by Linda G. Miller
In this issue:
Avant-Garde Film Mecca Expands: LPC gives green light to Anthology Film Archives expansion by Bone/Levine Architects
Book Marked: Kew Gardens Hills branch library by WorkAC to open
The White City’s New White Tower: Richard Meier’s Rothschild Tower opens in Israel
Lucky Lifestyle: Lynch Eisinger Design Architects design three-generation home in Queens
Avant-Garde Film Mecca Expands
The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) recently gave the green light for a long-awaited plan to implement additions, designed by Bone/Levine Architects, to the Anthology Film Archives building located at 32 Second Avenue. Upon completion, Anthology will assume its pride of place in the East Village/Lower East Side Historic District, boasting an additional story constructed with coated copper façade with the word “Anthology” embedded in a metal mesh at the top of the building. The design adds approximately 8,000 square feet of new space. The additional story, the extra height in accordance to the area’s zoning, will house Anthology’s 5,000-square-foot library and will be topped by a roof terrace for events. A new infill in the alleyway in the rear of the building contains a cafe and three additional layers for archival spaces. New MEP systems will be installed, with attention paid to protecting Anthology’s archives. The scale and massing of the addition is informed by the architectural proportions and scale of the original 1917 three-story Renaissance Revival building, used as a courthouse until 1979. Anthology Film Archives preserves avant-garde and experimental film and video; maintains a reference library containing the world’s largest collection of books, periodicals, stills, and other paper materials related to avant-garde cinema; and screens more than 900 films annually. The proposed expansion project, also known as “the completion project,” creates spaces to support Anthology’s current and future operation that were not completed in the first conversion, designed by Austrian architect Raimund Abraham (1933-2010) in the 1980s. The building was then adapted to house a 66-seat and a 175-seat theater, a reference library, a film preservation department, offices, and a gallery.
Announced in 2010, the long-awaited Kew Gardens Hills branch of the Queens Library is finally opening after several years of construction fits and starts. Located in Flushing, the new building replaces the original library, which was built in 1967. The library has increased in size by 3,000 square feet to a total of 11,660 square feet. Designed by WorkAC, the building is organized around a perimeter of open rooms for adults, teens, children, and staff. The band is capped with a green roof, completing a continuous loop of green with the building’s side gardens. The façade lifts from the library’s exterior walls allowing passersby to see the activities going on inside. The building’s apex is the main reading room at the most public corner, with a second smaller peak at the children’s room. Between these two peaks, the façade dips to provide privacy at staff areas. The exterior facade is made from GFRC in a curtain-like pattern of vertical folds. An awning is created by folding a section of this façade over the street, as one would mark a place in a favorite book. The library’s large windows allow for natural light to enter deep into the building, which reduces the building’s carbon footprint. Additionally, the building is certified LEED Silver, with the green roof shrinking energy costs and better managing stormwater runoff. The project was supervised by the NYC Department of Design and Construction.
The White City’s New White Tower
Richard Meier & Partners has completed Rothschild Tower, the firm’s first international residential tower and first project in Israel. The project is located on trendy Rothschild Boulevard, a civic and cultural promenade that cuts through Tel Aviv’s White City under a canopy of trees. The White City, a UNESCO Heritage City, contains 4,000 Bauhaus buildings dating mostly from 1931 to 1956, as well as subsequent designs that were built as a tribute to the style. The 42-story tower is inspired by the scale and Bauhaus design principles of its neighbors, based on functionality and an economy of means using modern mass-produced materials, and in this case, a repetitive planning module. The tower’s lightness and transparency are the result of a double-layer façade composed of clear glass with a delicate white louver screen inspired by ventilated protective layers of traditional Middle Eastern clothing. Prominent corner balconies are derived from the low to mid-rise neighboring buildings. The tower, which contains 147 units, rests on a retail base; the lobby and retail spaces are open to the surrounding street. Tel Aviv-based BLK Architects and Town Planners served as associate architects.
The Lucky House is currently under construction on the border of East Elmhurst/Jackson Heights in Queens for one fortunate family named Lucky. Designed by Lynch Eisinger Design Architects (LED), for a three-generational family of five, the single-family home makes the most of a long, narrow, sloping corner lot in a residential neighborhood while complying with a strict zoning envelope that dictated the narrow width of only 20 feet. Learning from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House, the architects located the deeply recessed entry to the house at its midpoint, enhancing the sense of privacy while simplifying the interior layout. The three-and-a-half-story structure is faced with sturdy brick masonry above a fair-faced concrete base and landscape walls, with zinc, steel, and mahogany details. The overall mass is divided into two small towers separated by a carved-out terrace, and connected by a glass-enclosed stairway. The heart of the house is the dining room/kitchen space and living room on the ground floor, which are shared by the entire family. The top floor contains a master suite with a big terrace; the middle has three-bedrooms including a second master suite and shared terrace. In all, four distinct terraces ranging from 120 to 500 square feet provide family members a variety of private outdoors spaces. MEP systems are integrated into the floors and ceilings to ensure that all 3,250 square feet of interior space is maximized.
This Just In
The ribbon was cut on the Dattner Architects-designed Riverside School for Makers and Artists (aka PS/IS 191 RSMA), the first new public school facility to open on the Upper West Side in decades. The five-story, 100,000-square-foot school is located within the 43-story Tower Two in the mixed-use Riverside Center development.
The Historic Districts Council released a report on the status of historic paving in New York City. Although protected features in historic districts, many of these stones are being eroded from the streets. They are ripped up, discarded. and paved over by utility companies who incorrectly complete their work. Each stone is supposed to be replaced in kind.
Ground was broken on Van Name Van Pelt Plaza/Richmond Terrace Wetlands on Staten Island’s North Shore. The project, which received a NYC Public Design Commission award last year, was designed by the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation.
The Regional Plan Association (RPA) has published a report entitled Crossing the Hudson: How to Increase Transit Capacity and Improve Commutes that calls for major changes to how transit operates between New Jersey and Manhattan.
Heading out East? Check out “Nishan Kazazian: Art, Architecture & Digital Installations.” The exhibition explores the works of the architect, artist, and designer Nishan Zazazian, AIA, and the relationships between art and architecture.