September 28, 2010
by: Linda G. Miller

In this issue:
· Red Room on the Bowery
· Message in a (Klein) Bottle
· The New LIFE Secondary School Gives New Life to Vacant Building
· Ramapo College Completes Non-Denominational Center
· Healthcare Network is Designed with User Input
· Gateway Arch to Scale Down to its Ground

Red Room on the Bowery


Sperone Westwater Gallery.

© Nigel Young/Foster + Partners

For its 35th anniversary, the Sperone Westwater Gallery has moved into a new eight-story building designed by Foster + Partners, doubling the size of its previous space. Located on the Bowery near the New Museum, the design responds to the site’s long, slender footprint and features a double-height, 27-foot-tall exhibition space at street level with a sky-lit gallery. The building includes a sculpture terrace, private viewing galleries, and a setback at the sixth floor marking the location of the administrative offices, library, and mechanical spaces. Visible through the milled glass fa çade is the gallery’s red “moving room” — a space inserted into an 85-foot-high, room-sized elevator — designed to create both a temporary transition between the exhibition floors and usable as an extension to one of the exhibition floors.

Message in a (Klein) Bottle


Infinity Chapel for the Tenth Church of Christ, Scientist.

Michael Moran

The forms of the Infinity Chapel for the Tenth Church of Christ, Scientist, designed by hanrahanMeyers Architects, evoke the shape of a Klein bottle or Moebius strip. The design of the 8,000-square-foot sanctuary is a contemporary interpretation of a fifth-dimensional figure — a hypercube that incorporates ideas of light, time, space, and space-time — with surfaces that peel back to reveal spaces beyond. In a departure from traditional Christian Science Reading Rooms, a combined lobby and reading room is an open space that is as transparent as possible to the street. A clear, frameless glass wall separates the reading room from the chapel; beyond is a garden chapel, created from a space formerly used for trash collection. Tubes of light are inset in the floor to transmit light up to the reading room and the chapel, as well as down to the Sunday School and Board Room below.

New LIFE Secondary School Gives New Life to Vacant Building


New LIFE Secondary School.

Magnusson Architecture and Planning

The 264-seat New LIFE Secondary School for students with emotional, behavioral, and academic disabilities recently opened. Located in the Melrose section of the South Bronx and designed by Magnusson Architecture and Planning (MAP), the project entailed a gut renovation and adaptive reuse of a vacant two-story warehouse building. Taking advantage of the existing floor-plates and large windows, both interior and exterior modifications are designed to maximize daylight and create an open environment. The main has glazed openings facing the street, and a new skylight brings daylight into the core circulation area. The second floor features a double-height “green wall.” To serve the student population most effectively, individual staff offices and resource rooms are interspersed between classrooms and distributed throughout the building.

Ramapo College Completes Non-Denominational Center


Padovano Peace Pavilion.

©Norman McGrath

Holzman Moss Bottino Architecture has completed the Salameno Spiritual Center at Ramapo College in Mahwah, NJ. The 1,525-square-foot, non-denominational center was conceived as a sanctuary for meditation, reflection, and celebration, where students and members of the college community can practice their faiths, discuss ethical issues, and seek quiet refuge. Constructed on what was originally sacred ground for Native Americans, and sited on the south shore of a pond at the center of campus, the center consists of four structures, two outdoor gathering places, six small woodland gardens, and a deck with views across a pond. The Padovano Peace Pavilion, the largest structure, is composed of triangular and trapezoidal sloping surfaces rising 25 feet enclosing an 800-square-foot interior space.

Healthcare Network is Designed with User Input


Albert Einstein Healthcare Network.


Ground was recently broken on a new regional medical center in suburban Philadelphia, designed by the NY office of Perkins+Will for the Albert Einstein Healthcare Network. The 360,000-square-foot facility was shaped by user input and designed to optimize patient-centered care while maintaining an environmentally responsible approach. As much as possible, services are decentralized and treatment is deployed at the bedside, including pre-procedure areas and emergency room exams. In addition, the hospital features integrated interventional platform, co-locating surgical operating rooms, interventional radiology treatment rooms, and cath labs within the same suite along with shared pre- and post-treatment spaces. The consolidation of surgical and interventional intake and recovery spaces is intended to not only eliminate duplication of services, but also to improve patient flow. The curtain wall at the five-story atrium is sloped to provide self-shading from the sun, and high performance, low-e glazing and window shading devices reduce heat loads. Interior systems include highly efficient water fixtures and mechanical systems, coordinated to reduce the number of access points and streamlining long-term maintenance.

Gateway Arch to Scale Down to its Ground


The City+The Arch+The River 2015.

Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates

A multi-disciplinary team lead by landscape architecture firm Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) has been selected for the planning phase of The City+The Arch+The River 2015 International Design Competition. Plans will revitalize the park and surrounding areas at the Gateway Arch, including the MO and IL banks of the Mississippi River. Responding to the memorial is the central challenge of the project: the MVVA team intends to expand the site’s scalar and experiential range by designing more intimate landscapes. They envision a connective landscape that will not only draw visitors from around the world, but also serve as a new locus of civic energy in the daily lives of the citizens of St. Louis. Over a 90-day period, the team — NY-based team members include Arup, Guy Nordenson and Associates, HR&A Advisors, James Carpenter Design Associates, and Steven Holl Architects — will work in partnership with the sponsors, the City of St. Louis, the National Park Service, and others to further define program requirements. The project completion date is set for 10.28.2015, the 50th anniversary of the topping off of Eero Saarinen’s 630-foot stainless steel arch.


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