aggregates and stacks to provide density and diversity in a city as varied as New York. Designed as a prototype for affordable housing in New York City, the flexible system could accommodate the city’s wide range of lot sizes and is adaptable to a variety of unit combinations for diverse types of residents. With an affordable housing crisis abetting an increasingly socially divided city with the majority of its residents spending over half of their annual income on rent, the project speaks to Mayor de Blasio’s emphasis on the dire need to create more affordable housing at both new and redeveloped existing sites.
Metals in Construction magazine has just announced the winner and finalists in the magazine’s 2017 Design Challenge, “Meeting the Architecture 2030 Challenge: Reimagine Structure.” The competition invited architects, engineers, students and designers to submit their visions for combatting global warming in their design for a high-rise building. The winning design, “Orbit Tower,” was created by architects and engineers from ODA Architecture and Werner Sobek New York. The building–though purely conceptual for the purposes of the competition–would be located in midtown Manhattan at 1114 Sixth Avenue on the north side of Bryant Park in place of the Grace Building.
Internationally renowned Chinese contemporary artist and activist Ai Weiwei was banned from leaving his home country for more than four years, but this past fall, a year after his passport was returned by police, he returned to New York with an unheard-of four gallery shows that all opened on the same day. As a metaphor for his personal travel ban–as well as the current political climate of the U.S., particularly as relates to immigration, and the global migration crisis–the Times shares news that Weiwei has been commissioned by the Public Art Fund for a major art installation opening in October. Titled “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors,” the piece will be one of his most large-scale public art projects ever. He’ll place 10 large fence-themed works and more than 90 smaller installations across Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn, all in an attempt to bring attention to “a retreat from the essential attitude of openness in American politics,” as he explains.
When Superstorm Sandy hit the community of Red Hook, thousands of residents were left without power and basic necessities for over two weeks. The neighborhood’s infrastructure suffered substantial damage, with almost all basement mechanical rooms destroyed. In an effort to rebuild Brooklyn’s largest housing development, Red Hook Houses, post-Sandy, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) commissioned a project by architecture firm Kohn Pederson Fox (KPF). Their “Lily Pad” design includes installing 14 “utility pods” that deliver heat and electricity to each building, as well as creating raised earth mounds to act as a flood barrier (h/t Archpaper).
If you thought the roller coaster that is Pier 55 was over since construction began in November, you may not want to step off the ride just yet. Just yesterday, a federal judge ruled in favor of the City Club of New York, who took legal action against the $200 million Barry Diller-funded offshore park way back in the summer of 2015. As reported by the Times, Judge Lorna G. Schofield agreed with the group’s claim that the Army Corps of Engineers had not conducted a sufficient environmental review on how the 2.4-acre park would affect fish and wildlife. She ordered that work stop at the site and called for a review of alternatives for building along Hudson River Park, a maritime sanctuary.
Photo courtesy of Strongbow
With spring officially here, it’s the perfect time to visit your favorite park. While there are plenty to choose from, there’s only one that floats on water. As reported by Time Out, Swale, the collaborative floating food forest, which let visitors pick free produce last summer, is back with an updated design–“a blossoming apple orchard surrounded by garden beds filled with herbs, fruits and vegetables.” In a collaboration with Strongbow, the newly designed barge will be docking at public piers from April through October.
A gift to perhaps the greatest woman in New York City, it was revealed on Wednesday that the Statue of Liberty will be receiving a $4.58 million facelift. The Post had the details on the plans which were approved by The National Park Service (NPS) earlier this week. The overhaul is expected to include the planting of 46 salt-tolerant trees, repairs to the statue’s granite pavers, and the installation of about 1,650-feet of stainless steel fencing and new gates around Lady Liberty’s base.
Although High Line Park visionary Robert Hammond recently expressed remorse for failing to develop a park that was “for the neighborhood”—not the ultra-wealthy that have infiltrated the blocks directly surrounding the elevated marvel—other cities continue to see nothing but financial opportunity in thrusting parkland upward. 6sqft recently reported on Newark, NJ, which will soon break ground on their own version of the High Line in hopes of revitalizing their long-burdened downtown, and now the Staten Island Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) has announced that Port Richmond is angling for their own High Line magic atop .53 miles of abandoned North Shore rail line.
Design team suggests a new mission-driven gentrification model geared toward artists and small businesses, Thu, February 23, 2017
We’ve definitely seen a lifetime’s worth of the trajectory that runs from warehouse to art studio to luxury loft, starting with neighborhoods like Soho and picking up speed as developers got into the act, anticipating the next “it” enclave with manageable rents attracting the young and creative. A team of New York-based designers developed a proposal for reaping the benefits of economic growth in the city’s industrial areas without pricing out all but the wealthiest players. Soft City reports the details of this “mission-driven gentrification” concept, which suggests an all-new development model for the city’s manufacturing neighborhoods (known as M1 districts), helmed by mission-based organizations and a building typology that caters to small businesses and artists.
It never hurts to think of warmer months on days like today, and MoMA PS1’s announcement of whose design will fill their courtyard this summer certainly does the trick. The winner of their 18th annual Young Architects Program is Jenny Sabin Studio. The Ithaca-based experimental architecture studio created “Lumen” in response to the competition’s request for a temporary outdoor installation that provides shade, seating, and water, while addressing environmental issues such as sustainability and recycling. The result is a tubular canopy made of “recycled, photo-luminescent, and solar active textiles that absorb, collect, and deliver light.”
There are a number of towers on the rise poised to change the New York City skyline, but few are anticipated to have an impact as significant as One Vanderbilt. Developed by SL Green and designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), the glassy supertall will extend an incredible 1,401 feet into the clouds to become the city’s third tallest tower (following One World Trade Center and the in-progress Central Park Tower) while also bringing a staggering 1.7 million square feet of office space to Midtown Manhattan. But beyond its height and girth, this massive development is expected to elevate its surroundings a profound way. Indeed, the enshadowed “iconic but aging” district surrounding Grand Central, long-deprived of public space and life beyond weary commuters, will be turned into a verdant block dedicated to all New Yorkers.
Though plans were approved in November for the $70 million FXFOWLE-designed Statue of Liberty Museum, Archasm recently launched a speculative design competition for the site. Titled “LIBERTY MUSEUM NEW YORK: Freedom to the people,” the timely contest sought proposals that focused on civil and social justice, and ArchDaily now brings us the winning design from EUS+ Architects‘ Jungwoo Ji, Folio‘s Bosuk Hur, and Iowa State University student Suk Lee. The Korean designers were inspired by candlelight marches against social injustice in their home country and created an architectural landscape of water droplet-shaped modules that respond to global issues in real time. When a tweet about “dire events” is sent to the museum, the modules receive an electronic signal and moves to point toward the geographic location mentioned.
Despite the fact that the 535 concrete piles that will support the planned undulating base of the Pier 55 offshore park have already been erected, the Hudson River Park Trust is now looking towards a flatter design. The Architect’s Newspaper obtained a copy of a permit modification request that the group submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers that reduces the park’s overall size slightly from 2.7 to 2.4 acres and replaces many of the hollow pentagonal pots that would have sat on top of the columns with “a flat structural base sandwiches between the piles and the landscaping.”
You won’t need to see more than a few renderings and photos of new park space slated for Brooklyn Bridge Park to feel ready for summertime. First posted by Curbed from the park’s landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, renderings show the final design for one of the last undeveloped sections of the park between Montague and Joralemon streets. Known as the Pier 5 uplands, the hilly green space will be comprised of a stepped lawn, shaded grove, waterfront seating and new entrance off Joralemon Street. A sound-dampening berm will reduce noise from the nearby roadways. And it’s all on track to wrap construction right before summer.
Though it might seem that each recent generation attempts to take credit for the rise of the futuristic “skyscraper,” buildings that rise ten floors or higher were born with the Gilded Age. “Ten & Taller: 1874-1900,” on view through April 2017 at the Skyscraper Museum in Battery Park City examines every single building 10 stories and taller that was erected in Manhattan between 1874 through 1900 (h/t Curbed). Beginning in the mid-1870s, the city’s first ten-story office buildings rose on masonry to 200 feet high with spires that stretched 60 more feet. By 1900 New York City could boast of 250 buildings at least as tall; the world’s tallest office building was the thirty-story 15 Park Row; framed with steel, it soared to 391 feet. As technology brought elevators and new methods of construction, the vertical expansion was becoming a forest of tall towers.
Back in September, Related Companies chairman Stephen Ross finally unveiled the large-scale artwork that would anchor the central public space within Hudson Yards. As Ross revealed, Thomas Heatherwick was chosen to design the piece, and it would cost an incredible $150 million to build. Dubbed “The Vessel,” the climbable sculpture would rise 16-stories—150 feet tall, 50 feet wide at its base and 150 feet wide at the top—and consist of a web of 154 concrete and steel staircases with 2,500 steps, 80 landings and an elevator; the piece, in fact, so massive that it could comfortably accommodate 1,000 visitors at a time. The sculpture was to be constructed in Monfalcone, Italy before being shipped to its home on the Hudson River. And now CityRealty reports that parts of what Ross once called “New York’s Eiffel Tower” have officially arrived at the site and await assembly.
Just as New York’s population is a melting pot of ethnicities, the city’s tree population is just as diverse. A new interactive chart from Cloudred give us a look at how tree genus breaks down across the five boroughs. As seen above, if one zooms in on the largest chunks of graph across Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and the Bronx, it becomes quickly apparent that maple, oak, pear, and planetree trees have their roots firmly planted in the ground—as do a bunch of “unknowns,” which account for about 14 percent of the city’s total tree population.
Renderings via Loci Architecture
Two summers ago, the Gowanus Alliance teamed up with Gowanus by Design on their vision to transform the land underneath the elevated subway tracks on 10th Street between Second and Third Avenues into a public park that would serve as a home for the iconic but dismantled Kentile Floors sign. Now that the MTA has completed its repairs on the tracks above, Brooklyn Paper reports that the group has tapped Loci Architecture for preliminary renderings of what this space, dubbed Under the Tracks Playground, could look like.
New York clocks in more steps on average than any other state in the country, and that number is most definitely skewed by New York City where more residents hit the pavement than the gas pedal. But in a town that’s seemingly dominated by pedestrians, car culture maintains the right of way. According to Vision Zero, NYC’s program to reduce traffic-related fatalities, being struck by a vehicle is the leading cause of injury-related death for children under 14, and the second leading cause for seniors.
Providing more public space for pedestrians has become an increasing concern for the city over the last decade, and as such, a multitude of plans have been put forward to create sanctuaries from traffic or to reconfigure streets to keep people safe. But beyond preventing traffic accidents, by planting more trees, expanding sidewalks and bike paths, and installing seating, these urban renewal projects have also been key in promoting walking, biking, health and ultimately a more desirable and habitable New York City.
Rezoning and the promise of public right-of-way on the west Brooklyn Superfund canal could bring an esplanade like Williamsburg’s, a recreation area and lots of new development. The light-industrial zone wedged between pricey Park Slope and Carroll Gardens hasn’t accurately been a polluted flyover zone for decades, but the fact that it now boasts a flagship Whole Foods with a rooftop farm hasn’t gone unnoticed. As 6sqft reported recently, the canal-side enclave, despite the sometimes-fragrant waterway in its midst, is on a par with its neighbors as one of the city’s most expensive neighborhoods. Now Crain’s tells of rezoning plans and lucrative developments that could open the door for a public esplanade and waterfront amenities like those along the Hudson and the East River.
The Atlantic and the New York Times recently exposed the privately owned public spaces (known as “POPS”) in the Trump Tower as being far from “public.” As both journalists demonstrated, most of the Trump Tower public spaces were either cordoned off or non-existent, most notably, the case of the missing bench. A long bench was supposed to be available to the public in the main lobby but was removed as Donald Trump explained, “due to tremendous difficulties with respect to the bench—drug addicts, vagrants, et cetera have come to the atrium in large numbers. Additionally, all sorts of ‘horrors’ had been taking place that effectively ruined the beautiful ambience of the space which everyone loves so much.” In exchange for providing the POPS, the Trump Tower was able to add roughly 20 extra floors for the 66-story building by including a public atrium, restrooms, two upper-level public gardens and the now replaced bench. So what exactly are POPS, how are they monitored and is there a way to make them more successful?
It was announced just over a year ago that starchitect Rafael Viñoly would donate his services to the Hudson River Park Trust to design an estuarium, a science education and research center, at the base of Tribeca‘s Pier 26. Now, Tribeca Citizen has brought us the first set of conceptual renderings of the $30 million Pier, which don’t include Viñoly’s building (other than as a placeholder), but show how landscape architects OLIN will transform the 800-foot pier between North Moore and Hubert Streets into a ecological park, complete with huge lounge net areas, sports fields, expansive lawns, a river esplanade, sandy dunes, wetlands to attract birds and wildlife, and elevated tree-lined pathways that are “inspired by being in the woods,” according to DNAinfo.
In 1986, Kenneth Lewis began his career architecture firm SOM as a mere junior designer. Now fast forward to present day and Lewis can be found at the front-lines of the globally recognized company serving as a partner. Over his 30-year tenure with SOM, Lewis has been in involved in the realization of game-changing developments like the Time Warner Center, 7 and One World Trade Center, 250 West 55th Street, and the Manhattan West Development. Promoting SOM’s work in sustainable design has also been a longtime passion for Lewis who serves, too, as the principal of the Center for Architecture Science and Ecology, or CASE, a research collaboration between SOM and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. CASE focuses on the development of sustainable new technologies in material science, building systems, and construction.
In many ways, Lewis’ work goes beyond simply building; it speaks to the way people live and work and the elements that foster health and happiness. Ahead, CityRealty speaks to the architect about his career, and how he and his team at SOM approach designing in a storied but dynamic metropolis that often poses unique challenges.
NYC will get a big boost thanks to Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council competitions, a six-year-old initiative that provides “ground-up” funding driven by a community’s success in improving quality of life and growing the local economy. New York City was named a “top performer” by the administration and awarded $80.2 million. The hefty sum will be allocated towards 121 projects across all five boroughs, including $1 million to build a tech incubator facility in Brooklyn, $1 million for a shuttle-bus service for the Brooklyn Navy Yard, $2.1 million to support the Green Point Manufacturing and Design Center, and $1.24 million to complete the final section of the Brooklyn Bridge Park beneath the bridge. Money will also go towards brownfield clean-up, supporting workforce expansion in local organizations, job training, and improving parks in low-income neighborhoods.
Next year, urban planners across the country will have a handy new tool at their disposal to help better inform them on the placement of parks and other recreation in their respective cities. Together with ESRI, the Trust for Public Land (TPL) have been developing a new website called ParkServe that has culled park data from nearly 14,000 parks across the country. As Statescoop shares, in addition assisting in park planning through open-space advocacy and research, the new site will help citizens take advantage of, and have a say in the development of, local parks.
When the AIDS epidemic struck in the 1980s, New York City was the first place in the country to report a case, and in the years following, the area around Greenwich Village had more cases and deaths than anywhere in the city. The now-shuttered St. Vincent’s Hospital at 11th Street and Seventh Avenue South became known as the “ground zero” of the epidemic; it was the nation’s second institution to treat HIV, and its staff of Catholic nuns refused to turn away any patient. To commemorate this effort and honor those who were lost, the city has today, on World AIDS Day, dedicated the new $6 million NYC AIDS Memorial, located in St. Vincent’s Triangle, across from the old hospital site (h/t Curbed). Designed by architecture firm Studio a + i, the 18-foot geometric steel canopy hovers above granite pavers by visual artist Jenny Holzer that feature selections from Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself.”