In this issue:
·Times Square Has a BIG Heart
· Brooklyn Botanic Garden Shape-Shifts with New Visitor Center
· Brooklyn Museum Opens Doors to New Shop
· Aberdeen Weaves a Web of New Landscape with Old Streets
· New Campus Center Peels Back Layers of Long Island Community
· Mitikah Office Tower is Modern Take on Aztec Forms
Times Square Has a BIG Heart
The Times Square Alliance has selected “City Pulse,” by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), as its fourth annual Valentine’s Day public art installation. The 10-foot-tall cube consists of 400 transparent acrylic tubes lit with LEDs that refract the lights of Times Square. Designed to respond to the flow of people, air, and movement, a red heart suspended in the center of the cube appears to pulsate as air currents move the tubes that surround it. When people touch a sensor in front of the sculpture the heart glows brighter and beats faster. The installation will be on view 02.06-29.12.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Shape-Shifts with New Visitor Center
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden announced that its new 20,000-square-foot Visitor Center, designed by Weiss/Manfredi, will open this coming May. The sinuous glass building is composed of two linked forms that seem to appear, disappear, and change shape as the visitor moves through and around them. The center features an orientation room, information lobby, gift shop, exhibition gallery, café, a leaf-shaped event space, and a 10,000-square-foot living roof containing 40,000 plants that will change with the seasons. One side of the building has a pleated copper roof that was designed to echo the garden’s landmarked 1917 McKim, Mead & White administration building. Since the center is built into a preexisting berm, thermal efficiency is increased and a geo-exchange system heats and cools the interior spaces. The fritted glass walls offer veiled views into the garden, minimize heat gain, maximize natural light, and act as a deterrent to bird strikes. In addition, a series of rain gardens collect and filter runoff to improve storm-water management. The project was recognized by the NYC Public Design Commission with a 2008 Award for Excellence in Design and is expected to earn LEED Gold.
Brooklyn Museum Opens Doors to New Shop
A new and larger Brooklyn Museum Shop, designed by Grand Rapids-based Visbeen Associates, is set to open in April, as part of the multi-phase transformation of much of the museum’s first floor. The 4,150-square-foot store is organized around an arc shape that is reflected in a curved jewelry counter and echoed in a coffered ceiling. Two light fixtures, created by Brooklyn artist David Weeks, will be focal points of the design. The shop will feature 225 linear feet of oak casework with metal fittings in which merchandise, such as products from established and emerging Brooklyn designers and artisans, will be displayed. The wide entrance will provide visual access to the Great Hall, and a rear entrance will connect to temporary exhibition galleries. Ennead Architects served as architect-of-record for the project.
Aberdeen Weaves a Web of New Landscape with Old Streets
Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Aberdeen City Garden Trust recently selected a team led by Diller Scofidio + Renfro to transform the city center of Scotland’s third largest city. Known as “Granite Web,” the winning proposal, designed in collaboration with Scottish architects Keppie Design and Philadelphia-based landscape architects OLIN Studios, celebrates the three-dimensional aspects of the city’s Union Terrace Gardens. The design reveals historic arches, vaults, and bridges, and retains its balustrades and statues, part of Aberdeen’s legacy. The plan adds 70,000 square feet of green space within eight gardens and features two new plazas; a 5,000-person amphitheater; a 215,000-square-foot exhibition hall; and a 500-seat black box theater, all woven into the landscape. The project is expected to be completed in 2016.
New Campus Center Peels Back Layers of Long Island Community
Butler Rogers Baskett Architects
With the completion of the new “Public Square” campus center, Molloy College in Rockville Centre is transforming from a commuter school into a 24-hour learning community. Designed by BRB Architects (Butler Rogers Baskett Architects), the 57,000-square-foot building not only supports activities for students, but its new 550-seat Madison Theater also adds to the cultural life of the public by offering dance, theater, and music performances. The building is organized as a series of three layers separated by open-ended circulation spines. The masonry-clad western wing houses support spaces and enclosed offices. The loft-like central atrium layer allows for multiple uses containing an art gallery, student club workrooms, lounges, and a flexible technologically-enabled space. The central space also houses a theater, rehearsal space, and music department offices, designed in collaboration with Charles Cosler Theatre Design. Overlooking the quad, the glass- and zinc-clad east wing houses a café and lounges.
Mitikah Office Tower is Modern Take on Aztec Forms
Richard Meier & Partners
Richard Meier & Partners has revealed the design for the 34-story Mitikah Office Tower in Mexico City, part of a mixed-use master plan designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. The tower, rising above a transparent and translucent base, is inspired by Aztec forms. The lobby is visible from all approaches, and anchors the building to the exposed retail plaza and adjacent commercial space. The south and east façades are composed of a continuous, high-performance curtain wall modulated by subtle folds, while the north and west elevations have a curtain wall system with modular and orthogonal expressions in proportion to the surrounding context. Floor-to-ceiling glass walls offer views of downtown Mexico City, the surrounding mountains, and the central valley. A sky garden with an integrated conference pavilion on the 19th floor, and a restaurant and sky-bar on the 34th floor provide destinations. The tower, the firm’s third project in Mexico, is expected to be LEED-certified and completed in 2014.
THIS JUST IN…
Studio a+i won the NYC AIDS Memorial Park Design Competition for its entry “Infinite Forest.” NY-based Rodrigo Zamora and Mike Robitz were one of three runners-up. Pending City Council approval, the AIDS Memorial Park Coalition aims for construction to be complete in time for World AIDS Day on 12.01.14. All submissions can be viewed at http://AIDSMemorialPark.org.
For the exhibition “007_Urban_Songline,” by Dutch performance, sound, and installation artist Allard van Hoorn, the façade of Storefront for Art and Architecture has been transformed into an interactive, responsive musical instrument. Experience the work through 02.18.12.
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery in Schermerhorn Hall on Columbia University’s Morningside Heights campus is hosting a comprehensive exhibition of the career of Félix Candela (1910-1997). Twenty-one scaled models, photographs, a documentary film, videos, animations, and a selection of original architectural drawings and renderings will be on view. The exhibition will run 02.10-03.31.12.