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Real Estate Wire

  • A developer is demanding volunteers pay $1M if they want to keep their community garden. [NYP]
  • The Sultan of Brunei is hotel shopping in NYC and London and is reported to have has his eyes set on The Plaza. [WSJ]
  • A campaign to build a light rail system on Staten Island has been relaunched—nearly 10 years after the idea was first pitched. [DNA Info]
  • Celebrated sculptor Alexander Ney, 74, is being evicted from his home after his landlord lied to him about his rent-stabilized status. Ney’s family is frantically trying to get everything out of the apartment before officials come to seize the property. [Gothamist]
  • Three contaminated Bronx properties will be cleaned up and rebuilt as affordable housing with the help of $300,000 in federal grants and loans. [Crain’s]
  • Are open plans losing their appeal? Frank Lloyd Wright is rolling over in his grave right now. [NYO]

An open plan apartment at Seven Harisson (left); The Sultan of Brunei (right)

Architecture, Design, Greenwich Village, Interiors, West Village 

  • By Aisha Carter
  • , August 18, 2014

It’s rare that you see a townhouse as grand and spacious as this 6,500-square-foot West Village dwelling. So, it’s no wonder the team at HS2 Architecture was delighted for the opportunity to renovate the historic house of their clients, the family of a work-from-home author. The goal was to create a home that reflected the clients’ lifestyle, transforming the space into a residence that makes a strong architectural statement while maintaining a level of comfort and functionality.

Take a look inside this Greenwich Village remodel here

Design, Interiors, Manhattan

  • By Jason Carpenter
  • , August 18, 2014

Workplace designers are always trying to find new ways to make offices a more inspiring and productive place, especially for professional creatives. A beautiful work space can keep employees excited when they clock in every day, and make sure that the water cooler talk is about new ideas, not the shoddy carpet. These new NYC offices are pretty to look at and to work in.

See our gallery of amazing workplaces here

Green Design, Policy

90% of NYC Buildings Fail to Meet Energy Codes

By Dana Schulz, Mon, August 18, 2014

  • By Dana Schulz
  • , August 18, 2014

In early 2014, the Department of Buildings (DOB) set up a permanent audit unit and started reviewing the architectural plans for thousands of new and renovated buildings. What they’ve found is alarming; nine out of every ten office and/or residential buildings failed to meet the New York City Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC).

The energy standards were implemented over 30 years ago, but are just now being enforced. And while environmentalists welcome the stricter monitoring, some building owners and construction companies are nervous about the potential increased costs of compliance, both in terms of money and time.

More on the city’s energy codes and how they’re being updated

Daily Link Fix

  • A Detailed Map of Jewish Literature: Take an adventure through the city and schlep to these landmarks found in Jewish literatur. See the full map on Tablet.
  • Google Street View With Sound: Because as if Google Street View isn’t creepy enough, one company decided to add sounds to certain scenes like pigeons flying overhead, street performers and babies crying. FastCo.Design spotlights how they were able to mimic the difference in sound when you got closer to or further away from a scene.
  • Would You Pick Up A Hitchhiking Robot?: hitchBOT has his (her? its?) thumb up hoping for a caring stranger to stop and help him make his way across Canada. Daily Dot reports that the robot can only answer basic questions. So I guess it won’t be singing along to Journey with you.
  • Derek Jeter Head Corn Maze: To commemorate #2’s final season, a New Jersey farm decided to make a corn maze in the shape of Jeter’s head.  Gothamist says you can make your way through the the Yankee’s face starting September 20th.

Images: Sample of the Jewish Literary Map by The Jewish Book Council (left); Jeter head corn maze courtesy of Gothamist (right)

Design, Landscape Architecture, Upstate

  • By Dana Schulz
  • , August 18, 2014

In typical rural esthetic, the grounds of the Greene County Residence are rolling and untamed. To work with this natural terrain, as well as juxtapose it, Susan Wisniewski Landscape created an angular outdoor pool setting that is both traditional and modern. The flat, rustic pavers surrounding the watering hole fit with the conventional barn, but the pool’s trapezoidal shape adds a geometric punch to the otherwise organic setting.

More about the outdoor design here

Green Design, Technology

  • By Dana Schulz
  • , August 18, 2014

In theory, it seems silly to pay for light bulbs and electricity when natural sunlight is free, and now this eco-fantasy is becoming a real possibility. Developed by EcoNation and installed on the roof, Lightcatcher is a sun-tracking solar dome that uses a mirror and technology-based system to generate green energy, bring light indoors, and mitigate temperature fluctuations.

The sensors and motorized mirror and lenses harvest sunlight, reducing energy costs and environmental impact eight times more than solar panels, according to EcoNation. The company also claims that Lightcatcher can provide sufficient light for up to ten hours per day, using only 1-3% of roof surface area.

More details on the new technology

Cool Listings, Interiors, Manhattan, Upper West Side 

  • By Stephanie Hoina
  • , August 18, 2014

Personally, this 2,500-square-foot triplex at 108 West 78th Street in the Broadway Corridor had us at its gorgeous exposed brick walls, but there’s plenty else to get hooked on even without its close proximity to some of the best New York City has to offer. What makes it even better? This beautifully appointed and fully-furnished rental can be yours (in a manner of speaking) for only $16,500 a month.

Exposed brick and more right this way

Architecture, Green Design, Upstate

  • By Ana Lisa Alperovich
  • , August 17, 2014

Though you may not be as limber as you once were, there’s still hope that you can climb to the top of a tree. Well, sort of. Rising above the Ulster County landscape is a uniquely glazed home that was designed as a stairway to the top of its surrounding landscape. Created by New York-based architecture firm Gluck+, the contemporary Tower House works as both a viewing platform and a functional home, sitting atop a plateau on the 19-acre property. Its unusual, cantilevered shape causes minimal impact on the ground and provides inhabitants with amazing views of virtually the entire Catskill mountain range.

Learn more about the Tower House and peek inside

City Living, opinion

My Gay Summer: Maybe We Are Moving Forward After All

By Andrew Cotto, Sun, August 17, 2014

  • By Andrew Cotto
  • , August 17, 2014

Last Saturday, I walked out of a Fire Island Pines liquor store just as a friend was walking in. “Hello, handsome,” I said without pause.

My friend was less decorous.

“What the f*%k are you doing here?!?” He asked, his face flushed with wonder.

It was a legitimate question since The Pines is famously gay, and I’m neither famous nor gay; but, considering my summer so far, me in the company of gay men no longer seems wonder inducing to me.

Andrew’s revelations this way

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