Renderings by PlayLab, courtesy of +POOL.
Seven years ago the team behind +POOL floated the fanciful–but completely fun–sounding idea of building a pool submerged in NYC’s East River that would filter the polluted waterway in addition to being a cool-off spot for New Yorkers. Curbed reports that though the official line is that all options are still being looked at, project designers hope the city will allow +POOL to be located off a pier at Brooklyn Bridge Park.
More the floating pool’s progress and new renderings this way
Thanks to Growkit, a farming kit for beginners developed by Portugal-based startup Noocity, city dwellers short on time and space can still take a stab at gardening and harvest their own organic food (h/t Gearminded). The kit includes an entire gardening system–a Growbag irrigated planter, a Growpack with seasonal plants, potting soil, fertilizer, and step-by-step audio instructions–all delivered right to your doorstep.
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6sqft’s new series Toolbox Tutorials shares step-by-step guides for simple, affordable DIY projects. This week, Igor Josifovic and Judith de Graaff, founders of Urban Jungle Bloggers and authors of the new book “Urban Jungle: Living and Styling With Plants,” teach us how to make an easy macramé plant hanger. Have a project you’d like to share? Get in touch with us at [email protected].
In small apartments, the valuable real estate on shelves and windowsills gets used up fast, but don’t let this deter you from bringing in some greenery. Even if your flat surfaces aren’t available, there’s always room for a hanging plant, which can be suspended from the ceiling, a wall or window, or a doorknob that’s not used on a daily basis. To do this, we’re showing you how to make macramé hangers for anything from regular terracotta pots to colorful salad bowls that have rounded bottoms.
The illustrated, step-by-step guide ahead
In our series 6sqft Studio Visits, we take you behind the scenes of the city’s up-and-coming and top designers, artists, and entrepreneurs to give you a peek into the minds, and spaces, of NYC’s creative force. In this installment we take a tour of the Bed-Stuy urban farm Square Roots. Want to see your studio featured here, or want to nominate a friend? Get in touch!
In a Bed-Stuy parking lot, across from the Marcy Houses (you’ll know this as Jay-Z’s childhood home) and behind the hulking Pfizer Building, is an urban farming accelerator that’s collectively producing the equivalent of a 20-acre farm. An assuming eye may see merely a collection of 10 shipping containers, but inside each of these is a hydroponic, climate-controlled farm growing GMO-free, spray-free, greens–“real food,” as Square Roots calls it. The incubator opened just this past November, a response by co-founders Kimbal Musk (Yes, Elon‘s brother) and Tobias Peggs against the industrial food system as a way to bring local food to urban settings. Each vertical farm is run by its own entrepreneur who runs his or her own sustainable business, selling directly to consumers. 6sqft recently visited Square Roots, went inside entrepreneur Paul Philpott‘s farm, and chatted with Tobias about the evolution of the company, its larger goals, and how food culture is changing.
Take a tour of Square Roots and get the full story from Tobias
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.
Find out more
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
While you may have never heard of the term “bioswale,” you have probably seen these curbside gardens throughout the city. A bioswale, or rain garden, is a pit dug into the sidewalk that’s been filled with rocky soil and shrubbery. These gardens absorb polluted stormwater and prevent runoff that could seep into waterways through the sewer system. Despite being an effective solution to water pollution, the New York Times reports that some city residents are crying out against find bioswales, calling them unattractive, messy, and hotbeds for trash and pests.
Find out more here
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
Image courtesy Murphy Burnham and Buttrick Architects
Nearly two years ago, St. Patrick’s Cathedral removed the scaffolding that had been shrouding its neo-Gothic facade to reveal a restored landmark. The work was part of a larger four-year $177 million restoration and conservation that’s also included an interior overhaul, renovation of the garden, and a new heating and cooling system. This last component is also now complete, as The Architect’s Newspaper reports that the Cathedral has activated their new, state-of-the-art geothermal plant, just in time to warm things up for St. Patrick’s Day. The system will cut the building’s energy consumption by more than 30 percent and reduce CO2 emissions by roughly 94,000 kilograms.
How did they accomplish this?
Lego-inspired furniture systems are huge right now, and MODOS may have taken the most modern and minimal approach to the trend. Other modular systems, like Muebloc and EverBlock, are made of “blocks” that easily fit together and mimic the childhood toy in both form and function, but MODOS uses only two components–the small brushed metal connector and streamlined slabs of wood–in its tool-free assembly of desks, shelves, stools, and more.
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“Cast & Place” is the winner of FIGMENT’s 2017 City of Dreams competition, an annual design contest that challenges architecture and design firms to build a pavilion out of recycled materials to be assembled on Governors Island and displayed during the summer. This year, it will be made out of more than 300,000 aluminum cans (the number of cans used in NYC in an hour), melted down and cast into cracked clay. According to the group’s Kickstarter page, the material will be soil excavated from the East River, recycled cans, and reclaimed wood, which will form lightweight, strong panels to provide structure and shade.
See their design here
Algin Management‘s 700-foot-tall Midtown West rental tower recently reached 35 stories of its total 62-story height and now its lower floors are receiving their “sexy facade of curved glass and aluminum panels,” according to CityRealty. Located at 242 West 53rd Street (the former site of Roseland Ballroom), the building was designed by CetraRuddy, who said their curvaceous silhouette was imagined as “a contextual sculpture surrounded by space, creating apartments that captured the views on all sides.” These curving forms are mimicked on the multi-level deck from Terrain Work, who have just shared renderings of these undulating outdoor spaces, including the open-air swimming pool, rock garden that doubles as a rainwater collection source, and multiple gardens and patio areas.
More details and all the renderings
Our new 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 tackle the issue of growing plants indoors when both space and light are limited.
From purifying the air to making your apartment feel more welcoming and alive, there are a multitude of reasons to incorporate plants into your home decor. However, for many of us, keeping these precious specimens alive can be a small but legitimate challenge—especially when space and natural sunlight is limited (like many apartments in New York City). To make the commitment to caring for and sustaining the life of greenery a bit easier, we’ve put together this list of special and very sturdy plants perfect for apartment dwellers like yourself.
Renderings © Neoscape for Studio Gang Architects
Just yesterday, 6sqft shared the news that Jeanne Gang‘s first ground-up project in NYC–the Solar Carve Tower at 40 Tenth Avenue–had begun construction along the High Line. Now, the Post shares new renderings of the jewel-like, glassy structure, which is so named for its employment of the firm’s strategy that uses the sun’s angles to shape a building. Along with these views of its chiseled edges, connection to the park, terraces, and interior spaces, comes word that developers Aurora Capital and William Gottlieb Real Estate have tapped Bruce Mosler of Cushman & Wakefield to begin leasing the 139,000-square-foot, 12-story boutique office building in anticipation of its 2019 opening.
Lots more details and renderings ahead
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
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
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
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
Black has always been in style for New Yorkers, and our penchant for the commanding hue continues with this discreet, minimalist cabin in the woods by Studio Padron and design think tank SMITH. Built entirely from mature red oak trees that were removed during construction of the property’s main house, the tiny abode uses materials that would have otherwise been discarded. Duality is also a strong design principle of the project and it creates a refined balance in the one-room library and guest house.
Check out the stunning photos
Our ongoing 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’ve rounded up some alternative holiday tree ideas for those living in tight spaces.
While you could buy a Charlie Brown tree, or try ask to have a few feet knocked off that pine when you hit the register, if you’re a small space dweller who wants a more eco-friendly holiday arbol this year, there are plenty of options for you beyond the classic artificial fir (which fyi is even more environmentally unsound than chopping down an evergreen thanks to the carcinogens produced during manufacturing and disposal). From edible trees to LED pines to DIY options that smell just as good as the real thing, 6sqft has searched high and low for 10 different types of sustainable Christmas tree alternatives to jazz your apartment up with this year—and years to come.
ten alternative ideas here
Plans for Bushwick Inlet Park, a 28-acre open space along an unused industrial stretch of the Williamsburg waterfront, first came about in 2005, when the Bloomberg administration rezoned the area to allow for new residential development in exchange for the open space. Fast forward to last week, and the city finally acquired the last piece of land for the project, the controversial Citistorage site. Now that the park is on its way to becoming a reality, a trio of grassroots creatives hopes to bring their alternative vision for the former Bayside Oil Depot site to the forefront. Maker Park is the proposal to adaptively reuse this seven-acre parcel’s architectural infrastructure–namely the ten 50-foot decommissioned fuel containers–and create a “park as creative as the neighborhood around it.” The Architect’s Newspaper recently revealed the first set of renderings, which showcase performance venues, art galleries, hanging gardens, reflecting pools, and an adventure playground.
More views and design details
In architecture, research and concept come long before building and design, but more often than not architects don’t have the chance to execute their ideas to the fullest extent when managing client expectations. But New York-based architect Steven Holl didn’t have that issue with his Ex of In House, a small guest house-turned-experimental site on the property of his personal Hudson Valley residence. The 918-square-foot structure is part of the firm’s Explorations of “IN” research project, which questions “current clichés of architectural language and commercial practice.” Here, they wanted to explore “a language of space, aimed at inner spatial energy strongly bound to the ecology of the place.”
See more of the house
Each decade in the New York metropolitan area about 500,000 people are buried in cemetery plots, taking up a dwindling amount of land and outputting cremation smog into the air. With this growing issue in mind, a trans-disciplinary research and design group at Columbia University known as DeathLab has been working for the past five years to reconceive “how we live with death in the metropolis.” One of their proposals is Constellation Park, a system of hundreds of burial pods suspended under the Manhattan Bridge that together create a twinkling public park. Atlas Obscura shared the design, which, if built, could reportedly accommodate around 10 percent of city deaths a year.
The surprising reason why these pods twinkle
, Thu, September 29, 2016
This Carroll Gardens townhouse may be the only one in Brooklyn that lays claim to a “natural” swimming pool in its backyard. It was renovated with eco-friendly features in mind and you can experience it yourself through Airbnb for $1,395 a night. Three floors overlook ecologically landscaped gardens and water features that include a natural pond with native fish and turtles. Atop the house is a green roof with its own pergola. And inside, the home is decked out with antique wood floors, clay walls, and large sunny rooms with views of the surrounding greenery.
Check out the interior
, Tue, September 20, 2016
Lowline Lab via 6sqft
Just a couple months ago, the NYC Economic Development Corporation granted preliminary approvals to the Lowline, the world’s first underground park. This came after the city put out a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) late last year for the 60,000-square-foot abandoned trolley terminal below Delancey Street. The Lowline proposal was the only one received, and initially the 154-page document was only to be publicly available through a Freedom of Information Law request, but the group worked with the EDC to release it to the community. The Lo-Down got a look at the document, which reveals everything from the projected cost of the project ($83 million) and operating hours (6am to 9pm, five days a week) to specific design elements like a “ramble” and 1,600-square-foot cafe/bar.
Lots more details this way
, Mon, September 12, 2016
You know that moment of awkwardness when you’re sucked in to a totally irrational game of chicken with up to three other human beings while attempting to do something as simple as enter your office building through an innocuous-seeming revolving door? While it was reportedly first patented in 1888 by a man who couldn’t deal with having to hold regular swinging doors open for the ladies, the revolving door comes with its own means of sorting us according to levels of everyday neurosis.
The first revolving door was installed in a restaurant called Rector’s in Times Square in 1899. And that’s probably when people started avoiding it. Will some part of me get stuck? Do I have to scurry in there with someone else? 99% Invisible got their foot in the door and took a closer look at how this energy-efficient invention still gets the cold shoulder and how to fight the phobia.
How to turn this trend around
Composting in New York City can be challenging to say the least. Not only are you dealing with the constant changing of the seasons, but space in this densely packed town is also sparse. However, with every challenge is also an opportunity, and much like many of the other problems associated with these limitations we look to design to keep us moving in the right direction. On the composting front Polish designer Ala Sieradzka‘s as made for us Bono, a compact countertop composter spun from powder-coated aluminum that comes with an equally stylish cork lid and base.
learn more here
For many city dwellers bogged down by the hustle and bustle of everyday life, vacations are spent offline in far-away places, disconnected from technology and reconnected to nature. But fashion and interior stylist Scott Newkirk proves you don’t have to go that far to have your own unplugged woodland dream.
Located in Yulan, New York, just 90 miles northwest of NYC, Newkirk’s charming wooden cabin is a mere 14×14 feet and is made entirely from salvaged and reclaimed pieces of wood.
Learn more about this rough and ready cabin
When the Parks Department recently declared one of the city’s largest trees dead (and therefore dangerous to those walking by), they turned to the experts at RE-CO BKLYN, a Ridgewood-based company that reclaims fallen NYC trees and produces live edge slabs and custom furniture.
The circa 1870 European Elm tree lived in Prospect Park and was 75 feet high and more than seven feet in diameter with 18- and 24-inch limbs that were starting to break off in extreme weather events. But instead of simply ripping the tree up and dumping it in a landfill, Andrew Ullman, Brooklyn’s Director of Forestry, decided to enlist RE-CO to mill it and turn it into dry lumber that will be used to create a custom conference table for the NYC Parks Prospect Park offices.
Watch the full video here
Brooklyn-based designer Fernando Mastrangelo, founder of design firm MMATERIAL, was inspired by the blue shades of majestic Patagonian glaciers like Perito Moreno for his Drift collection. These sculptural pieces of furniture look like carved stone, but are actually made from sand.
Learn more about this alkaline designs