September 15, 2009
by Linda G. Miller

In this issue:
· September 11 Memorial & Museum Design Unveiled
· SHoP Architects Joins the Nets Design Team
· Manhattan’s MOCA Opens
· Yeshiva University Opens Study Center Uptown
· Design Trust Grows Urban Farms & Preserves Creative Industries
· Urban Quad and Commons Encourage Student/Faculty Interaction
· ICU Creates Healing Environment
· Steven Holl Architects’ Big Leap Across the Pond


September 11 Memorial & Museum Design Unveiled

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West Chamber with the Last Column in the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

Courtesy National September 11 Memorial & Museum

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum revealed Davis Brody Bond Aedas’ architectural design for the museum at the 9/11 Memorial Preview Site. According to the plan, visitors will enter the museum through the pavilion located between the two memorial pools on the northeast quadrant of the memorial plaza. The pavilion, designed by Snøhetta, will provide information, ticketing services, and security screening. Visitors will then access the museum’s lower-level lobby and public gathering space, known as “Memorial Hall,” which in turn leads to the exhibition spaces at the bedrock level. To reach the primary exhibition space, visitors will descend a gently ramped “ribbon,” echoing the ramp that once was used by construction workers to help build the World Trade Center, and used again in the aftermath of the attacks for the recovery and clean-up of the site. From the ramp, vistas will provide a sense of the enormity of the site, the scale of the original Twin Towers, and offer views of the preserved portion of the slurry wall.

Visitors will be able to stand between the locations of the original towers and experience their scale, which will be referenced by two metal-clad volumes. Key artifacts include the “Survivor Stairs,” the “Last Column,” and interpretive exhibitions designed by Thinc Design together with Local Projects. Programming will honor victims of the September 11, 2001, and February 26, 1993 terrorist attacks, preserve the history of the events, and provide historical context for 9/11, its aftermath, and continuing implications. The design features the preserved box column remnants that mark the footprints of the original towers. Where possible, remains of the original slab will also be preserved in the footprints.


SHoP Architects Joins the Nets Design Team

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Barclays Center.

©SHoP Architects

After scrapping Gehry Partners’ original design (for being too expensive), Forest City Ratner Companies, the developer of Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn, has signed SHoP Architects to collaborate with Ellerbe Becket on the design of the Barclays Center. The 675,000-square-foot sports and entertainment venue will become the home court for the Nets basketball team. The facility will have 18,000 seats for basketball and up to 19,000 seats for concerts.

The building design consists of three separate, woven bands. The first engages the ground where the weathered steel exterior rises and lowers to create a sense of visual transparency. A canopy over the entrance cantilevers 30 feet high creating a visual transition and framing a large viewing portal into the seating area. The second, a glass band, allows views from inside and outside of the arena. The third band floats around the roof and varies in transparency, the weathered steel creating backlit patterns. The main concourse is placed at street level, allowing a direct view to and from the street as well. Large areas of glass at street level are intended to make it not only pedestrian-friendly, but also encourage a strong visual connection to its urban context. Construction is expected to begin later this year, with an anticipated opening during the 2011-12 season. The Center for Architecture conducted a public forum on Monday, September 14th, and images and a model of the facility are on view at Brooklyn Borough Hall through 09.18.09. (Tuesday, 09.15: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm; Wednesday, 09.16: 8:30 am – 8 pm; Friday, 09.18: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm.)


Manhattan’s MOCA Opens

The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA), dedicated to reclaiming, preserving, and presenting the history and culture of Chinese people in the U.S., is poised to officially open on September 22. Designed by Maya Lin Studio, the new 14,000-square-foot venue on Centre Street has entrances both in Chinatown and SoHo. The museum features multiple exhibition galleries, interactive visitor kiosks, a multi-purpose auditorium/classroom, a research center, and a flexible space for programs. The design juxtaposes the past with the present. At the heart of the museum is its sky-lit courtyard, left raw and untouched, harkening back to a traditional Chinese courtyard house. The core exhibition spaces wrap around the courtyard; biographic films projected onto the glass windows facing the courtyard will offer a glimpse into the stories and faces of Chinese Americans through history — from the 1850s to the present day. MOCA began as a community-based organization in 1980 and has evolved into the keeper of the community’s documented and cultural history.


Yeshiva University Opens Study Center Uptown

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Glueck Center for Jewish Study at Yeshiva University.

Courtesy Glueck Center for Jewish Study

The new 60,000-square-foot Glueck Center for Jewish Study at Yeshiva University recently opened on the school’s Washington Heights campus. Designed by HOK, the center’s six floors and lower-level archives house a two-story, 500-seat Torah Study Hall, modern lecture halls, eleven classrooms, conference and seminar rooms, faculty and student lounges, a dean’s suite, 50 faculty and administrative offices, library archival space, a patio, and gardens. The design meets the university’s mission of Torah Umadda — the synthesis of general and Jewish studies — by linking the Glueck Center and the Gottesman Library via a ground-floor atrium. The façade of channel glass, recessed sidelights, and Vetter stone blends into the fabric of the campus. The center is the first new building on this campus — one of six in NYC — in 20 years.


Design Trust Grows Urban Farms & Preserves Creative Industries

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Five Borough Farm.

Courtesy Design Trust for Public Space

The Design Trust for Public Space is about to embark on two new projects. Five Borough Farm, a collaboration between NYC- and Brooklyn-based urban farm Added Value, will develop a kit-of-parts designed to replicate the farm’s community-oriented model throughout the city. The second, Made in Midtown, will commission a comprehensive study of the fashion industry’s presence in the Garment District and its place in New York’s creative economy. Partnering with the Council of Fashion Designers of America, this project will recommend place-based strategies to strengthen and preserve creative industries in New York. The resulting study will help guide policies for light manufacturing industries citywide.


Urban Quad and Commons Encourage Student/Faculty Interaction

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The Commons.

Courtesy Marymount Manhattan College

Marymount Manhattan College on East 71st Street is composed of two buildings, one built by John Russell Pope in 1929 for the New York Junior League. To complement its urban surroundings without increasing its footprint, the school has completed two renovations, both designed by Lori Kupfer. The Lowerre Family Terrace, a 5,000-square-foot rooftop quad features a water wall, heated trellis, and garden areas. The Commons further encourages interaction among students, faculty, and staff with nearly 20,000 square feet carved out of the third and fourth floors of two separate buildings. Connected by a staircase, the upper floor contains a food servery, and the lower floor includes a student lounge with flexible, private areas that can be used for meetings. A glass canopy and vanishing glass wall system opens out to the terrace, which links the college’s Main and Nugent Buildings and provides students with access to the newly renovated Thomas J. Shanahan Library.


ICU Creates Healing Environment

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NYU Langone Medical Center.

Copyright Sarah Mechling — Perkins Eastman

The NYU Langone Medical Center recently completed a 35-bed, 19,600-square-foot intensive care unit on the 15th floor of Tisch Hospital, the medical center’s flagship 705-bed acute-care facility. Designed by Perkins Eastman, the patient- and family-centered unit offers state-of-the-art technology, privacy, and space to accommodate open visiting hours to create an environment more conducive to healing. The large, private patient rooms feature natural light, views of the city, and flat-screen televisions. The spaces were carefully programmed for families to visit and staff to work efficiently. Other ICU patient safety features include computerized charting systems inside and outside of each room with multi-patient video surveillance technology.


Steven Holl Architects’ Big Leap Across the Pond

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Glasgow School of Art.

Steven Holl Architects with JM Architects model

An international competition has resulted in Steven Holl Architects with Glasgow -based JM Architects being selected to design a new building for the Glasgow School of Art (GSA) in Garnethill, Glasgow, Scotland. The team will work with the GSA to refine the school’s masterplan and design a new building to enhance the teaching, learning, and research facilities available to students, staff, and the public. The new building will be located opposite the 1909 Charles Rennie Mackintosh Building — recently voted the UK’s favorite building of the past 175 years in a national survey conducted by the Royal Institute of British Architects. The competition, which was to find an architect-led team and not to select a design, received submissions from more than 150 firms internationally from which seven were shortlisted; the Steven Holl Architects/JM Architects team won in a unanimous decision. This is Steven Holl’s first project in the UK.

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