It might seem contradictory that hard, angular lines and pronounced geometry could enhance the organic nature of this forested Woodstock, NY location, but UK-based designer Antony Gibbons managed to pull the juxtaposition off seamlessly with his Inhabit Treehouse. Gibbons told Inhabitat that the small family home “still blends into the surroundings with its timber materials,” which includes cedar from the surrounding Catskills Valley for the facade and a reclaimed pine interior, where he used the sharp angles to frame out views of the nearby mountains and lake.
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Because you can never have too many ways to explore a city, a new architecture-based travel guide map app helps make sure you don’t miss any important architecture (h/t Curbed). Made by architectural historians, ArchiMaps points out a selection of important works like buildings and bridges. It’s currently available for Android and iOS and in four cities–New York City, Chicago, London, and Madrid–so far with more in the works including Los Angeles, Berlin and Barcelona.
Out of all of the world’s cities, New York City surprisingly does not have the most unaffordable rental market. In a report released by RENTCafe, Mexico City beats Manhattan as the worst urban area for renters, with 60 percent of their income being spent on housing. However, Manhattan continues to be extremely unaffordable, with residents putting 59 percent of their income toward rent. Affordability levels are not much better in the three other U.S. cities that made the list; Chicago, San Francisco and L.A. have rent-to-income ratios of 38, 41, and 47 percent respectively.
Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux debuted Prospect Park to the Brooklyn masses in 1867. And this year, we get to celebrate. What has become Brooklyn’s most iconic park is in its 150th anniversary, and the history along the way is fascinating. Though Olmsted and Vaux had already designed Central Park, they considered this their masterpiece, and much of the pair’s innovative landscape design is still on display across all 585 acres. But it was the result of a lengthy, complicated construction process (Olmsted and Vaux weren’t even the original designers!) as well as investment and dedication from the city and local preservationists throughout the years. After challenges like demolition, neglect, and crime, the Parks Department has spent the past few decades not only maintaining the park but restoring as much of Olmsted and Vaux’s vision as possible.
It’s safe to say that these days, Prospect Park is just as impressive as when it first opened to the public. And of course, throughout its history the park has had no shortage of stories, secrets and little-known facts. 6sqft divulges the 10 things you might not have known.
The 172-acre Governors Island first opened as a publicly accessible outdoor space in 2005, but it’s still open just 120 days per year, with the city spending over 10 years trying to figure out what to do with the rest of this teeming-with-potential site. Just last year a new 40-acre park and playground opened, and the area is now ready for its next major revitalization. As Crain’s reports, the Trust for Governors Island will roll out a plan to create a 24/7 community with even more public parks, nonprofit tenants related to the site’s maritime history, restaurants, and five million square feet of new commercial, office, and education space.
You may be familiar with the “Pumpkin House,” the extraordinary 1920s townhouse cantilevered across the cliffs at 16 Chittenden Avenue near Manhattan’s highest point in Hudson Heights. The name comes from the home’s Jack-o’-lantern countenance, which bestows motorists along the George Washington Bridge with its anthropomorphic leer. Jack first hit the market last August for $5.25 million, the first time listed since 2011. But still without a buyer, the 17-foot-wide, six-bedroom brick home has a fancy new Sotheby’s listing and a lower ask of $4.25 million.
A new chess set lets you checkmate with New York City’s skyline. Developed by Skyline Chess, a company founded by two London-based architects, the game pieces capture the city’s early 1900s construction boom and the expansion of skyscraper architecture, along with more contemporary and recognizable structures. As contemporist discovered, the pieces are silhouettes of buildings like One World Trade Center, the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Flatiron Building, Guggenheim Museum, and traditional brownstones.
Before 152 Elizabeth Street, Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando had never designed a building in New York City. The ultra-high-end, seven-unit, seven-story Nolita condominium is currently on the rise at the corner of Elizabeth and Kenmare Streets. Every detail of this Ando building reflects the famed architect’s philosophy that, “a living space should be a sanctuary. It has to be a place where you can reflect on your life.” Ando’s signature use of concrete and glass creates a strong yet minimalist beauty that finds balance at a location on the convergence of numerous neighborhoods. As architecture critic Carter Horsley puts it, “152 Elizabeth is not a dramatic masterpiece by one of the world’s greatest architects but a very refined and subtle ‘enclosure’ with wonderful detailing, a delightful surprise in this brand new, gee-whiz world of starchitects.”
Applications are currently being accepted for 49 middle-income units at The Caesura in Fort Greene, a rental expected to open late this summer. Located in the heart of the Brooklyn Cultural District at 280 Ashland Place, the 12-story mixed-use rental building sits just one block from the famed Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Designed by Dattner Architects and Bernheimer Architecture, Caesura features a landscaped rooftop garden and conservatory, fitness center, bike room, community room and a shared goods or “lending library” space. New Yorkers earning 80 and 130 percent of the area median income can apply to rent units ranging from $886/month micro-units to $2,715/month two-bedrooms. Find out if you qualify
David Rockefeller, billionaire philanthropist, former head of Chase Manhattan, and grandson of John D. Rockefeller, passed away just three months ago at the age of 101. For the 69 years prior, he lived with his wife Peggy at this historic Upper East Side mansion at 146 East 65th Street. Now, as the Wall Street Journal reports, the rare 40-foot wide townhouse has hit the market for $32.5 million, and the listing photos showcase Rockefeller’s impressive collection 18th-century furniture and Chinese and European porcelains (paintings by Cezanne, Gauguin, Matisse, and Picasso have unfortunately been blurred out).
6sqft’s ongoing series “My sqft” checks out the homes of New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to the Soho apartment of pastry chef Meredith Kurtzman. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!
You may not know Meredith Kurtzman by name, but you can thank this spunky New Yorker for bringing great gelato to the city. A textile designer turned pastry chef, Kurtzman is lauded (at least within her industry) as “a trailblazer” in elevating ice-cream making in the U.S. Moreover she’s wholly credited with introducing chaste New York palettes to once implausible flavors like olive oil gelato and, more simply, fresh fruit sorbetto; “genius” and “a true artisan” are just a few of words that have been used to describe her.
However, while counterparts with her level of talent have catapulted themselves into the spotlight (see: Keith McNally and Bobby Flay), Meredith herself has opted for a more understated existence. She today—as she has for the last 40 years—lives in a modestly-sized but boldly colorful tenement apartment in Soho. Meredith is, in fact, one of those rare New York creatives whose real estate choices can be traced back to when Soho was a “last resort” for artists and storefronts were used as shelter. Stating the obvious, she’s seen some things.
Ahead, Meredith offers us a tour of her unique apartment, a 600-square-foot space filled with DIY projects, vintage charm, plants, and lots of color. She also shares stories of Soho in the 1970s, and where she still finds inspiration in a city that’s so different from the one she knew as a youth.
Born and raised in Coney Island, there was never a photographer better primed to capture the neighborhood’s vibrancy than Harold Feinstein. “I like to think I fell out of the womb on to the fun park’s giant Parachute Jump while eating a Nathan’s hot dog,” he told The Guardian in 2014, just before his passing in 2015. Indeed, Feinstein would take his first photo (using a Rolleiflex borrowed from a neighbor) at age 15 in 1946, beginning what would become an unwavering love affair with documenting the whizz, whirl and insatiable life that permeated his beachside locale. Although Feinstein would eventually move on to other subjects in various parts of New York City and the globe, over his nearly 70-year career he would always return to Coney Island for inspiration. “Coney Island was my Treasure Island,” he said.
Feinstein’s Coney Island photos cover more than five decades, but ultimately his 1940s and 1950s snapshots–those taken when he was just a teenager–would cement his status as one of the most important photographers recording life in post-war America. Ahead, the Harold Feinstein Photography Trust shares highlights from this collection.
Last we checked in at the beginning of the year, the $350 million transformation of Pier 57, aka “SuperPier,” was making progress with its canted glass panels fully installed. Wednesday, co-developers RXR Realty and Young Woo & Associates held an event to mark the 450,000-square-foot development’s topping out, which came after 2,600 tons of structural steel were installed, 4,000 yards of concrete poured, and a 60,000-square-foot curtain wall built. The project will include 250,000 square feet of offices for Google, a 100,000-square-foot food market from Anthony Bourdain, and an elevated two-acre park with a rooftop movie and performance amphitheater to be used for Tribeca Film Festival screenings. This construction milestone comes ahead of an anticipated summer 2018 opening.
Just yesterday, 6sqft shared renderings of Moscow-based firm Meganom’s super-skinny, 1,001-foot-tall tower headed for 262 Fifth Avenue in Nomad. Now, CityRealty has uncovered another slender contender for the neighborhood, this svelte 40-story condo tower designed by Morris Adjmi for 30 East 31st Street. The site formerly held the ornate Romanesque Revival parish house of the Madison Avenue Baptist Church, which, to the dismay of preservationists, was demolished in 2015 by Elkstein Development Group. However, Adjmi, known for his contextual sensitivity, will reference the church’s Gothic details, with six hefty columns that emphasize its 469-foot height and assume a diagrid pattern on the upper floors resembling the barrel-vaulted ceilings of a cathedral.
At the heart of this thoroughly trippy house near Woodstock, N.Y. are tales of the Muppets and Jim Henson, The Grateful Dead, and their biggest LSD supplier, and that’s not even the half of it. The real visionary here was the home’s first owner, artist, engineer and master set designer John Kahn, who built the one-of-a-kind house over 15 years. Kahn was a friend and collaborator of the late Muppet creator, and he designed sets for the “Fraggle Rock” touring company and more. Kahn used re-purposed materials including slate, copper, aircraft-grade aluminum and redwood as well as local wood and bluestone to craft this cylindrical work of art that never seems to look the same way twice. The three-bedroom home spans 3,518 square feet and is asking $1.2 million.