by AIA New York
Even the TLC Needs Some TLC
This fall ground will break on a net-zero expansion by TEN Arquitectos
TEN Arquitectos is reconfiguring and expanding the existing Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) Garage and Inspection facility. The facility, which is located at 24-55 Brooklyn Queens Expressway West, in Woodside, Queens, houses TLC employees and is the commission’s main inspection facility for medallion taxi cabs and TLC-licensed, for-hire vehicles. As the number of employees and vehicles is expected to continue increasing, the TLC needs a facility to keep up with demand. The facility’s existing office block will be demolished and replaced with an elevated, louver-screened structure of over 110,000 square feet that will span over the existing eight-lane garage. This will create additional traffic lanes, thus expediting operations and improving traffic flow on the adjacent roadway. The elevated office bar not only creates a gateway to the facility, but by lifting it off the ground, the facility’s footprint will be minimized. The plan also remediates structural degradation and foundation issues caused by deteriorating subsurface conditions. The facility was studied for net-zero building design as part of NYC’s 80×50 greenhouse gas emission reduction program, which included consideration of multiple advanced Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) such as underfloor air distribution. The design also includes a solar panel array and energy-efficient VRF equipment. Collaborating engineering firms include Langan (civil), WSP Group (structural), and Ettinger Engineering Associates (MEP), and Bialosky New York Architects and Planners are the project’s production architects. The project is being managed by the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) under its Design Excellence program and ground is expected to be broken in Fall 2019. The project was awarded an Excellence in Design Award from the Public Design Commission in 2017.
From Praying to Programming
Audible’s Innovation Cathedral opens in Newark
The ribbon was recently cut for Audible’s Innovation Cathedral, the company’s newest facility in Newark, NJ. Audible has adaptively-reused the Second Presbyterian Church, a Gothic-style building originally designed by William Bayard Willis and completed in 1933, into a workplace for 400 employees. The church had remained structurally untouched for many years before the four-year restoration project began. Spector Group transformed the interior space of the 80,000-square-foot church, plus two adjacent church buildings, into a modern workplace while preserving many of the church’s historic elements. Desks and computers occupy the space that once contained pews, while a new work area is located beneath the renovated choir loft and balcony seating. Said to be fashioned after the Boston Public Library, a library perches atop the newly added third floor. A new viewing bridge gives employees and guests an up-close look at the restored stained-glass windows designed by P.J. Reeves to honor Aristotle, Leonardo da Vinci, Shakespeare, and Louis Pasteur. The space now includes offices, game areas, an auditorium, a refurbished four-lane bowling alley from the days when the church had youth programs, an exhibit space, work cafes, lounges, and conference rooms named after famous Newarkers such as Sarah Vaughan and Lilly Martin Spencer. Located in an historic district, the building’s façade was restored including masonry rebuilding and replacement. Perkins Eastman is the project’s architect-of-record, and Newark-based Mikesell Associates is the associate architect. Audible, a subsidiary of Amazon, relocated its headquarters to Newark in 2007 and is now one of the city’s anchor institutions.
The crown-jewel of Central Park will reopen this week
Central Park’s Belvedere Castle, a visitor center located mid-park at 79th Street, will reopen later this week. Central Park co-designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux conceived of the Belvedere in 1858 as a large terrace with pavilions and a miniature castle atop Vista Rock. The U.S. Weather Bureau took occupancy in 1919 and added windows and doors, but moved out of the facility in the early 1960s. Two decades of deterioration and vandalism followed, prompting the Central Park Conservancy to create a comprehensive restoration plan to preserve original elements and recreate lost aspects of the Belvedere’s historic design, while modernizing systems for long-term sustainability. Overseen by the conservancy’s in-house team of architects and landscape architects alongside several specialized design consultants, work included disassembling and rebuilding the walls enclosing the terrace, installing new waterproofing and drainage systems, and repairing both the exterior and interior stonework. To restore lost aspects of the Belvedere’s historic design, construction crews recreated a decorative wood tower that was originally part of the large pavilion at the northwest corner nearly 150 years ago. Crews also replaced the terrace pavement with bluestone pavers, laid out according to the historic checkered design. To recapture the castle’s original open-air view, crews replaced the existing windows and doors with clear pane glass. As part of its mission to implement green design, the Conservancy installed a geothermal system for cooling and heating the castle’s interior. Collaborators include restorations specialists such as Graciano Corporation, Fifty-Three Restorations, Integrated Conservation Resources, and Old Structures Engineering.
Style Meets Sustainability
Dattner Architects designs sets for Heron Preston’s runway show
New York-based fashion designer Heron Preston, known for influencing streetwear culture, has collaborated with Dattner Architects on the presentation of his Spring/Summer 2020 (SS20) runway show during the recent Paris Men’s Fashion Week held at the Palais de Tokyo. The show’s set, entitled “Concrete Jungle,” featured multiple levels wrapped in a scrim and reusable, low-waste materials. Videos of New York City street scenes documented by Instagram celebrity Nicolas Heller (aka @newyorknico), were projected along the scaffolding. Inspired by urban living in New York City, the clothing line combines elements of workwear and formal wear. Dattner Architects also collaborated with the designer on a SS20 runway-only iteration of Tyvek suiting, made of high-density polyethylene fibers and featuring 3D quilted triangles and foam-impregnated lining. The customized suit was the show opener, setting the stage for SS20’s collection of up-cycled and low-carbon production pieces. This is the second creative collaboration between Heron Preston and Dattner Architects. In 2016, the designer’s first Fashion Week presentation, “UNIFORM,” was held in collaboration with the NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY) and featured a reusable scaffolding set designed by Dattner. The show, a collection of redesigned DSNY uniforms, took place in the DSNY-owned Spring Street Salt Shed, designed by Dattner Architects in collaboration with WXY.
No Empty Nesters Here
TRI-LOX adds sustainable, nest-inspired roof to Brooklyn Children’s Museum
TRI-LOX, a Brooklyn-based design and fabrication practice specializing in sustainable wood, has completed a new rooftop interactive playscape at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum (BCM) in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Inspired by the distinctive nests made by the Baya weaver bird—a species best known for its hanging retort-shaped nests woven from leaves and among the museum’s collection—NEST is made from reclaimed New York City water tower cedar fashioned into an organic form and crafted with parametric design tools. The museum was designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects and completed in 2008. In 2015, Toshiko Mori Architect added a pavilion that made a place for community gathering on the 20,000-square-foot rooftop. And in 2017, landscape architects Future Green Studio connected the rooftop to the park below with a mini-woodland, boardwalk, and plantings. NEST complements these existing elements and creates a woven landscape with a climbable exterior, circular hammock area, and permeable interior space for open and creative kid’s play.
Gently Down the River
Foster + Partners teams with Bade Stageberg Cox for Row New York
Foster + Partners is working on a pro-bono basis to create a new boathouse and community learning center for Row New York. The project is located at Sherman Creek Park, in Upper Manhattan, with access to the Harlem River. Brooklyn-based Bade Stageberg Cox was selected as the local architect because of the firm’s familiarity with the site and previous work they had completed studying siting options for the boathouse. Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects (MNLA) is responsible for the landscape architecture. The new 16,000-square-foot, rectilinear-shaped boathouse is made entirely of wood and references the boathouses that once dotted the banks of the river in the early 20th century. A large folding timber canopy sails over the structure, providing shade as it cantilevers over a plaza and terrace. Its distinctive timber lattice provides soft, dappled shade to the multi-purpose space which has been designed for informal leisure activities as well as planned community events. The lower level contains five bays for storing the boats and is designed to withstand severe flooding. The upper level features a large multi-purpose hall alongside changing rooms and classrooms for after-school programs, as well as an expansive terrace overlooking the river. The boathouse will be fully accessible, allowing the organization to accommodate its adaptive rowing program, which serves teenagers and adults with disabilities. Established in 2002, Row New York’s youth program pairs rowing with academics and other support services, aiming to help transform the lives of students from underserved communities. The new boathouse and learning center will enable the organization to more than double the number of students served, as well as to expand its scholastic, adult, and adaptive rowing programs.
This Just In
Pei Partnership Architects will be converting the former 150-acre I.M. Pei and Partners-designed IBM Campus in Somers into a for-profit private boarding and day school for 1,800 students high school students. The school will focus on STEAM subjects. The firm will also design a 30,000-square-foot Athletic Center on the site. KG+D Architects of Mount Kisco is the executive architect and school planner.
OnePULSE Foundation, the nonprofit established by the owner of Pulse nightclub following the June 12, 2016 tragedy in Orlando, FL, announced the six architect-led design teams shortlisted in the open, two-stage international competition to design the National Pulse Memorial & Museum. The six teams—including Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Rene Gonzalez Architects with Raymond Jungles, and Studio Libeskind with Claude Cormier + Associés, Thinc, and Jenny Holzer—will now advance to the second and final stage of the competition. The winning team will be announced in October 2019.
The Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) will present the inaugural Change Agent Award to the partners of Diller Scofidio + Renfro at the reception on July 17. Proceeds benefit SAH educational program and publications, and the restoration of SAH’s landmark headquarters, Charnley-Persky House.
Deborah Marton has been appointed the next executive director of Van Alen Institute. Previously, she served as executive director of the New York Restoration Project and, before that, she was Design Trust for Public Space’s executive director.
Lesley Lokko has been named Dean of the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at The City College of New York, effective December 2019. Lokko has taught and practiced architecture for the past 25 years in schools across the UK, US, and South Africa, and is currently the director of the Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Johannesburg.