Vishaan Chakrabarti

Architecture, Design, Midtown West

All images courtesy of ASTM North America

Earlier this year, Vornado Realty Trust shelved plans to redevelop the area around Penn Station with several office buildings, citing poor economic conditions. Revenue from the proposed 18-million-square-foot redevelopment of Midtown West was expected to help fund the renovation of the despised transit hub. With that proposal on hold, an alternative plan has materialized that promises to leave Madison Square Garden in place and cost less money than the original project. And on Monday, the design team announced a new addition: Vishaan Chakrabarti of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU).

Details here

Policy, Transportation, Urban Design

If parking was removed and private cars banned on West 45th Street; courtesy of PAU

In a city that currently has the most streets closed to cars in the country, with plans in store to add more designated busways and charge vehicles entering its busiest streets, is New York ready to be car-free? Architect Vishaan Chakrabarti and his firm Practice for Architecture and Urbanism think so. The New York Times took a look at PAU’s plan, “N.Y.C. (Not Your Car),” which calls for a ban of private motor vehicles in Manhattan and an expansion of sidewalks and pedestrian-only space.

Learn more

Architecture, Design, Landmarks Preservation Commission

Domino Sugar Refinery rendering via Practice of Architectural Urbanism

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission approved on Tuesday a project to redesign the iconic 19th century Domino Sugar Factory building in Williamsburg into a modern office space. While the proposal from Vishaan Chakrabarti’s Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU) was first rejected by the commission in October, during the hearing Tuesday, LPC said the revised design “sets the landmark free.” Overall, the commissioners were enthusiastic about the retention of part of the original building, giving credit to PAU’s “novel and creative approach.”

More this way

Major Developments, New Developments, Starchitecture, Williamsburg


292-314 Kent. Rendering by Practice for Architecture and Urbanism via Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Update 10/31/17: The Landmarks Preservation Commission did not approve the new plans at the hearing, instead suggesting the architects present revised designs that address how the newly exposed brick will be preserved and how the ground floor will interact with the open space. The Commissioners were divided on the glass topper, with some feeling it appropriately references the building’s arches and others feeling it inappropriately treats the structure as a ruin. 

6sqft previously shared the latest round of designs for the three million-square-foot Domino Sugar Factory mega-development in Williamsburg, done by Vishaan Chakrabarti‘s Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU). Developer Two Trees broke ground on the first tower in the Domino Sugar Refinery Master Plan last spring, and the lottery opened for 104 affordable units at the SHoP Architects-designed building, the 16-story 325 Kent Avenue. Now, more new renderings of the complex have been released ahead of an October 31 presentation before the Landmarks Preservation Commission (h/t Brownstoner).

More new renderings this way

Major Developments, New Developments, Starchitecture, Williamsburg

Williamsburg, Domino Sugar Factory, Domino Refinery, PAU, Walentas, Vishaan Chakrabarti

PAU design for the Domino Refinery. Image courtesy of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism.

The past few years have seen as much change as progress in the rise of the three million-square-foot Domino Sugar Factory mega-development in Williamsburg; Two Trees broke ground on the first tower in the Domino Sugar Refinery Master Plan last spring, and the lottery opened for 104 affordable units at the SHoP Architects-designed building, the 16-story 325 Kent Avenue. Last October we saw the first set of renderings by architecture firm Beyer Blinder Belle for the refinery building that will house Two Trees’ new 380,000-square-foot office space at the massive new complex; the corresponding plans had been approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in 2014. Now, Justin Davidson writes in New York Magazine that a new round of designs by Vishaan Chakrabarti‘s Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU) have been revealed.

See the new designs

Major Developments, Midtown West, Polls, Transportation

When Governor Cuomo revealed his plans for a new Penn Station-Moynihan Train Hall complex early last week, things seemed to be moving full steam towards a 2020 completion date thanks to flashy renderings and the selection of a high-profile developer-builder team. But architect Vishaan Chakrabarti was not convinced, and he and his firm the Practice for Architecture and Urbanism decided to create their own vision, one that repurposes Madison Square Garden, a facet of the plan he feels Cuomo failed to address.

Tell us which scheme you prefer

Major Developments, Midtown West, Starchitecture, Transportation

Earlier this week, Governor Cuomo revealed plans to transform a revamped Penn Station-Moynihan Train Hall complex into a “world-class 21st century transportation hub.” Despite the flashy new renderings and promise of a 2020 completion date, not everyone is sold on the plan, including Vishaan Chakrabarti, former principal of SHoP Architects and founder of the Practice for Architecture and Urbanism. As outlined in the Times, he feels that Cuomo’s scheme has one glaring omission–Madison Square Garden. Instead of demolishing the arena, as earlier plans had called for, Chakrabarti proposes repurposing it and “using its stripped skeleton to make a glass pavilion, which becomes a neighborhood gathering spot, not just a station.” The venue would then move to the west end of the Farley Building.

Lots more details and renderings ahead

Celebrities, Recent Sales, Starchitecture

Image: Vishaan Chakrabarti image © Henry Hung Photography superimposed on a model unit image

Vishaan Chakrabarti is closing out 2015 with a bang. After not only making a $4.995 million sale on his Flatiron loft earlier this month but also leaving his position at SHoP Architects to start his own firm, Partnership for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU), the starchitect has just closed on a $5.78 million unit a FXFowle’s dramatic Flatiron tower, 35XV. According to the Post, Chakrabarti’s new pad measures just slightly smaller than his last at 2,324 square feet, but hosts three spacious bedrooms, each with en suite baths, and comes outfitted with a Lutron home automation system that includes touch-pads, remote controlled shades, lighting systems and temperature control.

Check out the floorplan here


Vishaan Chakrabarti

Less than a month ago, 6sqft noticed that prominent architect Vishaan Chakrabarti, a principal at starchitecture firm SHoP, had sold his Flatiron loft for $5 million. We speculated as to why he was selling the massive pad, and though we’re still not sure, we do know he won’t be departing NYC any time soon. A press release put out today announces that Chakrabarti is leaving SHoP (he’s already been removed from the website’s staff page) to start his own firm, called the Partnership for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU), which will focus on the advancement of cities. According to the statement, the new NY-based firm will work “to advance groundbreaking architecture and urbanism projects to build the physical, economic, social and cultural networks of cities with an emphasis on beauty, function and user experience.”

More on the new firm

Celebrities, Flatiron, Recent Sales

12 West 17th Street, Flatiron loft, Vishaan Chakrabarti, homes of architects

SHoP Architects is known for its cutting-edge designs, from supertall towers like 111 West 57th Street to massive schemes like the Domino Sugar Factory. So it comes as a bit of a surprise that one of the firm’s principals, Vishaan Chakrabarti, chose to settle down in a rather traditional Flatiron loft. But perhaps he’s looking to get in on the luxury condo trend that SHoP is such a part of, as he and his wife Maria Altaris (also an architect) have unloaded their massive pad at 12 West 17th Street for $4,995,000, according to city records released today.

Chakrabarti previously served as the director of the Manhattan office for the Department of City Planning, as well as a senior executive at the Related Companies. In addition to his current role at SHoP, he is a professor at the Center for Urban Real Estate at Columbia. The architect couple bought the full-floor, three-bedroom unit in 2012 for a significantly lower price of $2,725,000 after moving from a duplex in Tribeca with their young son and daughter. Chakrabarti told the Times at the time, “When I decided to become an architect and a professor instead of a real estate developer, it required a little lifestyle shift. More work for less pay.” Not deterred, however, they undertook a gut renovation, clearly referencing their design history books and outfitting the 2,500-square-foot space with modern Chesterfield sofas, a Saarinen dining table, Eames chair, and Barcelona bench.

Look around the loft here


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