Icy, metallic, and unabashedly serious is how one might describe The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art building in the East Village. But deep within its mash of raw concrete, steel beams, and metal screens is an unlikely 800-square-foot treasure chest filled with tens of thousands of design and typographical ephemera spanning multiple decades.
Known as The Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography, the quaint and cozy space opened in 1985 as an archive dedicated to the work of Herb Lubalin, an American graphic designer best known for his playful art direction at Avant Garde, Eros and Fact magazines, as well as his groundbreaking design work completed between 1950 and 1980 (including the original World Trade Center logo). As one would expect, the center is filled with one-of-a-kind Lubalin works that range from posters, journals, magazines, sketches, and packaging, most of which came from his studio, his employees, or via donation by Lubalin enthusiasts.
However, what many will be surprised to know is that Lubalin’s materials make up just 20 percent of the center’s entire collection. Indeed, about 80 percent of what’s tucked away comes from other influential designers. And those flat files not dedicated to Lubalin are filled with rare works from icons that include Push Pin Studios, Seymour Chwast, Milton Glaser, Lou Dorfsman, Massimo Vignelli, and more.
go inside here
For an architect who had yet to break into the NYC scene, Jeanne Gang is now moving full steam ahead. Her firm, Studio Gang, received LPC approvals back in October for their much-hyped, $340 million Museum of Natural History expansion, and now, CityRealty tells us that construction has begun on their razor-edged glass tower along the High Line. Dubbed “Solar Carve Tower” for the firm’s strategy that “uses the incident angles of the sun’s ray to form the gem-like shape,” the 12-story office building will be Gang’s first ground-up project when completed.
Find out more
A thoroughly transformative re-design by New York studio O’Neill McVoy Architects turns a historic red brick townhouse on a slender 24- by 76-foot lot in need of light and air into an ultra-bright and inspiring modern residence for a young family. The Clinton Hill Courtyard House, in a landmarked section of the neighborhood, was built in 1877 as a carriage house for the mansion next door. The historic integrity of the home’s exterior was left intact, but inside, three strategic openings–including skylights, a central courtyard, and a perforated interior stair wall–were created to let in light and air everywhere for daily living.
So much sunlight, in so many creative ways
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
It would hardly raise an eyebrow to note that the Brooklyn couple behind the wildly popular Williamsburg barbecue joint Fette Sau hired an architect to build them a 25-by-100-foot home on a corner lot in the neighborhood. But in this case, the architects are Ada Tolla and Giuseppe Lignano of the firm LOT-EK, which means the house in question is likely to cause at least a few double-takes. Rising from that corner lot, this remarkable single-family residence was made from 21 steel shipping containers, tamed and transformed into a sleek and surprisingly livable home.
See more of this unconventional home of corrugated steel and glass
Cover image (May 29, 1970) from “Black News” via Brooklyn Public Library (L); Arabesques via NYPL (R)
Combining two trends–adult coloring books and open-access digital policies—#ColorOurCollections is a social media event during which 44 libraries, museums, archives, and cultural institutions from around the world are sharing free coloring pages based on materials in their collections. From the Brooklyn Public Library’s 1970 “Black News” cover to the South Street Seaport Museum‘s ship diagrams to the New York Botanical Garden’s floral illustrations, there’s something for everyone.
More on the project
Red and pink hearts are synonymous with love, romance, and, of course, Valentine’s Day. But this hasn’t always been the case. In fact, according to Eric Jager, author of “The Book of the Heart,” the heart shape ❤ had nothing to do with love until after the 1300 and 1400s, when the ideas of devotion and intimacy started to manifest themselves in this singular concept.
more on the history of the romantic heart here
The Times may have recently questioned whether or not the Metropolitan Museum of Art is “a great institution in decline” (referring to its $40 million deficit and decision to put on hold its $600 million expansion), but the paper is much more positive when reporting on the Met’s new Open Access policy. This allows free and unrestricted use of 375,000 high-resolution images of artworks in their collection, ranging from paintings by Van Gogh, El Greco and DeGas to ancient Egyptian relics to classical furniture and clothing.
Find out more
Barker Freeman Design Office got creative with this townhouse renovation in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn by taking the interior structural columns of the home and transforming them into bookshelves. The result was a win for architect Alexandra Barker’s book-loving clients Gayle Forman, a prolific author of young-adult books, and Nick Tucker, her musician-librarian husband. Barker told Brownstoner that the shelving system is essentially a “low-cost design feature.” And she noted, “They add visual interest using something most people already have.” But that was only one element in an overhaul that modernized the main floor of this historic 20-foot-wide wood frame house.
See the full renovation
Hopefully, you’re one of the many who plan on taking part in New York’s citywide book club. But even if you aren’t, what better way to show your love for books and this fantastic city than getting your hands on these beautifully designed bookmarks from Another Studio? Laser-cut from stainless steel, “City Clips” is a fun series that immortalizes four of the Big Apples’s most famous skyscrapers in a lilliputian scale 5,000 times smaller than the real thing.
The master of small apartment design in New York is at it again. The architecture firm MKCA managed to transform a 225-square-foot space that connects to an adjoining five-foot-tall storage attic into a highly functional apartment. MKCA has made a name for itself by designing claustrophobically tiny spaces into enviable apartments through creative and space-saving techniques. (Read more about the firm’s design style in this 6sqft interview with MKCA’s founder, Michael Chen.) This apartment, located in the West Village, is no different–a customized wall of storage created space for a bed, table, hangers and shelving that can be taken out and tucked away as the owner desires.
learn how the apartment works
Back in 2008, the stunning 19th century Park Slope townhouse at 178 Garfield Place belonging to J. Crew president and creative director Jenna Lyons wowed design and brownstone junkies when it made the cover of Domino magazine and the pages of countless others. In 2012, the stylishly- and painstakingly-renovated home was sold for an impressive $4 million to Depeche Mode founder Vince Clarke and his wife, Tracy Hurley Martin. As 6sqft previously reported, the pair–she helmed Brooklyn’s fabulously peculiar (and recently-shuttered) Morbid Anatomy Museum and adores curiosities and the darker side of collecting–hired designers-to-the-stars Roman and Williams to give the four-story home yet another design makeover. Though a New York Times home design feature quotes Mrs. Martin as saying, “This is it. This is where I’m going to die. Hopefully not anytime soon,” upon first touring the 3,600 square-foot townhouse, a very much alive Martin and Mr. Clarke have put the home on the market for $5.995 million.
Tour the iconic and beautiful townhouse
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
Nestled in the woods of the Hudson Valley is this stunning home designed around a unique focal point: the generously sized garage. Architect Marcia McKeel, of Studio MM Architect, explained in ArchDaily that the garage “is the locus of the design, generating space for car storage and maintenance as well as a spacious wine cellar and a furniture workshop.” The rectangular home, partially embedded in the hilly landscape of the Hudson Valley, juts out from the lower-level garage. Inside, a striking open plan living space was designed for everything from entertaining to relaxing by the fire.
Take the tour
6sqft’s series Apartment Living 101 is aimed at helping New Yorkers navigate the challenges of creating a happy home in the big city. This week we get tips from historic interiors expert Elizabeth Finkelstein, founder of CIRCA, a curated historic house marketplace showcasing the most beautiful old homes for sale all across the country, and columnist at Country Living Magazine. She’s rounded up some fun, beautiful, and modern wall treatments for renters and homeowners at every budget.
If comparing paint samples makes you blue in the face (yes, there are indeed over fifty shades of grey), why not opt for wallpaper instead? It’s fun, it’s an instant conversation-starter, and we promise it’ll look the same in every light. Grandma’s favorite decorating staple is undergoing a fresh, modern renaissance–and thanks to some innovative artists designing with the renter in mind, it’s easier than ever to install. From peel-and-stick options to those you can roll on with a brush, we’ve rounded up our favorite wall treatments for every budget!
See our top 12 picks here
Manhattan-based firm Andrew Franz Architect has done an impressive transformation at this Manhattan apartment, in which three run-of-the-mill condos were reconfigured into this stunning single pad. Although the three apartments were oddly-shaped units, the architects had the benefit of two large adjacent terraces. The final result is a seamless connection between the interior and the expansive outdoor space–what Designboom refers to as “an eco-minded urban refuge.”
Take a look
As intangible a concept as feng shui may seem, it all comes down to the basic idea of having a space you’re happy to come home to because its energy is positive. “Feng shui is an ancient philosophy about how you can improve your life and create a space that supports and nurtures you,” explained Anjie Cho, a New York-based architect, author, and founder of online mindfulness design blog and shop Holistic Spaces. Indeed, adjusting your apartment in just a few small and informed ways can make all the difference in the look and feel of your unit and, resultantly, your own wellbeing. Ahead are some ideas you can apply to your space, straight from a pro.
First off, take that mattress off the floor
If you don’t have your nonna cooking for you, good news is here. Slow cooking, which first appeared kitchens in the 1950s, has been redesigned for a new generation of chefs. The updated crock pot, or “Oliver” as it’s been named, uses a new setup that releases ingredients slowly and churns out better results than the brown mush we’ve all come to expect from the gadgets.
Read more about Oliver
City Water Tunnel No. 3, one of the largest capital projects in the city’s history; Images: NYC DEP
Mayor Bill de Blasio will officially announce Tuesday that $300 million will be allocated toward the completion of the city’s third water tunnel (known as Water Tunnel No. 3) which will bring drinking water from upstate to the city’s taps. The mayor’s announcement backs up assurances he made in April that the tunnel will be ready for activation in an emergency by the end of this year, and fully operational by 2025, Politico reports. The allocation, along with an additional $3 million to disinfect the Brooklyn/Queens section of the tunnel, is part of the city’s 10-year capital plan and will speed up the timeline for completion of the project.
Find out more
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