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?
While many of us living in New York City search for months before finding that perfect apartment, there’s now a way to get a brand new home built in under 24 hours. As reported by engadget, the San Francisco-based startup Apis Cor used a mobile 3D-printer to print out the concrete walls, partitions, and building envelope for a 400 square-foot-home in just less than a day, all for the pretty reasonable price of $10,314 (not including the property, of course). And while NYC doesn’t have much open space for free-standing homes, the technology could potentially be used for various residential components or tiny home configurations.
Watch the entire process in action and see inside the tiny home
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
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
As the U.S. goes collectively nuts over the possibility of alleged Russian hacking and its effects on the election, the Washington Post tells of at least one cybersecurity expert devoted to exposing the very real threat of cyberattack by “an insidious bushy-tailed foe.” We’re reminded that in 1987, a squirrel nibbled Nasdaq’s computer center (literally) into the black for 90 minutes, upending 20 million trades.
More de-tails this way
While smart home technology includes everything from turning on the heat to monitoring air quality, the simple job of a doorbell has been oddly overlooked until the arrival of Ding. A collaborative effort between the London-based startup and creative consultancy MAP (an arm of the industrial design studio Barber & Osgerby), the smart doorbell is a three-part system made up of an exterior button, indoor Wifi speaker (cleverly named Chime), and a corresponding iPhone app. When visitors come to the door, Chime functions as a normal doorbell, but the app allows residents to communicate with whomever is at the door remotely.
Citi Bike is gearing up for a high-tech upgrade this winter in the form of lasers, reports Metro. The bike share’s operator, Motivate, and the designers at Blaze have teamed up to outfit 250 bikes with Laserlight, a safety light that combines a 300 lumen LED with a forward projecting laser that continuously beams an image to warn cars and pedestrians a bike is approaching.
find out more here
At the start of every new year, futurologists inform us of what the next 12 months might have in store. For 2017, there is widespread speculation that the Internet of Things will continue to reshape our lives and homes in profound and lasting ways.
If you haven’t already familiarized yourself with the Internet of Things (also known simply as the IoT) the concept is generally used to talk about the networking of objects. Increasingly, sensors are being embedded in physical objects of all kinds from refrigerators to running shoes to pacemakers. These objects are then linked through wireless networks to the Internet. When objects are networked, however, their potential changes. When you network a pair of shoes, for example, data can flow from the shoes to a computer for analysis. In turn, a shoemaker can start producing shoes not simply in your size but shoes that are made-to-order to better respond to your specific way of walking or running. The bottom line is that when objects can both sense what is happening in an environment and communicate this information back to us and to other objects, they are no longer simply innate objects but rather responsive tools that can be used in new and potentially revolutionary—and scary— ways.
READ MORE HERE…
Google Maps introduced a street-view look at NYC’s holiday windows a couple years ago, but their Shopping app has now completely revamped the feature, launching this year as Window Wonderland. The interactive tool lets users take a high-resolution digital tour of 18 stores, including audio tours from their creative directors and real-life background street noise. See the 34 hand-sculpted animals in Lord & Taylor’s “Enchanted Forest,” explore the candy and couture at Saks Fifth Avenue’s “Land of 1000 Delights,” or see the gang from South Park at Barney’s.
NYC Subway riders will soon be less able to blame their subway commute for not being able to immediately answer that all-important email or text.
Last January 6sqft highlighted Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to get all MTA subway stations connected with free Wi-Fi by the end of this year as part of a comprehensive plan to upgrade subway infrastructure. According to AMNewYork, plans to implement free Wi-Fi in all 279 of the city’s subway stations are on track for the end of this year; as of Tuesday, 250 of them are already up and running.
It’s all part of an ambitious plan
It’s been a long an tumultuous journey for 461 Dean, also know as the B2 tower, and better known as the world’s tallest prefab tower. The fire-engine-red stacked building has seen numerous delays in the last four years thanks to lawsuits, leaks, and alignment issues. Its developer Forest City Ratner even opted to exit the modular business last month—although that’s not to say that the technology developed is any less valuable (more on that ahead). But now that celebratory champagne bottle can finally be popped, as this afternoon the developer held a grand opening ceremony to kick off the official start of leasing.
more details here
The Avegant Glyph offers cinema screen entertainment without the distraction of people rustling popcorn. The wearable, invented by a Silicon Valley start-up, resembles a hefty pair of headphones but when you slide the band down over your eyes, micro mirror projection gives the impression that you’re watching an enormous display.
READ MORE AT METRO NEW YORK…
The Brooklyn Navy Yard has since its inception acted as a pole for the cutting edge and creative, from its time as the “The Can-Do Shipyard” where U.S. warships assembled, to present day as urban farmers, photographers and filmmakers carve out spaces for themselves on the campus’ more than 300 acres. But the latest most notable addition to the Navy Yard is most certainly New Lab. New Lab is the creation of Macro Sea (who many will remember brought dumpster pools to NYC a few years ago) and is a revolutionary hub that turns an 84,000-square-foot former shipping building into a thinkspace for nearly 300 engineers and entrepreneurs working in advanced hardware and robotics. Here, members whose work include everything from designing nano microscopes to using synthetic biology to engineer cities can take their ideas from concept to prototype to production under one roof. It’s what the founders are calling “a breakthrough ecosystem of shared resources.”
In this 6sqft feature, we speak to New Lab’s co-founder and Macro Sea Executive Director and founder David Belt. David is also the founder and Managing Partner of DBI, which is currently managing the realization of the Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center, amongst other high-profile projects around the city. Ahead, he takes us through the new facility and gives us some intel on what inspired the design, the cutting edge companies that have taken up space, and what he ultimately hopes to achieve with New Lab.
Learn more about New Lab with David here
Advances in engineering continue to push modern skyscrapers to dizzying new heights, but at the core of these structures, quite literally, is an often overlooked technology that’s been key to their proliferation: the elevator.
The earliest known reference to the elevator was by Roman architect Vitruvius, who reported that Archimedes built his first elevator around 236 B.C. The design was fairly rudimentary, a platform using pulleys and hoisted by hand or by animal. While elevators found their way into countless buildings and homes in the centuries that followed, including that of Louis XV who used a private lift to connect his Versailles apartment to that of his mistress, it wasn’t until the late 19th century that their true potential was unlocked.
read more about the elevator here
, Mon, September 26, 2016
We all know how important water is for our well-being but it can be difficult to know when we need to top up our levels of H20. U.S.-based BSX Technologies came up with the world’s first hydration monitor that measures a person’s water levels in real-time and notifies the wearer when to drink. The LVL (pronounced “level”) bracelet uses special red light technology to measure the body’s water content and other physiologic activities. The device, successfully funded over Kickstarter, can also track a wearer’s heart rate, sleep quality, activity (steps) and calories burned. Dustin Freckleton, founder and CEO at BSX Technologies, explains why staying hydrated isn’t always as easy as it sounds.
READ WHAT FRECKLETON HAS TO SAY AT METRO NEW YORK…
, Sun, September 25, 2016
If you have four-legged family members, you’ve probably wondered what they’re up to while you’re at work all day. Sure, you can get yourself a regular camera, but Petcube takes pet monitoring to another level. Not only can you talk to, play with, and watch your dog or cat, you can do the same with other people’s pets and even shelter animals via Petcube’s app. And the best part? You don’t need to own a unit to play.
Learn all about Petcube
, Wed, September 21, 2016
Last week, the New York Public Library released stunning photographs of the renovation of its historic Rose Main Reading Room and Bill Blass Public Catalog Room, along with news that the spaces would be reopening to the public on October 5th. As of this day, when guests request research materials, they’ll come from a new, $23 million state-of-the-art storage facility below Bryant Park. To bring the materials up, the library installed an innovative conveyor system known as the “book train,” which, according to a press release, “consists of 24 individual red cars that run on rails and can seamlessly and automatically transition from horizontal to vertical motion,” transporting up to 30 pounds of materials at a time in just five minutes.
Check out photos and video of the Book Train
, 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
Anyone with a computer and a credit card can register a domain name, but a .nyc extension is limited to a more select group. The Wall Street Journal points out that only local residents and business owners can purchase the domain, limiting the buying pool. There’s also a $20 wholesale registration price, which is nearly three times the $7.85 cost of a regular .com, which causes some .nyc domains to go for as much as $40 on sites like GoDaddy. This has resulted in a mere 78,000 .nyc extensions purchased since the websites launched in September 2014, bringing in only $2 million in revenue for the city.
So what’s the deal?
It’s no secret that stencils are all the rage these days, and here in New York City we’ve been enjoying sites adorned with stencil-inspired graffiti for decades. Like many trends that start in the streets, the art of stencils have made their way into the design language of everything from t-shirts to pillows, magazines and most definitely interior design. As a response to these trends, Morpholio has just released Stencil, a new app that allows you transform any image you come across into a custom digital stencil to use with any of your designs.
find out more here
If recent sweltering temperatures have you reconsidering your outdoor plans for Labor Day, you may want to check out this new product before resigning yourself to a holiday weekend indoors. Zero Breeze is the first portable air conditioner that will not only keep you cool indoors and out, but also includes a blue tooth speaker, night light and charging station for your devices.
Get the scoop on the product
Toast can be a bit boring, especially in the days of rainbow bagels and Eggs Benedict, but this app-controlled toaster offers quite a few ways to jazz up your standard morning bread. By working with bluetooth, not only can Toasteroid control the brownness of your toast from your smartphone, but its searing technology can print everything from weather forecasts, reminders, doodles, and emojis on your breakfast.
Find out more
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
Tired of sleeping through the snooze every morning, hitting the button over and over again to only wake up sleepier? Then you might want to consider Ruggie, an efficient alarm clock-rug by Winson Tam that will only stop buzzing if you actually get out of bed and step firmly on it. And to help ease the pain of leaving the warmth of the covers, it will then play daily motivational quotes, setting a positive mood for the day.
Learn more about this clever alarm
If you’re not into wearing a Fitbit, there’s now another way to track your sleep, and it comes with some added bedtime perks that activity trackers don’t offer. First introduced by Mashable, Zeeq is a smart pillow that tracks and optimizes sleep patterns, monitors snoring, wakes you up via alarm at the appropriate point in your REM cycle, and, perhaps most interestingly, streams music and sleep sounds from inside that are low enough for only you to hear.
While New York City is patting itself on the back for pushing through a subway design that offers eight more inches of door space and an open-gangway format, over in the Netherlands, folks are celebrating the Future Bus, a self-driving bus created by Mercedes-Benz. Per The Verge, the Future Bus has just completed a 20 kilometer (roughly 12.5 miles) drive that took it from Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport to the town of Haarlem (fun side note: Harlem the nabe takes its name from this municipality) along a route that included a number of tight bends, tunnels, and traffic lights.
more on this technology here
“Not only is New York City going to build the cheapest, ugliest version of the big dumb wall, there’s a very good possibility that it won’t even be big enough.”
According to a recent Rolling Stone article titled “Can New York Be Saved in the Era of Global Warming?” the level of storm protection put in place to protect the city from future superstorms may fall short of the elegant solution that was originally promised. According to the story, the city funded a proposal–Danish firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)’s winning submission in the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rebuild by Design contest–that involved a 10-mile barrier system that would protect Lower Manhattan from the ruinous effects of storm surges and sea-level rise. Called the Big U, the $540 million infrastructure project would be designed to contain parks and public spaces. But because of cost issues, the project may not materialize as planned.
Find out how the proposal may have changed
Transform your space from stuffy to spectacular with one of these mesmerizing Moiré Lights by designer David Derksen. This artsy yet functional piece takes lighting to a new level by using perforated discs to create a lamp that projects moving patterns as it rotates and glows. As you may have guessed by the name, the hypnotic visage of each lamp is inspired by the Moiré effect.
Learn more about this magical lamp
Noisy neighbors keeping you up at night? Garbage trucks blaring before the alarm? Drunk revelers making it hard to hear the television? Soundproof your apartment by installing the Whisper Noise Canceler, an innovative acoustical system that promises to silence indoor noise. It works with an outdoor unit that is mounted on the exterior of a wall, door, or window and detects external noise. A corresponding indoor device emits anti-phase sound waves to counterbalance this and reduce the noise.
Learn more about Whisper
Pet cams are nothing new, but imagine instead of simply sitting at your desk monitoring your dog, you could reward him for good behavior or even talk to him? All that and more is available through Furbo, “an interactive dog camera with a connected app that lets you see, talk, and even give treats to your dog when you’re away.” The device comes from Seattle-based startup Tomofun and works using two-way audio, wide-angle live HD video streaming, barking alerts, and an interactive treat tosser, all controlled through a simple app.
Find out how it works