Design, Midtown

Rendering courtesy of Eric Spencer

In November, Fisher Brothers first launched a design competition to bring life to the boring traffic medians along Park Avenue, between East 46th and East 57th Streets. The privately-funded contest, dubbed “Beyond the Centerline,” aims to spur creative thinking and unique ideas never before considered for the traffic medians. After the developer received more than 150 submissions from landscape architects and urban planners, the list has been narrowed to 17 finalists (h/t New York Times). Stand out proposals from the finalists include a mini-golf course, a glass aquarium and a curvy, elevated park.

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Features, real estate trends, Technology

Image via Pixabay

In a refreshingly non-“Black Mirror” way, many NYC residential developments are taking advantage of new technologies, like keyless door entry systems and digital concierges, not to replace humans but rather enhance them. These building technologies are making residents’ lives easier while prioritizing the importance of face-to-face interaction.

According to a joint cnet/Coldwell Banker survey, “81 percent of current smart-home device owners say they would be more willing to buy a home with connected tech in place.” Clearly, developers got that message. Many new buildings in NYC are incorporating technology into their developments to enhance service as well as increase residents’ personal security and privacy.

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Green Design, Manhattan, Technology, Urban Design

Although Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last year new mandates to force building owners to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as a way to fight climate change, a Dallas-based architecture firm has taken the idea of sustainable design to the next level. During last month’s International Builder’s Show, Humphreys & Partners presented a conceptual plan for a mixed-use project on Manhattan’s waterfront. In Pier 2: Apartment of the Futurethe architects tackled major issues prevalent in many cities, like affordability and energy efficiency (h/t Curbed NY). The futuristic proposal includes two towers with modular and micro-units, which would boast futuristic amenities like artificial intelligence, drones, home automation and more.

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Technology, Transportation

the boring company, elon musk, hyperloop

The tunnel-digging machine; photo via The Boring Company

The Boring Company, led by Elon Musk, received a building permit this week from the Washington, D.C. government, potentially jumpstarting the tech entrepreneur’s plan to bring a high-speed tube system between New York City and D.C. Although Musk said last summer he received “verbal” approval from officials, the new, written permit allows preparatory and excavation work to begin on a parking lot on New York Avenue in D.C., the Washington Post reported. The Hyperloop One would be able to take passengers from NYC to D.C., with stops in Philadelphia and Baltimore, in just 29 minutes via a tube moved by electric propulsion.

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Design, Financial District, Major Developments, Manhattan

World Trade Center Performing Arts Center, REX architects, The Perelman Center, Silverstein Properties, World Trade Center architecture

Rendering via REX Architecture

The project to bring a performing arts center to the World Trade Center is finally back on track, almost 15 years after the idea was included in the original vision for rebuilding the area post-9/11. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Thursday an agreement for a 99-year lease between the Port Authority and the World Trade Center Performing Arts Center Inc. (PAC) for $1 per year, paving the way for construction to begin. Named for the billionaire who gifted $75 million to the project, the Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center will include 200,000 square feet of space, three halls and a rehearsal space, a restaurant and a gift shop. If everything moves smoothly, the center could open as soon as the 2020 or 2021 season.

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Green Design, New Jersey, Policy, Urban Design

Via ORG Permanent Modernity/Regional Plan Association

Released last fall, the Regional Plan Association’s (RPA) Fourth Plan includes 61 recommendations focused on improving and expanding the area’s deteriorating infrastructure, transportation, and affordability, much of which revolves around climate change and its transformation of the region. According to the report, more than one million people and 650,000 jobs are at risk of flooding due to rising sea levels. In the plan, the RPA ambitiously recommends that the New Jersey Meadowlands, 21,000 acres of low-lying wetlands, becomes a national park as a way to mitigate impacts of climate change (h/t Curbed). Designating the region’s largest wetland as a national park would restore the natural habits, protect nearby communities, and create a recreational space, becoming, the report says, a “Climate Change National Park.” The Meadowlands National Park would adapt and grow with climate change by drawing and redrawing the boundaries of the park as coastlines change.

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Art, Bronx, Design, Features, mott haven, Where I Work

Sebastian Errazuriz, South Bronx design studio, Mott Haven artists

6sqft’s series “Where I Work” takes us into the studios, offices, and off-beat workspaces of New Yorkers across the city. In this installment, we’re touring the South Bronx design studio of Sebastian Errazuriz. Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!

Sebastian Errazuriz is a Chilean-born artist, designer, and activist but over the years, he’s grown his multidisciplinary studio to incorporate everything from virtual reality to activism. But nothing he does is cookie-cutter. His cabinets undulate and mimic kaleidoscopes; his public art makes social commentary on issues from Wall Street and capitalism to Chile’s politicide; and he’s created sculptures that mix a boat with a coffin and a crystal chandelier with taxidermy birds. Sebastian likens his ability to work in these mediums separately but together to how he can speak both English and Spanish but also Spanglish. “It’s the freedom to incorporate words that do not exist in one particular language but that enrich communication with someone else that I really enjoy within the boundaries of art and design,” he explains.

Now, Sebastian is at the forefront of yet another new frontier. Though he has a 5,000-square-foot space at the uber-hip Industry City, he opened his second location last summer in Mott Haven, one of the city’s newest artist enclaves due to its affordable warehouse spaces and non-residential nature that sets it apart from the more gentrifying parts of the area. 6sqft recently paid Sebastian a visit here to learn how his firm is growing, the process behind his “functional art,” and why he moved to the South Bronx.

Tour the studio and meet Sebastian

maps, Technology

Photo via Pexels

Snapchat on Monday announced that its “Snap Map,” a feature which allows users to view posts from around the world, will be available on the web, giving those without the social media app a chance to check out events happening near them. In addition to now existing outside of the Snapchat app, the browser version of the map lets snappers embed content from the map onto web pages, much like how Twitter or Instagram permits (h/t WIRED). Hot spots on the map, areas with lots of posts, glow green or blue; heavy traffic locations light up red and orange. Today in New York users are filling up “Our Story” with posts from New York Fashion Week, the September 11th Memorial, and the Empire State Building. More here

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City Living, Design, Features

Modern companies understand that in order to attract and retain the best talent, they have to compete on more than salaries, vacation, and healthcare. Companies like Google, WeWork, Pixar, and Facebook are well known for providing workspaces that inspire creativity, collaboration, and innovation. Clive Wilkinson, the architect of Google’s Silicon Valley headquarters, is quoted as saying, “75 to 80 percent of America is cubicle land. Cubicles are the worst – like chicken farming. They are humiliating, disenfranchising and isolating. So many American corporations still have them.” Modern office designs are the opposite of closed off, fluorescent-lit cubicles- they are open with natural light and little, if any, suggestion of hierarchies.

In addition to designing workspaces that inspire creativity, these modern companies also providing perks like free food, drink, and recreation to entice employees. So what are some of the best practices in designing offices for people’s emotional health and productivity? And what other perks do companies have to offer to attract the top talent?

Here’s what companies are offering up

Architecture, Design, Urban Design, West Village 

pier 40, DFA, rising sea levels, future new york

Local multidisciplinary creative firm DFA has come up with a concept for the rehabilitation of Manhattan’s rapidly disintegrating Pier 40 that would provide housing and other services, but would also adapt to the predicted rising sea levels of future New York City. Dezeen reports on the firm’s fascinating idea for a future-proof housing, commercial and recreation complex that rises from the Hudson River in the West Village and would be able to remain above water in the event of rising sea levels, while addressing the city’s dire need for affordable housing and the ability to resist flooding as a result of climate change.

Find out more about the future-proof floating pier


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