If you’ve ever wished an ergonomic, well-designed comfortable chair would materialize when you need it, the Ollie Chair has your back. Ollie is a transformable seat that unfurls and retracts with no more than the pull of a string. Created by Brooklyn Navy Yard-based kinetic furniture company RockPaperRobot, the chair offers a portable, elegant and comfortable solution for today’s office-anywhere work style–and its customizable cool design makes it a welcome addition to your decor.
Suitable for both indoors and outdoors with its anodized aluminum base and teak seat, the transformable, space-saving seat can be customized to fit your style goals; hang it flat on the wall as an elegant piece of art. The tambour seating surface is made of connected wooden slats so the chair can morph from seated position to under two inches instantly for efficient, low-profile storage; the chair’s aluminum body makes it lightweight and easy to transport. Comfortable? The Ollie Chair is one of the only ergonomic folding chairs in the world with true lumbar support.
If you’re craving a few of these guys, you’ll be happy to know that the company plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign for the Ollie Chair on February 28th. In the meantime, sign up for “early bird perks” here.
Engineering and design firm RockPaperRobot was founded by MIT grad and roboticist Jessica Banks, who invents products that transform how people think about the future of decor. Among her many claims to fame, Banks has designed robotic projects for Frank Gehry and Michel Gondry.
If you’ve ever wished an ergonomic, well-designed comfortable chair would materialize when you need it, the Ollie Chair has your ...
Although High Line Park visionary Robert Hammond recently expressed remorse for failing to develop a park that was “for the neighborhood”—not the ultra-wealthy that have infiltrated the blocks directly surrounding the elevated marvel—other cities continue to see nothing but financial opportunity in thrusting parkland upward. 6sqft recently reported on Newark, NJ, which will soon break ground on their own version of the High Line in hopes of revitalizing their long-burdened downtown, and now the Staten Island Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) has announced that Port Richmond is angling for their own High Line magic atop .53 miles of abandoned North Shore rail line.
According to SILive, the SIEDC announced today a design competition “to transform the unused rail right-of-way.” As it stands, the stretch is said to be home to some of the boroughs worst illegal dumping with trash piling up on both sides. Moreover, the elevated rail also runs alongside a number of homes and industrial sites as it winds from Richmond Terrace at Heberton Avenue in the east to Nicholas Avenue in the west. As such, Salvatore Calcagno Jr., the SIEDC ambassador for the project, believes that redevelopment will bring nothing but positive change to the area.
“Based on the success of the High Line on the West Side of Manhattan, we believe that activating the dormant line in a similar fashion can be a transformative project for the area. We hope this leads to an active public space along the line,” said Calcagno. “If our high line is half as successful as Manhattan’s, it will be a major boon to the community,” he added.
Preliminary estimates have pinned a price of $30 million to the project, with a chunk of that paid for with Federal dollars. Calcagno acknowledges that the park could take several years complete, or maybe even as long as Manhattan’s High Line, which took about 15 years. The SIEDC have also consulted Friends of the High Line to develop a plan of attack, and this is when the idea for a design competition arose.
Per SILive, the competition is open to all in the fields of planning, architecture, and engineering, and they are even encouraging local residents to participate. Proposals are asked to address the following:
A point-of-view image of walking on the High Line (hand-drawn artwork — colored pencils/markers — or computer aided design);
An electronic and mounted version of the image on styrofoam or cardboard (30 inches high by 48 inches long);
A proposed name and logo for the project.
(Materials should be sent to Steven Grillo, SIEDC’s first vice president, at [email protected] and a mounted version delivered to SIEDC’s office at 900 South Avenue, Suite 402, no later than Friday, April 7.)
The SIEDC plans on showcasing the point-of-view images at the 8th annual Business Conference on April 27 in the Hilton Garden Inn, Bloomfield. The public will also vote on the designs and a winner will be announced at the SI Green Expo on June 8.
With Hoboken long gone and Jersey City well in the throes of gentrification, it makes sense that Newark is the next New Jersey city poised for a renaissance. Not only is it easily accessible via both NJ Transit and the PATH, but its wealth of former industrial buildings lend themselves to a DUMBO-esque revitalization. In the up-and-coming downtown area, Newark native Richard Meier is behind Teachers Village, a 23-acre, mixed-use complex that is well on its way to restoring a sense of community to the neighborhood. The $150 million project will encompass three charter schools, ground-level retail, and 204 residential units with a preference given to educators, all located in six new buildings designed in the starchitect’s signature style of white materials and gridded facades.
Teachers Village came about when developer RBH Group bought more than 70 parcels of land in an area strategically located a block from the Prudential Center, very near to Newark Penn Station, a ten-minute walk to the Light Rail station, and not far from Mulberry Commons, a similarly sized, mixed-use development that also hopes to breathe new life in downtown Newark. As 6sqft reported earlier this month, the Commons will not only bring new residential and commercial space, but create “a three-acre park and a High Line-style pedestrian bridge that would connect the Ironbound neighborhood [another name for downtown] to Newark Penn Station and the central business district.”
RBH began consulting nearly a decade ago with Meier, who said at a presentation at his New York office that he was very drawn to the project for a few main reasons: “1, I was born in Newark; 2, my grandparents lived all of their lives in Newark; and 3, Newark doesn’t have the best reputation, and it needs this kind of thing to realize that it is an important city.” He added, “it is the kind of project that could happen in a number of places and give a spark to that area, which is what we hope will happen. it’s not just our site, but it reaches out and has an effect on the entire community.”
The development broke ground in 2012, and a year later the Team Charter, Discovery Charter, and Great Oaks Charter Schools were open with more than 1,000 teachers and students. Early this year the residential phase will wrap up; 123 units are completed and occupied, 70 percent by teachers and other educators.
Entrance to the charter school and their connecting bridge, via Paúl Rivera
RBH founder and CEO Ron Beit told NJ.com that of the 18 storefronts, three are open–Closet Savvy, Provident Bank, Bella Nail Lounge and Beauty Bar. In the coming weeks, Krausers convenience store and Tonnie’s Minis cupcake bakery will also open, and the next six months will usher in medical services, restaurants, and fresh food marketplace. In addition, Beit said the surrounding area, known as the Halsey Street Corridor, has seen a wave of new development thanks to Teachers Village, including new apartments and a Whole Foods.
Looking south on Halsey Street with the school entrances on the left and Residential Building VI on the right, via Scott Frances
Associate partners Vivian Lee and Dukho Yeon, along with project architects Ananth Sampathkumar and Chris Townsend, headed up the project for Richard Meier & Partners. They worked in accordance with the Newark Living Downtown Plan, which dictates that street-facing facades along Halsey Street not exceed 60 feet in height and be set back.
Sustainability also played a key role, as Teachers Village is one of the first projects in the country to receive the LEED Neighborhood Development Designation by the US Green Building Council, which is awarded to neighborhoods that integrate “the principles of smart growth, urbanism, and green building strategies.” To that end, a green courtyard and white roofing help reduce the heat island effect, full-height glazing maximizes light and views, high-efficiency glass diffuses light and optimizes energy performance.
One interesting element is Meier’s departure from his signature white facade on some of the buildings. RBH worked with Newark’s Landmarks & Historic Preservation Commission to create buildings that would respect and blend with the scale and style of the existing building stock, much of which is brick. Therefore, as the Architect’s Newspaper notes, this was the first time since the 1960s that Meier used red brick, though in this case the brick “is inflected with iron, projecting a soft metallic glow in the right light, a still-earthy foil to white aluminum panel– and stucco-clad buildings nearby.”
An apartment interior in Residential Building VII, via Scott Frances
His firm also designed the apartment and school interiors, which feature oversized windows and high ceilings. As Meier explained, “Natural light has been a very important consideration and all the different apartments, classrooms and retail spaces will be full of natural light with various views to the neighborhood. Light touches every component and all the interiors of the various buildings bringing everything into a harmonious whole.”
The sixth and final building of Teachers Village is expected to open this spring.
The Renwick Hotel opened its Gertrude Stein Suite, the first in the historic building dedicated to a female author. [Conde ...
This three-story brick townhouse is nestled on a charming street of Prospect Lefferts Gardens, the Brooklyn neighborhood east of Prospect Park. 88 Midwood Street also has some nice surprises inside, like carved woodwork, a big wood burning fireplace and a bonus sunroom. If you’re on the hunt for a lovely Brooklyn townhouse with some historic details still in tact—and have $2.399 million to spare—look no further.
The listing doesn’t offer many images of the interior, but we can gleam that the four-bedroom, two-bathroom home boasts details like moldings and the original parquet floors. The parlor floor, however, is the center of the home, with its massive brick fireplace and a prominent carved wood staircase.
Although many of the historic townhouses in this neighborhood are limestone, this block of Midwood—located right off Prospect Park—also boasts some brick architecture.
One big perk of this property? It comes with a separate brick garage with parking for as many as three cars. There’s a backyard, adjacent to the garage, as well.
This three-story brick townhouse is nestled on a charming street of Prospect Lefferts Gardens, the Brooklyn neighborhood east of Prospect ...
Come March 1st the Waldorf Astoria will close its doors to the public in preparation for what’s likely to be a lengthy conversion, as the New York icon transforms from luxury hotel to a collection of luxury condos. While we can all rest assured that the hotel’s stunning interiors will remain intact—from the historic ballrooms to exhibition space, dining rooms and banquet rooms—what will likely disappear for good (at least in its current form) are the lavish brunches held at Peacock Alley. As Metro NY reports, this Sunday, February 26th, will be your last opportunity to indulge in the hotel’s utterly decadent weekend offering.
While the thought of devouring a buffet brunch in a city like New York may make you wince, as Metro reporter Eva Kis shares, this is not your typical hotel breakfast of stale cornflakes and unripened fruit. Some of the highlights, she enthusiastically writes, include “four caviars, silver tureens of velvety lobster bisque, blintzes nearly bursting with sweet ricotta, a raw bar with oysters shucked on demand.” There’s also “leg of lamb, whole roast pig and, presumably in case any British royalty stop by, Beef Wellington.”
For those with a sweet tooth, the tasty spread touts a chocolate fountain, a selection of 18 cakes, cookies and pastries, and made-to-order Baked Alaska.
This is all to be enjoyed amongst the elegant, gilded interiors of the restaurant, of course.
If you’re interested in partaking in this experience, the final brunch will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Sunday with a cost of $125 a person. Be sure to make your reservation here.
Come March 1st the Waldorf Astoria will close its doors to the public in preparation for what’s likely to be ...
We’ve definitely seen a lifetime’s worth of the trajectory that runs from warehouse to art studio to luxury loft, starting with neighborhoods like Soho and picking up speed as developers got into the act, anticipating the next “it” enclave with manageable rents attracting the young and creative. A team of New York-based designers developed a proposal for reaping the benefits of economic growth in the city’s industrial areas without pricing out all but the wealthiest players. Soft City reports the details of this “mission-driven gentrification” concept, which suggests an all-new development model for the city’s manufacturing neighborhoods (known as M1 districts), helmed by mission-based organizations and a building typology that caters to small businesses and artists.
The proposal comes from the nonprofit Institute for Public Architecture, founded in 2012 for designers interested in exploring socially engaged work. Last year the Institute hosted a fellowship asking program participants to look at mayor Bill de Blasio’s promise to invest $30 million in the creation of 1,500 affordable live/work spaces for artists and entrepreneurs from a design angle. Focusing on the way economic growth generally leads to displacement in the city’s changing industrial zones, a team working under the name mx.org and consisting of Amritha Mahesh, Thad Pawlowski and Despo Thoma looked at ways in which those areas might be able to absorb newcomers and new businesses without prices soaring to prohibitive heights.
After first looking at how the needs of the uniquely creative, mobile–and possibly local labor-intensive–film industry fit into the formerly industrial Gowanus neighborhood, the team decided that the roots of the current quandary lay in the way existing physical and regulatory structures shape people’s actions in a given environment. What would it take to get economic/industrial development to shift from singularly money-driven to mission-driven?
Thinking beyond Williamsburg…and we don’t mean Bushwick.
From this undeniably pivotal question, the focus narrowed in on the need for putting increases in property value in gentrifying neighborhoods to work for a broad range of people who live and work there rather than being concentrated within a small number of large landowners–giving the rising financial tide a fighting chance to actually lift some boats.
The group outlined a plan to achieve this via a new development model and building typology: Mission-based nonprofits would be the only entities permitted to develop and maintain buildings in a designated area; lots would have maximum size limits; and buildings would have minimum unit counts to prevent monopolies and encourage participation from a variety of small businesses. An exception to size limitations would be made for a small number of anchor employers.
Building typology would be geared toward flexible live/work setups, putting commercial entities on the ground floor and residential and studio spaces above. Public gathering spaces and private back-of-house zones would easily serve purposes from socializing to shipping goods.
The proposal shares attributes with the city’s co-op system in which residents own shares of the entire building rather than just their individual apartments. Participant Thoma said that her years in Athens, Greece influenced her thinking as well: In the Greek capital city, she said, “the lots were subdivided into very small lots and each lot had multiple owners. That way people could continue to be invested in their lot and have a more community-driven approach to their immediate neighborhood.”
Lower Manhattan’s West Broadway in the 1970s
Artist Nancy Pantirer’s Tribeca studio loft; photo by Erin Kestenbaum for 6sqft
Although the project ended up outgrowing its early focus on cultural industries like film, Thoma believes that it has a great deal to offer New York’s arts community in other surprising ways, such as the possibility of new types of neighborhoods leading to completely new kinds of art. “Take the example of the Soho loft. The flexibility of space that they offered, also the flexibility in economic development, led to the rise of new types of creativity and culture. The flexibility of the program and the model we’re proposing could foster different kinds of creativity that we do not know yet.”
The next step would likely be beyond the realm of design: How could such a worthy strategy–yet one that requires regulation and legislation–appeal to developers and “free market” zealots who would be quick to trumpet the evils of Socialism–and elected officials, public servants though they may be, unwilling to explore the accompanying depths of misguided unpopularity.
Image: mx.org We’ve definitely seen a lifetime’s worth of the trajectory that runs from warehouse to art studio to luxury loft, starting ...
Yesterday, mental health nonprofit Community Access broke ground on a new, $52.2 million supportive and affordable housing complex in the Mount Eden neighborhood of the Bronx. Located at 111 East 172nd Street, the building has 126 units, 60 of which will be set aside for Medicaid high-need individuals with mental health concerns and 65 for low-income families. It incorporates sustainable elements such as solar panels and a co-generation plant, as well as health-focused amenities like a community garden and kitchen to encourage and teach about healthy eating, outdoor exercise equipment, and a bike sharing program.
The mission of Community Access is to “expand opportunities for people living with mental health concerns to recover from trauma and discrimination through affordable housing, training, advocacy and healing-focused services.” The 172nd Street project will be their seventh in the Bronx; they’re also responsible for Gouverneur Court on the Lower East Side. This will be their first, however, to incorporate all the programs offered across the other projects. “It’s really a culmination of everything we’ve learned over the past 40 years,” Community Access CEO Steve Coe told NY1. Rica Bryan, the organization’s Health and Wellness coordinator, added, “We really see food and physical activity as a pathway to connection here at community access.”
The building is seeking LEED silver certification and will meet the Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s Green Communities standards. Both the city and state are providing partial funding and rental subsidies for the project, which is expected to be complete in 18 months.
In a city where hundreds of interesting events occur each week, it can be hard to pick and choose your way to a fulfilling life. Ahead Art Nerd founder Lori Zimmer shares her top picks for 6sqft readers!
If you haven’t been to the Cadillac House–the cultural venue by the car company–now is the time to check it out, as two artists take over the space with room-sized installations perfect for Instragramming. Mo Scarpelli’s compelling documentary about journalists in Afghanistan plays at St. Bartholomew’s Church, and Amelie plays at Videology. Get an insider’s tour of the historic New Yorker Hotel, then stay after hours at the gorgeous New York Public Library. The famed Salmagundi Club will stay open all night for a draw-a-thon, and the Bronx Museum of the Arts hosts another great Gala at the Conrad. Finally, Beau Stanton transforms his artwork into a special stop-motion film at Brilliant Champions.
Toilet Paper Paradise ↑
The Gallery at Cadillac House, 330 Hudson Street
Through April 12
Artists Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari have brought their side project, TOILETPAPER Magazine, to life in the sprawling galleries of Cadillac House. Visitors can dive into the room-sized tableaus; and can touch, play, move, sit, recline, and position themselves right inside the installations- and its free!
Frame by Frame Documentary Screening ↑
St. Bartholomew’s Church, 325 Park Avenue
Thursday, February 23, 6:30-8:30pm
Mo Scarpelli’s gorgeous documentary follows four Afghan photojournalists as they navigate an emerging and dangerous media landscape, including intimate interviews and footage captured during the Taliban regime when taking a photo was illegal.
Behind the Scenes Tour of the New Yorker Hotel ↑
New Yorker Hotel, 481 8th Avenue at 34th Street
Thursday, February 23, 6:00-8:00pm
Get an insider’s look into the historic and glamorous hotel with the on-site historian. Past tours have included access to the suite Nikola Tesla lived in until his death, as well as the Manhattan Ballroom next door.
Beau Stanton, Megacosm ↑
Brilliant Champions Gallery, 5 Central Avenue, Brooklyn
Friday, February 24, 6:00-9:00pm
My long-time collaborator Beau Stanton’s latest show picks up where our project in Times Square last summer left off–in animation. This time, Stanton collaborated with the gallery itself to transform his iconic works into a stop-motion film paired with sculptural works.
The Library After Hours ↑
NYPL The New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street
Friday, February 24, 6:30-9:00pm
Spend a cozy evening enjoying an architectural icon after dark. Tonight’s happenings include specialty cocktails, Italian snacks, guided curator tours of the Love in Venice exhibition, music and dance lessons, mask-making, and short Venetian films from the library archives.
2017 Salmagundi Draw-A-Thon ↑
Salmagundi Club, 47 Fifth Avenue
Friday, February 24, 9:00pm-6:00am
Spend an unorthodox night at the historic Salmagundi Club, which has been on Fifth Avenue for a century this year! Cash bar, midnight pizza, costumed and nude models, and access to a monotype press will make for an amazing nine hours of art making.
Amelie + mulled wine ↑
Videology Bar & Cinema, 308 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg
Saturday, February 25, 6:30-8:30pm
Can you believe Amelie was released 16 years ago? Numb that shock with a complimentary glass of mulled wine, and enjoy the cinematic beauty of Montmartre- and Audrey Tatou.
Bronx Museum Spring Gala and Auction ↑
Conrad New York, 102 North End Avenue
Monday, February 27, 6:30pm
This year’s party, Get Down and AIM High, supports the Bronx Museum’s free programs. Help support the museum, bid on great art works, and honor this year’s winner of the Life Time Achievement award- Grand Master Flash.
Toilet Paper Paradise by Plamen Pletkov In a city where hundreds of interesting events occur each week, it can be ...
If you’ve walked down Chinatown’s Canal Street then you’re certainly familiar with a string of stores at 312-322 Canal Street hawking cheap souvenirs to tourists and passersby. After a proposal to renew the depressed stretch of shops—which underwent its own covert, illegal renovation in 2010—with a brand-new brick construction failed to pass Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) muster in 2011, a new, much more ambitious plan to replace the ramshackle building has finally emerged.
Once again drawn up by architect Paul A. Castrucci, the new iteration would rise as a nine-story, multi-family property with retail at its base. Moreover, the structure would also be a Passive House construction, similar to Castrucci’s other buildings, 951 Pacific Street and ABC No Rio. As with any Passive House, the residence will be primarily heated by passive solar gain and internal gains (from people or electrical equipment) with the aim of cutting energy costs by 90 percent.
The property is sited on the edge of the East Tribeca Historic District, and according to CityRealty, its units will likely be designated as rentals. They add that Castrucci’s simple red-brick design aims to blend in with the neighborhood, rather than stand out. “The project enters into a critical dialogue with its surrounding context,” writes the architect on his website. “The façade’s repetition recalls some of the underlying structural rhythms of the historical district’s notable palazzo-style, cast-iron facades, but avoids replicating or reproducing their forms, details or material choices.”
In terms of its Passive House specs, the building will use high-efficiency heat pumps to condition the interior units, while ERVs (energy recovery ventilators) will supply apartments with filtered and conditioned fresh air. The prefabricated exterior brick panels will also be backed with a four-inch layer of insulation complemented by a layer of mineral wool, which when combined with Passive House-certified windows, will make for an air-tight building.
Although Castrucci has the project prominently featured on his site, official permits have yet to be filed.
If you’ve walked down Chinatown’s Canal Street then you’re certainly familiar with a string of stores at 312-322 Canal Street hawking cheap ...
Just yesterday, 6sqft shared the news that Jeanne Gang‘s first ground-up project in NYC–the Solar Carve Tower at 40 Tenth Avenue–had begun construction along the High Line. Now, the Post shares new renderings of the jewel-like, glassy structure, which is so named for its employment of the firm’s strategy that uses the sun’s angles to shape a building. Along with these views of its chiseled edges, connection to the park, terraces, and interior spaces, comes word that developers Aurora Capital and William Gottlieb Real Estate have tapped Bruce Mosler of Cushman & Wakefield to begin leasing the 139,000-square-foot, 12-story boutique office building in anticipation of its 2019 opening.
The ground and lower levels will give way to a combined 29,000 square feet of retail space, including 300 feet of glass frontage wrapping around West 14th Street and Tenth Avenue. Aurora is handling leasing for these spaces.
The lobby will have a glass floor and stairwell that connect with the second-floor terrace. The building is targeting LEED Silver accreditation; in addition to its technology to mitigate solar gain and a green roof to aid in cooling, sustainable elements include a backup generator and a bike room and locker room for those who commute via two wheels and need to shower.
As for the office spaces, Mosler expects to draw a mix of tech, boutique financial, entertainment, and fashion tenants. “There is nothing like this building. We are excited not just about the location but the product we deliver. It will be unique to the Meatpacking, which is exploding with excitement.” He’s also handling leasing at 860 Washington Street, another office project directly to the east.
The building’s unique shape–which, as the Post explains “follows the sun throughout the year, allowing it to pour around the ‘carves’ that now create an hourglass of diamond-shaped facets as it turns inward from the middle–creates varying shapes and sizes on each floor. The rectangular office spaces will range in size from 13,700 to 14,200 square feet, all with 16-foot floor-to-ceiling windows. Mosler said the first leases will go for around $150 to $170 per square foot, depending on the floor.
With the exception of the seventh floor, all office levels with have private terraces. There’s also an 8,000-square-foot terrace aligned with the High Line on the second floor and a 10,000-square-foot landscaped rooftop for tenants.
As 6sqft noted yesterday, the Solar Carve Tower is “just a block away from what will be the entrance to the equally futuristic Pier 55 offshore park and a couple blocks from Google’s under-construction SuperPier at Pier 57.” Demolition at the site is now complete and construction is underway.
Just yesterday, 6sqft shared the news that Jeanne Gang‘s first ground-up project in NYC–the Solar Carve Tower at 40 Tenth ...
At a house-sized 3,809 square feet, this jumbo co-op at 50 Gramercy Park North, on the market for $9.5 million, is likely two apartments that were combined. As a result, there’s more room for bedrooms, living and entertaining space and more floor-to-ceiling glass to take in the view. The building is also home to the Gramercy Park Hotel, so you get hotel-level amenities as part of the deal, along with a coveted key to the park.
A high floor and 75 feet along Gramercy Park mean stunning views and tons of light, starting with a private elevator landing. Designed by noted British architect John Pawson, those walls of glass frame a massive sunken living room with 12-foot ceilings and a wood-burning fireplace. A large separate dining room looks bigger than the average studio.
True to form there’s an eat-in kitchen that’s both sleek and sizable; the center island alone is big enough for your entire wine stash as well as plenty of cooking and prep space.
A cavernous master suite includes a wood-burning fireplace and leads through a spa-like bath to a windowed dressing room big enough for a separate vanity in addition to beautifully-designed closet space. About that combination: The listing notes that “original plumbing for the current space allowed the capacity for 4 full bathrooms, 2 powder rooms and 2 kitchens,” so we’re guessing you may even have the option of creating two separate apartments.
The rarest perk of all: Ownership includes your own key to the only private park in Manhattan. Building amenities are generous as well and include a 24-hour doorman and concierge in addition to the services available to the Gramercy Park Hotel such as housekeeping and hospitality services. There is also a gym, a roof deck and garage parking.