There are skyscrapers going up left and right all over Manhattan, and in the race to build the loftiest and the glassiest, big name developers are seeking out even bigger name architects to brand their supertalls with iconic designs. As part of their ongoing Palaces for the People: Guastavino and the Art of Structural Tile series, the Museum of the City of New York will be hosting what’s sure to be a riveting panel in which several of the world’s leading architects and engineers will be discussing how they approach the design and construction challenges that come with building 100 stories and up.
NYC’s Billboards to be the Biggest in the USA: Even More Wattage Being Added to Times and Herald Squares, Fri, June 27, 2014
Billboard signs along Times Square, and now Herald Square, are growing ever bigger and brighter as LED displays become the top choice for developers of new supersigns. Projects such as the upcoming Mariott Edition, Vornado‘s Marriott Marquis renovation, and the revamping of the Herald Center all include LED displays that will be among the largest in the world.
Though more expensive to install than the standard illuminated billboard, the light-emitting diode canvasses have the primary advantage of being eco-friendly by using less electricity and lasting 25 times longer than their incandescent alternatives. Their cost depends on size, complexity, and resolution; and may run upward of $1000 a square foot. But new technology in the past decade has cut the average price in half allowing for a brighter and more prolific future in the city.
Forget the legendary and uber-privileged access to the oasis known as Gramercy Park. The newest wave of private gardens are apparently so exclusive even residents can’t enjoy a stroll through the lush greenery.
Take the 2,400-square-foot courtyard currently being designed at The Sterling Mason, a new Tribeca loft building where an apartment can set you back up to $24 million. In a city where even the tiniest bit of green space is viewed as the ultimate amenity, turning what would have been a barren airshaft into a verdant outdoor sanctuary seems like a terrific idea. Tapping Deborah Nevins, one of the world’s most sought-after landscape designers to do it, an even better one. Keeping residents from enjoying more than a visual inspection of the rich white blossoms, lush green leaves, ivy walls and sculptural stream? Eh, we’re not so sure about that.
L to R: Williamsburg Savings Bank (One Hanson), The Brooklyner, 388 Bridge Street, Avalon Willoughby West, The Hub
Construction filings from the Department of Buildings have revealed that Douglas Steiner’s mixed use tower at 333 Schermerhorn Street, dubbed the Hub, will soar 30 feet higher than previously reported; making it the top contender for Brooklyn’s tallest building at 607-feet.
For more than 80 years, the title of Brooklyn’s tallest belonged to the 512-foot Williamsburg Savings Bank tower at 1 Hanson Place. With its beloved 4-sided clock tower and its majestic banking hall, the tower has stood in relative isolation since its construction in 1929. Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards centerpiece building nicknamed “Miss Brooklyn,” was the first to challenge the tower’s dominance and was slated to soar more than 100-feet above the bank building’s dome. The proposal incited uproar from Brooklynites, leading to its eventual downsizing in 2006 to 511-feet, just one foot shorter than the neighboring bank building.
The Van Alen Institute has convened its new International Council of architecture, planning, and design leaders in Venice, Italy during the Biennale this month. The inaugural group represents 13 firms from across more than 17 cities and ten countries. Five of these Council members have offices in NYC — Allied Works Architecture, BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), Jan Gehl Architects, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, and Snohetta.
Over the years, the Brooklyn Navy Yard has become a modern manufacturing pole, and it has grown to host spaces for everyone from furniture makers to photographers to even financial services companies. Demand for space has grown tremendously, and in response, the Navy Yard has announced plans to create another 1.8 million square feet of space for both future and current tenants looking to grow their businesses.
Will New York City be taking a cue from Paris Plages?
Living in the city doesn’t mean giving up the pleasures of nature — at least that’s how Blayne Ross sees it. The entrepreneur, along with his buddies Matt Berman and Andrew Kotchen of workshop/apd and Nathaniel Stanton of Craft Engineering, have conjured up a plan that will bring an artificial beach to a site on the Hudson River by 2016. The new “beach” would boast a food court, retail, and apparently a surf shop in case you forget your bathing suit (assuming you’re brave enough to take a dip in the Hudson).
If you haven’t been downtown recently, you might want to make the trek. Hudson Eats — the just-opened food hall at 200 Vesey Street — is turning a once sleepy corner of Battery Park City into a culinary destination.
Located on the second floor of Brookfield Place (formerly World Financial Center), the gleaming, white-tiled emporium is one of many new additions helping to revitalize Lower Manhattan. Along with the trendy restaurants that now call the neighborhood home — like Danny Meyer’s North End Grill and Stephen Starr’s new El Vez — there’s also the recent debut of the 9/11 Memorial Museum and eventual moves from media powerhouses Condé Nast and Time Inc.
I sat under a canopy of blue sky on the elevated platform of the Sutter Avenue stop in Brownsville, Brooklyn. I like elevated subway stations because they’re, you know, elevated as opposed to that subterranean scene that transpires underground. What I wasn’t liking so much that particular day, high above the busy avenue, was the way the platform slightly vibrated with each passing vehicle below. It was somewhat unsettling. And then the ground really started to shake, so much so that I looked to the distance to see if Godzilla bore down on Brooklyn, smashing cars and pounding through buildings, breathing fire and squawking that awful squawk. But it was only the 3 Train rattling in from East New York. The platform continued to shake more and more until the train, thankfully, came to a stop. I got on board, but I wasn’t all that happy about it.
And then I started to think about my dog.
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.