An architect from Georgia sued architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) on Wednesday for allegedly stealing his design for One World Trade Center. Jeehoon Park says the firm has unfairly taken credit for the tower, a design he says he developed in 1999 as a graduate student at the Illinois Institute of Technology, as the New York Post reported. At 1,776 feet high, One World Trade Center, also known as the Freedom Tower, is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the sixth tallest in the world.
Skidmore Owings & Merrill
Proposed rendering of the Park Avenue foyer, via Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
On March 1st, the Waldorf Astoria closed its doors to the public so that its new owners, Chinese insurer Anbang (who just today backed out of an even larger project to redevelop the Kushner Companies’ 666 Fifth Avenue) can undertake a two- to three-year renovation to convert 1,413 hotel rooms into 840 renovated hotel rooms and 321 condos, as well as spiff up the public spaces. This last part was worrisome at first, but earlier this month, these iconic Art Deco interiors were designated an official city landmark, meaning Anbang will need to preserve them and receive approvals for any work from the LPC. Wasting no time, they’ve now released plans for both the interior and exterior renovations and announced that architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) and renowned interior designer Pierre Yves Rochon (PYR) will “protect [the] beloved spaces and restore original features of the Waldorf not seen for decades.”
Along with its glassy towers on the rise and big-name corporations leasing office space, the Hudson Yards district is now displaying another show of how the mega-development is pushing the once-desolate Midtown West area forward–the announcement of a 60,000-square-foot Whole Foods. The green grocer will move into Brookfield Property’s eight-acre Manhattan West complex, located at 5 Manhattan West on the corner of 10th Avenue and West 31st Street, directly across from Related’s Hudson Yards. Echoing the sentiment of the “Whole Foods effect“–the pattern of real estate values increasing when high-end grocery stores open nearby, both due to convenience and prestige–a press release from the developer says the news “is a significant first step in creating a first-of-its-kind global retail hub at Manhattan West.”
The former American Bible Society building (L); SOM’s new design for 1865 Broadway (R)
In the fall of 2015, the American Bible Society moved from their long-time home at Broadway and 61st Street to Philadelphia. Their Columbus Circle/Lincoln Center headquarters was built in 1965 by architects Roy O. Allen Jr. and Donald C. Smith of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, who created a 12-story Brutalist structure that was the first in the city constructed with load-bearing, pre-cast concrete exterior walls. But with the institution’s recent departure came the sale of the building at 1865 Broadway for $300 million to AvalonBay Communities. The developer returned to the original architectural firm to create a new condo-rental tower at the site, and CityRealty has now uncovered SOM‘s first official rendering of what will replace their former work, which, interestingly enough, harkens back to the Brutalist aesthetic.
With New York City’s population on its way to nine million, the city’s infrastructure may be impressive, but it has its limits–including red tape and resource shortages–that will make it difficult to withstand the projected surge. Reminding us of the transformative innovations of Robert Moses–he of the big ideas and ego to match–Crains invited 12 firms who make their living wrangling infrastructure to hit us with some big ideas. Ahead of the upcoming summit, “Getting Ready for 9 Million New Yorkers,” they’ve shared these visions for future (bigger, better) New York from top architects, designers and real estate experts. Ideas include some that have already proven themselves (repurposing existing track beds) and some already in the works (Bushwick’s Rheingold brewery project) to others that Robert Moses might not love (shrinking the city’s highways).
On Tuesday, an agreement was reached between West Side elected officials and the Port Authority that said the agency would expand the planning process for a new $10 billion bus terminal with more local input. And just today they’ve revealed the five proposals that were submitted to a design competition to replace the currently loathed site. Crain’s brings us videos of the ideas, which come from big-name firms Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, Arcadis, AECOM in partnership with Skidmore Owings & Merrill, Perkins Eastman, and Archilier Architecture Consortium. Though this seems counter to the agreement, John Degnan, the Port Authority’s New Jersey-appointed chairman, said he doubts “any one of them will be the final design,” since they either further complicate existing planning issues or cost billions over budget.
6sqft revealed renderings at the beginning of the year of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill‘s Hudson Yards-adjacent, five million-square-foot Manhattan West project, which “will include two office towers, a rental tower with 844 apartments at 435 West 31st Street, retail space and a new landscaped public plaza designed by James Corner Field Operations, the firm responsible for the design of the High Line.” As of Tuesday, September 6th, New Yorkers earning 60 percent of the area median income can apply for 169 affordable apartments in the residential tower; they’ll range from $913/month studios to $1,359/month three-bedrooms.
After much deliberation, Barnard College’s administration announced plans last year to build a new teaching and learning center at the heart of its four-acre campus in Morningside Heights. Now with demolition of the former library nearly complete, groundwork and excavation for the new 11-story structure will soon begin.
The upcoming 128,000-square-foot interdisciplinary building is being designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and will incorporate several tiers of terraces to increase outdoor access for students and faculty. The 189-foot-tall structure aspires to become the college’s hub of academic and intellectual life and will feature an updated and expanded library, a digital commons with five teaching labs, and a computational science center that will connect to the adjacent Altschul Hall. All three of the resources will utilize new media and digital technologies to enhance student learning methods.
Photo: Rendering of 685 First Avenue designed by architect Richard Meier for developer Sheldon Solow VIZE/RICHARD MEIER & PARTNERS ARCHITECTS
Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Meier has long been known for his modestly-scaled building designs with exteriors on the whiter side of pale. But for developer Sheldon Solow‘s new 42-story 556-unit residential building, currently under construction at East 39th Street and First Avenue on Manhattan’s East Side, the New York Five starchitect will be designing a tower of black glass.
The developer will be unveiling a residential tower, Meier’s tallest and largest in New York City, according to the Wall Street Journal, that will consist of a rectangular slab with a recessed niche above the midsection, “a polished specimen of neo-Modernist simplicty” in typical Meier fashion–except it will be clad in glassy black. The mix seems to perfectly represent a collaboration between old friends and East Hampton near-neighbors Meier and Solow, who has pointed out that “All my buildings are black.”
On the heels of the news that Hudson Yards will add $18.9 billion to the city’s GDP and the reconfirmation that the developers will build an iconic $200 million sculpture at the center of the plan’s plaza, Related quietly launched a new Hudson Yards Living website, providing general information for prospective residents and a few new images of the $20 billion master plan.