“Section 581” by SITU Studio, Photograph by Patrick Mandeville
Billionaires get off nearly tax-free and billions go uncollected due to flaws in the way the city assesses property value. As part of a new exhibit at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in Soho, interdisciplinary architecture firm SITU Studio created visual representations of these inequities in one of their most glaring examples: the buildings along Central Park.
New York City’s property tax structure assigns higher real property taxes to renters than it does to the infamous absentee owners of the trophy condos on Billionaires’ Row, short-changing the city of millions in annual revenue, according to CityLab. The acrylic bands in the SITU models show the disparity between the taxed value of these properties and the sky-high amounts they’d actually sell for.
Find out how the state law is giving billionaires a free lunch
Installing solar systems in NYC can be tricky due to strict regulations and the complexity of buildings sites. But yesterday, 6sqft shared Brooklyn Solar Works‘ and Situ Studio‘s clever Solar Canopy, which “not only adheres to the city’s strict building codes, but has been developed specifically for the characteristically flat rooftops of NYC.” The A-frame structures’ columns bolt to rails attached to a building and are oriented at a 33-degree pitch to maximize panel efficiency when pointed south. And since they have a head clearance of ten feet, they don’t eat up roof space.
They’ve already been installed atop homes in Brooklyn, but at a price point of around $30,000 (though tax incentives bring that down to about $7,000) and a pretty obvious visual presence, can Solar Canopies replace traditional solar panel systems in the city?
Tell us what you think!
Brooklyn SolarWorks and Situ Studio have devised a clever and flexible solar panel system that not only adheres to the city’s strict building codes, but has been developed specifically for the characteristically flat rooftops of NYC. The “Solar Canopy,” as it has been named, is designed as a tent-like structure with a coverage of 2.5-feet by five-feet and a head clearance of ten feet above its pathway—plenty more than the nine feet required by the city. SolarWorks and Situ have already installed their Solar Canopy at several properties in Brooklyn, including atop homes in Bed-Stuy, Park Slope and Crown Heights.
find out more here
Turrell’s installation at the Guggenheim via flickr CC
You may have thought your company’s new espresso machine was fancy, but it’s got nothing on this trippy new sculpture hidden in a Midtown office. Designed by famed light installation artist James Turrell (you may remember his wildly popular “Aten Reign” that filled the Guggenheim’s rotunda with shifting artificial and natural light a couple years ago), “Three Saros” is a 24-foot, two-story volume that “transports spectators into an ethereal, prismatic sea of light”—likely also reducing smoking breaks and water cooler kvetching.
More on the work here
Flickr image by endymion120
With the advent of the Internet—namely Google—the role of the library has changed dramatically over the last 20 years. But even with the introduction of new technology, never have libraries played a more important role in educating the public—and their rapid growth in attendance proves this. Although the New York Public Library (NYPL) scrapped Norman Foster’s plan to renovate their flagship location last year, they still have a $300 million renovation plan in the works and they’re hard on the hunt for a high-tech redesign. While we may be years off before we see a new design emerge, The Architectural League and the Center for an Urban Future have made their own investigation into what could be by asking a handful of architects to drum up exciting new library designs that meet the needs of today’s tech-savvy users. Originally published on ArchDaily as “Five Design Teams Re-Envision New York’s Public Libraries,” Connor Walker explores the five design teams’ proposal for a better NYPL.
There are 207 branch libraries in the city of New York, each providing a number of services to city residents. From the simple lending of books to adult technical literacy classes, these institutions are as vital as they were before the advent of the Internet, and their attendance numbers prove it. Between the years of 2002 and 2011, circulation in the city’s library systems increased by 59 percent. Library program attendance saw an increase of 40 percent. In spite of this, library funding was cut by 8 percent within this same timeframe, which has made it difficult to keep many of the system’s buildings in good repair. To spark interest and support from city leaders, The Architectural League, in collaboration with the Center for an Urban Future, instigated the design study “Re-Envisioning New York’s Branch Libraries.”