by Linda G. Miller
Auto Row Redux: Viñoly transforms Packard Motor Car Company Service Building
Rafael Viñoly Architects is transforming Albert Kahn’s historic Packard Motor Car Company Service Building at 787 Eleventh Avenue on Manhattan’s Automobile Row in Hell’s Kitchen. Built in 1929, the eight-story Art Deco building is being renovated and reconfigured to contain five floors of car showroom and service space plus five floors of commercial office space, for a total of close to 400,000 square feet. Reallocating existing zoning allowed for a two-floor addition topped by a recreational green roof deck. The design removes the existing seventh floor slab to create a double-height office space. The new ninth and tenth floors of the building, clad in glass, will be set back from the perimeter to create a 12,000-square-foot continuous and private roof terrace that will serve as a gathering place for the building’s office employees. By relocating the employee parking from the existing roof to the basement level, the design frees the roof for core and shell expansion on top of the existing structure and limits intrusion to the showroom and services. A main feature of the structure is its one-acre floors and wide column spacing; the open layouts allow tenants to fit more employees per floor. To accommodate the new office floors, the ground floor entrance will be renovated, and a new building lobby will serve all levels through an office elevator core, off which restrooms, fire stairs, and mechanical and electrical distribution spaces will reside. Interiors feature large, open, daylit spaces that can be fit out as necessary for commercial office tenants. To accommodate the extension, the building’s façade, famous for its Mayan imagery, glyphs, giant rosettes, and fluted pilasters, will be renovated and fortified.
Contemporary Cuisine in a Modernist Restaurant: New Practice Studio designs Hunan noodle eatery
For the new eatery Hunan Slurp, which serves authentic rice noodles from the Hunan Province, New Practice Studio created a dining space that’s in dialogue with the East Village street scene. The design of the 3,000-square-foot restaurant, conceived as a place to look into and look out from, is a continuous volume carved out of a storefront into the interior. A group of communal dining tables anchors the center of the restaurant and adds to the continuity of the space. The interplay between white plastered walls and wood screens creates a bright and warm atmosphere. The rhythmic wood screen with fillet corners reinforces the geometry of the space, while resembling rice noodles. The screen sits in front of existing brick walls, where carefully-designed back lighting adds another layer of subtlety to the space. Slurp is owned and operated by a former oil painter who believes food is an extension of his art.
Detroit Revs Up: Ford commissions Snøhetta to re-envision Detroit projects
Ford has commissioned Snøhetta as the design leader to re-envision two major projects in their home state of Michigan. In Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood, Ford is building an innovation hub to further their vision for the future of transportation. This vision includes urban mobility solutions such as smart, connected vehicles, roads, parking, public transit, and autonomous and electric vehicles. The design team will collaborate with preservation architects Quinn Evans on the reuse and redevelopment of existing buildings, integrating them with new facilities and public spaces. The most prominent among these projects includes the redevelopment of the Michigan Central Station, completed in 1914 by Warren & Wetmore and Reed and Stem. Shuttered for over 30 years, the station and its 18-story tower will anchor the campus and will house many new facilities for both Ford and the public; it is expected to reopen in four years. With Snøhetta, Ford is also continuing to redevelop its existing facilities for research, engineering, and administration at their campus in Dearborn. The visioning process has already kicked off with an extensive user research phase to understand Ford’s overall culture and company organization. Throughout the summer of 2018, the design team will work to define the components of the program, with the conceptual design of the Dearborn campus to be completed later in the year.
Garden of Edible Delights: Cooper Robertson and MNLA team up to design NYBG Edible Academy
To meet a growing interest in urban vegetable gardening, particularly for New York City’s young learners, Cooper Robertson has designed a new and expanded campus for The New York Botanical Garden’s Children’s Gardening Program. The newly opened facility, called the Edible Academy, expands programs for children as well as teachers, families, and adults into a year-round teaching center focusing on the fundamental relationships between plants, gardening, sustainability, cooking, nutrition, and health. The three-acre campus is sited to highlight its setting, opening views down a steep wooded gorge to the Bronx River and its waterfall, as well as New York City’s largest uncut expanse of old growth forest. The project consists of simple building structures inspired by the vernacular forms of agricultural barns and sheds. It features a classroom building, a teaching greenhouse, a solar pavilion, and a 350-seat terraced amphitheater, as well as new display gardens. The heart of the project, the 5,300-square-foot, two-classroom building. The first classroom includes a demonstration kitchen that will offer nutrition education and inquiry-based learning sessions; the second classroom is equipped for both hands-on and distance learning programs. Each classroom offers year-round edible gardening programs and STEM education activities related to nutrition and health. Located at the entry to the classroom building, the Teaching Pavilion creates a front porch for the Edible Academy, with a cantilevered deck overlooking the Bronx River. This space will accommodate educational programs, cooking demonstrations, and seated outdoor dinners. Connected to the classroom building via a covered walkway and sited for maximum sun exposure, with winter temperature control and a shading system, a propagation greenhouse serves as a potting and growing area for seedlings as well as a child-friendly teaching space. A freestanding pavilion for school groups, referred to as the Solar Pavilion, is located at the southern end of the planting areas, and will provide a shaded gathering space for classes and special programs. Expanded garden areas include themed vegetable gardens focused on different age groups, global gardens hosting vegetables that are unique to different cultures around the world, and a meadow garden of native edible plants. Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects serves as the project’s landscape architect.
This Just In
The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) approved the Frick Collection’s expansion designed by Selldorf Architects in collaboration with Beyer Blinder Belle. LPC also designated the Boerum Hill Historic District Extension in Brooklyn, which contains a collection of largely intact 19th-century architecture.
Six design teams, including Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Studio Libeskind, and Steven Holl Architects, have been shortlisted for the University College Dublin’s Future Campus International Design Competition. Final submissions and team interviews will be held in July 2018, with the winner announcement anticipated for August 2018.
122 years of back issues of Architectural Record will become part of USModernist Library, the largest open digital collection of major 20th-century architecture magazines in the world, which provides free access to approximately 2.1 million downloadable pages. The back issues will eventually be available on the magazine’s website as well.
ICYMI: Caño Martin Peña: A Blueprint for Better, a short documentary film that highlights the resiliency efforts in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, kicked off the fourth annual AIA Film Challenge. If you missed it during the A’18, you can watch it here.