Design

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Features, History, Technology, Williamsburg

Willis Carrier, Air conditioning, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, inventions, history

Shown in the Carrier plant in 1922, the first centrifugal chiller opened the door to large-scale comfort air conditioning. Image courtesy of United Technologies/Carrier.

It figures, but history shows us yet another way Brooklyn was cool, like, forever–though this particular example is a bit more literal. A classic New York City heat wave was just enough to turn up the Brooklyn ingenuity in a junior engineer named Willis Carrier, who devised a system of fans, ducts, heaters and perforated pipes that became the world’s first air conditioner. The problem: blistering temperatures that were literally melting the equipment in a Williamsburg printing house. The solution was one that had eluded centuries of inventors through sweltering summers. The system was installed in the summer of 1902, according to the New York Times, and Carrier went on to found Carrier Corporation. He had hit on the idea while walking in the fog.

It’s the humidity

Design, Green Design, Policy

Via US Army Corps

In response to intensifying hurricanes that have hit the New York and New Jersey coastal region in recent years, the U.S. Army Corps is proposing a handful of measures to reduce the risk of storm damage. The proposals include constructing barriers, either in-water or land-based, and floodwalls that would stretch over 2,000 square miles across New York Habor to protect the area’s waterfront neighborhoods.

The barriers, already being used in cities like Stamford, Conn. and London, would have gates that remain open to let ships pass, but close when a hurricane is advancing (h/t WNYC). After completing a study that looked at nine high-risk areas, including 25 counties in NY and NJ, on the Atlantic Coast, the Corps this month will present the proposals at public information sessions across the two states.

More here

Architecture, Design, Midtown East

335 Madison Avenue, SHoP Architects, Milstein Properties, The Company Building, Grand Central Tech

A new bar/terrace at 335 Madison overlooking Grand Central, © SHoP Architects

Since the announcement of One Vanderbilt more than four years ago, much attention has been paid to the controversial Midtown East Rezoning, which was approved last summer. Howard Milstein was one of many developers looking to take advantage of the rezoning, proposing a plan to raze the Grand Central-adjacent office tower 335 Madison and replace it with a modern structure that would expand the building’s tech incubator. But he ultimately decided to forego the demo and undertake a $150 million renovation by SHoP Architects that more than doubles the square footage of Grand Central Tech and creates a new lobby and retail/amenity spaces for tenants. Renderings for the new “vertical tech campus” known as Company have now been revealed by Arch Daily.

More details and all the renderings

Technology, Transportation

Via MTA on Flickr

After a six-month development process, which included working with over 2,000 commuters, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority launched on Monday a smartphone app that offers real-time updates for the subway, buses and trains, as well as trip planning options and service updates. Because the app, called MyMTA, is a beta version, the MTA is asking for feedback from straphangers about the app’s functions and what needs to be added or improved. The authority also gave their website a much-needed upgrade, with a more sleeker web interface.

Find out more

Architecture, Design, Interiors, Park Slope

von Dalwig Brooklyn Extension

von Dalwig Architects, formerly known as Manifold Architecture Studio, changed their name as they changed their focus, from a broad architectural lens to a more concentrated vision on space, program and the relationship between them. The firm achieved their vision in the gut renovation and expansion of a 19.5’ wide x 42’ long three-story, single family Brooklyn townhouse, completed in 2016. This renovation both infused the traditionally dark rowhouse with light from the front, back and sky and also created a continuous connection from the house to the backyard.

See inside the bright space

Green Design, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design

BIG, humanhattan 205, Bjarke Ingels Group, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018

Image via BIG

In 2014 6sqft reported on the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rebuild By Design contest to develop ways to shore up the city from future flooding. Among the short list of winners whose projects will receive funding was “The Big U” from Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), a flooding solution for Manhattan that doubles as a social environment, with over a third of the $920 million in prize money to go toward its development. Now BIG is making a bigger splash with a similar vision now on display at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, the Observer reports. Called “Humanhattan 2050,” the project, created for the Biennale, which the firm calls “an academic exploration in urban environments and resiliency” could someday represent the first effort to keep cities safe while creating a new, improved social space along the waterfront.

Take a look

Technology, Transportation

The slow death of the MetroCard begins next spring

By Michelle Colman, Thu, June 14, 2018

MTA, NYC subway, phone scanner

Photo via Phil Hollenback/Flickr

It’s the end of an era but one that might not be too sentimental. As of May 2019, the MTA is launching its new fare payment method for the 4, 5, and 6 lines and all bus routes on Staten Island, reports amNY. No more steel bars karate chopping your abdomen when you realize your MetroCard is out of credit. Starting next spring, riders can use credit cards, mobile phones, smart watches, and mobile wallets to travel… but you’ll still be able to swipe your old MetroCard until 2023. Read more

Architecture, Chelsea, Design, Events

Zaha Hadid hat

Photo by Luke Hayes

On Thursday, Friends of the High Line are hosting their “first-ever High Line Hat Party, a raucous, downtown party for the creative and bold.” What better to don for this party than a swooping, sinuous lined hat inspired by one of the most prominent High Line building’s iconic curves?

Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) director Patrik Schumacher designed the gorgeous, 3D printed, 520 West 28th-inspired hat for the party’s fashion show (h/t dezeen). Just as the building’s beautiful swirls of glass are intersected with dark steel bands, this hat replicates that aesthetic.

Get the scoop

Featured Story

Architecture, Design, Features, Interviews

Aurora at 277 Fifth Avenue, courtesy of Victor Group and Lendlease

Joel Fitzpatrick is a master of many trades. He has a diverse background in theater, fashion, interior design, and dance but the one common element through everything he does is light. Fitzpatrick started as a sculptor but yearned for more collaboration and found that through lighting. In his most recent work, a dynamic, multicolored light show called “Aurora” for Rafael Viñoly’s 277 Fifth Avenue, his career has come full circle.

After feeling the cosmos pulsate with the northern lights, there was no turning back. Now Fitzpatrick dreams of building an outdoor light show to permanently shine on the Manhattan skyline. 6sqft recently talked to Fitzpatrick, who shines a light on how his past informed his present and what to expect from him in the future.  Read more

Design, Financial District, Museums

9/11 Memorial, Memorial Glade, 9/11 toxins, MOSO Studio, 9/11 post-attack victims

Sixteen years ago as of yesterday, the rescue and recovery effort for the September 11th attacks ended. It’s estimated that 400,000 people were exposed to life-threatening toxins, and since then, nearly 70,000 first responders and more than 14,000 survivors have enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Program. Yesterday, former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart and 9/11 Memorial & Museum president Alice Greenwald revealed the official design for Memorial Glade, a monument to all those who have lost their lives or are sick due to these related illnesses. In addition to increasing awareness about the health crisis, the memorial will also “recognize the tremendous capacity of the human spirit, as exemplified during the rescue, recovery and relief efforts following the 9/11 attacks.”

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