Urban Design

affordable housing, Green Design, Top Stories, Urban Design

KPF, Lily Pad design, Red Hook Houses

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).

Find out more here

Landscape Architecture, Meatpacking District, Policy, Urban Design

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.

Get the whole legal saga

Art, Green Design, Urban Design

Floating Park, Swale, NYC green design

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.

Find out more here

Design, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design

statue of liberty

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.

more details here

Landscape Architecture, Staten Island, Urban Design

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.

more details and photos here

affordable housing, gentrification, Urban Design

mx.org, mission driven gentrification, gentrification, institute for public architecture, urbanism, economic development

Image: mx.org

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.

Bright ideas, this way

Art, Green Design, Long Island City, Urban Design

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.”

More renderings and info on Lumen

Featured Story

Architecture, Features, Interviews, Midtown East, Urban Design

one vanderbilt architects

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.

6sqft’s interview with the architects this way

Design, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design

LIBERTY MUSEUM NEW YORK: Freedom to the people, Social Justice Media, Statue of Liberty Museum, Jungwoo Ji, Bosuk Hur, Suk Lee, NYC design competition

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.

More looks and details on the design ahead

Landscape Architecture, Meatpacking District, Urban Design

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.”

Find out the reason for the major change

Brooklyn Heights, Green Design, Urban Design

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.

More images and details this way

Architecture, History, maps, Urban Design

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.

Follow the city’s march skyward

Art, hudson yards, Major Developments, Midtown West, Urban Design

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.

More photos this way

City Living, Urban Design

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.

find out more here

Gowanus, Urban Design

Under the Tracks Playground, Kentile Floors sign, Gowanus Alliance, Loci Architecture, Gowanus by Design

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.

Find out more this way

Featured Story

Features, Transportation, Urban Design

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.

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Gowanus, New Developments, Urban Design

City eyes Gowanus Canal as the next ‘Little Venice’

By Michelle Cohen, Thu, December 29, 2016

gowanus canal at bond

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.

Find out more about the Gowanus rezoning plans

Featured Story

City Living, Features, Policy, Urban Design

mao of nyc pops

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?

READ MORE AT CITYREALTY…

Landscape Architecture, Tribeca, Urban Design

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.

See all the renderings

Featured Story

Architecture, Features, Interviews, Urban Design

kenneth lewis of som

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.

READ THE INTERVIEW WITH KENNETH LEWIS…

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