Urban Design

Meatpacking District, Policy, Urban Design

Barry Diller pulls the plug on $250M Pier 55 offshore park

By Michelle Cohen, Thu, September 14, 2017

Photo: Pier 55, Inc./Heatherwick Studio.

Barry Diller, the billionaire chairman of IAC, announced he’s killing the $250 million project that promised to bring a futuristic offshore park and cultural site to the Hudson River’s dilapidated Pier 54. 6sqft previously covered the unfolding saga of the ill-fated project, known as Pier 55 (or sometimes as “Diller Park”), as opposing factions continually blocked its progress and were eventually revealed to be funded by prominent New York real estate developer Douglas Durst. According to the New York Times, Diller said Wednesday that his commitment to build the undulating pier would be coming to an end—an inglorious one for a bold plan that some, and certainly Diller himself, saw as a new Manhattan waterfront icon to rival the nearby High Line.

Find out more

Architecture, Events, Urban Design

First look at the 2017 Open House New York sites!

By Michelle Cohen, Wed, September 13, 2017

If you love architecture and urban design from historic to contemporary, there has never been a better time to join Open House New York for a rare weekend of access to typically off limits sites. Celebrating its 15th anniversary, this year’s OHNY will take place on Saturday, October 14 and Sunday, October 15, opening up more than 200 buildings and projects across the five boroughs for tours and talks with architects, urban planners, preservationists, and city leaders. OHNY has just released a sneak preview of the program, which includes a tour of  SHoP Architects’ American Copper Buildings and their iconic skybridge, a peek inside the artifacts and archival gems at the New York Transit Museum Archives, the Bridge at Cornell Tech at the university’s new Roosevelt Island Campus, and the new global headquarters of West Elm.

This way for a sneak peak at what’s in store this year for OHNY

Landscape Architecture, Transportation, Urban Design

Rendering: Only If + One Architecture

Back in June, the Regional Plan Association (RPA), an urban research and advocacy organization, in conjunction with the Rockefeller Foundation, announced a design competition asking for proposals that would transform various areas of the New York metropolitan region. One of the four ideas chosen to receive $45,000 was a transportation alternative that would serve the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn. As 6sqft reported, the proposal, developed by New York-based firm Only If along with Netherlands-based firm One Architecture, focuses on using a light rail to move passengers between the outer boroughs to alleviate some of the overcrowding that has plagued the current subway system with delays. On August 4, the organizations held an event at Fort Tilden to mark the opening of a public presentation of the selected proposals. “4C: Four Corridors: Foreseeing the Region of the Future” spotlighted this plan to strengthen the Triboro Corridor, a plan to address the future of the suburbs, and more.

See the renderings and learn more

Design, Urban Design

Buro Koray Duman Architects, islamic cultural center, muslim center

As a way to promote inter-religious coexistence and cultural exchange, the American Society for Muslim Advancement and Buro Koray Duman Architects have collaborated to create a design proposal for an Islamic cultural center, the first Muslim-sponsored multi-faith community center in New York City. According to ArchDaily, the design for the center, called Cordoba House, is based on the historic “Kulliye,” an Ottoman Islamic center, and features a vertical landscape design. It will stretch 100,000 square feet and include recreation, culinary, art, retail and administrative spaces.

More this way

Policy, Urban Design

Image courtesy of Gotham Greens.
A new bill introduced in New York City Council Thursday addresses the need for an urban agriculture plan that doesn’t fall through the cracks of the city’s zoning and building regulations, the Wall Street Journal reports. The bill, introduced by Councilman Rafael Espinal and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and assigned to the Land Use Committee, also raises the possibility of an office of urban agriculture. If a New York City farm bill seems surprising, you may also be surprised to know that NYC has the country’s largest urban agriculture system, including community gardens, rooftop farms and greenhouses.

Outgrowing the system

Transportation, Urban Design

Architecture/engineering firm EDG, noting that New York City faces a unique and complex set of challenges when it comes to navigating highways and byways, has offered an equally unique and innovative proposal: LoopNYC suggests the conversion of one lane of existing cross streets and highways into driverless automobile expressways. The result? A safe, sustainable and efficient “microhighway” automated traffic grid.

So how would it work?

Featured Story

City Living, Features, History, Urban Design

NYC water towers: History, use, and infrastructure

By Devin Gannon, Wed, July 12, 2017

water tanks, water towers, history of water tanks nyc

Photo courtesy of Ted McGrath on Flickr

For over 100 years, water towers have been a seamless part of New York City’s skyline. So seamless, in fact, they often go unnoticed, usually overshadowed by their glassy supertall neighbors. While these wooden relics look like a thing of the past, the same type of water pumping structure continues to be built today, originating from just three family-run companies, two of which have been operating for nearly this entire century-long history. With up to 17,000 water tanks scattered throughout NYC, 6sqft decided to explore these icons, from their history and construction to modern projects that are bringing the structures into the mainstream.

Everything you need to know

History, Urban Design

The 1960s Cold War years were America’s peak fear/fantasy period as far as the threat of nuclear weapons being deployed. Related scenarios played heavily in science fiction works and frequently surfaced in art and writing. On occasion the line between sci-fi and urban planning tends to blur, at least in hindsight; such is the case for architect and city planner Oscar Newman’s probably tongue-in-cheek vision of an enormous spherical underground replica of Manhattan located thousands of feet below the city itself, to be switched into action in the event of a nuclear event. Atlas Obscura reveals Newman’s fantastical map to a subterranean metropolis where New Yorkers would wait out the fallout.

Head underground for a look-see

Design, Technology, Urban Design

amazon drone, skyscraper drone, drone tower

Image courtesy of the United States Patent Office

The massive online retailer company Amazon, which recently acquired the grocery chain Whole Foods for $13.4 billion, is attempting to push even further into the future of internet commerce. The company has recently patented a “multi-level fulfillment center for unmanned vehicles,” or in simpler terms, a drone skyscraper. As co.design discovered, while patents do not necessarily mean this tower will be created, the plan has detailed sketches showing a giant beehive from where drones would fly in and out.

See the design

Featured Story

Architecture, Events, Features, Giveaways, Policy, Urban Design

Cities for Tomorrow is back for its fourth year, and 6sqft has teamed up with the New York Times to give one lucky reader a free pass (worth $995!) to the event taking place July 10th–11th in Midtown Manhattan. Join creative visionaries and leaders in the real estate, urban planning, and political fields such as Momofuku founder David Chang, former Massachusetts Governor William F. Weld, NextGen Climate founder Tom Steyer, and filmmaker Barry Jenkins as they discuss topics ranging from the new power of private money to the future of bricks-and-mortar retail, from cities’ impact on the national climate agenda to the realities of leading during a time of partisan politics, from the promises and pitfalls of smart technology to fresh approaches to entrepreneurship.

HOW TO ENTER: All you have to do is sign up for our newsletter here. If you’ve already signed up, simply leave a comment below telling us what topic off this year’s agenda interests you the most. The deadline to enter is 11:59PM, Thursday, June 29th, and we will email the winner on Friday, June 30th. Good luck!

Those interested in purchasing a ticket can register here and get 20 percent off the admission price.


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