Over a year after Hurricane Sandy tore through the metro New York area, destroying lives and homes, some areas are still in the process of rebuilding. In an effort to ensure New York City is never caught off guard from a natural disaster like we were in the fall of 2012, the Department of Housing and Urban Development launched Rebuild By Design, a contest to develop ways to rebuild the city’s most vulnerable areas in such a way that they’ll be better prepared for nature’s unpredictability. 140 proposals were submitted over a year ago, coming from 15 different countries. Last June, 10 finalists were chosen to refine their plans, developing protective strategies for all of the vulnerable areas that were struck, and will likely be struck again. After nearly a year, the Department of Housing and Development has just announced six winners that will receive a piece of the federal government’s $4 billion disaster-recovery fund.
While going green has more or less become the norm in most modern day construction in New York, some projects have really outdone themselves from the ingenuity of design to the sheer scale of size. This is a city where the new police academy will harness the power of re-usable rainwater, and where the Barclays Center‘s arena roof is being covered with 130,000 square feet of new garden space. New York is placing itself at the forefront of green design and green construction, and here are just eight of the biggest green projects happening right now.
The headquarters of the “Queen of the Wrap Dress” (ladies, you know what I’m talking about if you’ve ever stood in line for one of these sample sales!) is well known for the big, geometric glass structure that sits perched atop the traditional Meatpacking District building. Not so well known, though, is that inside this rooftop crystal is Ms. von Furstenberg’s penthouse apartment. And just as you’d expect, the space is full of all of the sleek, yet glamorous style that the designer expresses in her clothing.
Conceptualized by Work Architecture, the Diane von Furstenberg headquarters was adapted from this landmarked meat market building to house the firm’s flagship store, administrative offices, and production space. The re-imagined rooftop is not only an apartment, but a garden oasis. The staircase, dubbed the “stairdelier” by the architects since it is lined with Swarovski crystals, ties the live/work space together and is its crowning jewel. Descending diagonally through the building’s six stories, it reflects light throughout the entire interior.
Though bearing little resemblance to its quaint East River neighbor, “Seaport City” could become a reality based on a new study released yesterday by the New York City Economic Development Corporation.
But don’t bank on a new set of sought after residential and commercial river views just yet. Seaport City is only one of a number of options presented to the city as part of former mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 257-point, post-Hurricane Sandy resiliency plan – and it’s the most challenging on the list.
It looks like Town Residential’s Danny Davis has done it again. He has made someone fall in love with another apartment, this time at 125 Watts Street. Unit #4 is the quintessential loft experience with high ceilings, white brick walls and tons of light.
This historic, pre-war building is perfectly situated in Northwest Tribeca, right on the edge of Soho. This area has those desirable cobblestone streets, not to mention having plenty of dining and shopping to appeal to your chic side, while still being situated right near Hudson River Park and Pier 25 to appeal to your athletic side. You know what they call that? Nirvana.
And the glamping trend continues…
Designer Kent Johnson has just launched a Kickstarter campaign that aims to bring a “luxurious” tent campsite to the Rockaways. From fully furnished tents with crisp white linens, to private fire pits and hot tubs overlooking Jamaica Bay, this is not your everyday man’s campsite. And if you think the idea sounds crazy, think again. It’s actually an initiative inspired by the area’s past, which once found incredible success!
Not all rooftop gardens are created equal, especially when it’s an award-winning green space perched high above Little Italy. A collaboration between Andrew Berman Architect and the sustainable roof designers of Goode Green, the blooming penthouse abode is a serious urban oasis complete with chickens and a bee colony.
The design of this compact solar charging lantern, called Electree Mini, was influenced by bonsai trees and fractal patterns found in nature. Created by French designer Vivien Muller, it “provides solar-derived power to environments typically void of renewable energy.”
On the movable branches are small solar panels which capture sunlight — a play on photosynthesis. The solar energy is then stored in small batteries that can directly power up your gadgets. Electree Mini has the capability to charge AA and AAA batteries and comes with a USB port that will charge smartphones. At dusk, the tree automatically lights up, and when rotated the LED light sensors change colors.
Studio Gang‘s bold move to open an office in NYC couldn’t have come at a better time. The much admired studio led by Jeanne Gang just got the green light for their stunning angular glass structure, which will be sited right along the High Line on 10th Avenue between 13th and 14th streets.
Dubbed the ‘Solar Carve’, the new construction will be designated for office and retail use, housing 10 stories behind a glassy serrated edge and asymmetrical curves. The design, in true Studio Gang fashion, keeps sustainability in mind, and the building’s geometric form does follow function. The unique shape mitigates solar gain while taking advantage of the views between the High Line and the Hudson. A planted roof will also help cool the Solar Carve on hot days.