by Linda G. Miller
HWKN Unveils Bushwick Generator, Urban Office Campus
HWKN has released images for the Bushwick Generator, a 400,000-square-foot urban office campus located at 215 Moore Street. Billed as the antithesis of a Silicon Valley office park, the Generator is designed to become a hub for innovative companies who want to call Brooklyn their home. Rising 200 feet above its neighboring low-rise structures, the building, with its faceted brick-and-glass façade, is expected to create a new vertical focal point for North Brooklyn. Ten stories sit atop a rectangular three-story base that incorporates existing light-industrial buildings. A cutout in the corner of the base creates a triangular glass entrance and carves out space for a sidewalk plaza. Designed by DAVID RUBIN land collective, a landscaped terrace is located where the base makes way for a setback and the floors above. The building’s distinctive shape allows for 270 degrees of exposure, providing each floor with daylight and views. The octagonal shaped floorplates are meant to house a variety of businesses, each in different phases of growth. The campus includes spaces for public programming to draw in and engage the community. The project, which is expected to be completed in 2023, is being developed by Heritage Equity Partners, the same company that developed HWKN’s 25 Kent, also located in Brooklyn.
Christopher Warnick Architecture-Designed City Winery Opens on Pier 57
The new flagship City Winery, designed by Brooklyn-based Christopher Warnick Architecture, has reopened in its new location on Pier 57 near the intersection of West 15th Street. At 32,000 square feet, the new location is one of the largest dining spaces in Manhattan, with a capacity to host 900 patrons. The legendary restaurant and music venue had to vacate its decades-old former home on Varick Street, but many elements of the old venue can be found in the new space, such as repurposed oak wine barrels, bricks, and timber supports. If the new venue has the feel of the many City Wineries across the country, it is due to the continuing collaboration between the architect and Michael Dorf, CEO & founder, who took all of the best aspects from each location and brought them to the new venue. The Pier 57 location features wine tasting bars, a pizza bar, a coffee roasting station, a fully-functioning winemaking facility that is visible to passersby, and two performance spaces: a 350- seat concert hall and a more intimate 150-capacity loft space. In addition, there are VIP skyboxes and balcony seating. Thirty-foot ceilings and expanses of glass allow guests to view the Hudson River and the still-under-construction Little Island by Heatherwick Studio. Originally constructed in 1952, Pier 57 is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, in large part because of the engineering techniques that keep it afloat. Just below the water, three large concrete caissons support the main structure. Unlike at other piers, these underwater supports here serve as basement spaces. The revenue-generating destination, developed by RXR Realty, will soon serve as offices for Google, as well as a public marketplace, a classroom for the River Project, and a landscaped rooftop park accessible to the public.
UChicago David Rubinstein Forum by DS+R Opens to the Public
The David Rubenstein Forum at the University of Chicago, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, has recently opened to the public. The 97,000-square-foot building meets the need for a university-wide place where scholars can gather and exchange ideas through activities that span academic disciplines. The building is composed of a two-story base and a slender, eight-story tower that will provide the university with a 285-seat auditorium and much-needed multi-purpose meeting spaces for workshops, symposia, and lectures, among other activities. The tower is organized as a stack of neighborhoods with meeting and communal spaces throughout. The neighborhoods are vertically stacked, rotated, and oriented to give each space a distinctive perspective of Chicago, producing a form that faces both the north and south sides of the city. The lower floors of the Forum are porous and dynamic, with connections to the campus and the community in all directions. As one climbs the building, there is a progressive retreat from the everyday to more contemplative spaces, with views of Chicago and Lake Michigan. The staggered structure is achieved with a robust pair of reinforced concrete sidewalls, which cantilever up to 40 feet from the building’s core. To create the column-free space required for the University Room, a 600-person assembly space, the roof structure was constructed with steel trusses that span over 100 feet, which are supported with cantilevered concrete beams. The curtain wall system has been engineered to provide unobstructed views towards the campus and the city, and integrates new bird-safe technology for the protection of the Mississippi Flyway Zone.
BIG Selected to Design Johns Hopkins Student Center
As the result of a months-long international design competition, BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group has been selected as the designer of the new Student Center for Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood campus in Baltimore. Conceived as a central living room surrounded by a collection of spaces tailored to the needs of the Hopkins community, the approximately 150,000-square-foot building, dubbed The Village, features a cascading interior landscape of dining, performance, lounging, socializing, and dining. The dining hall connects directly onto a new plaza containing a cluster of flexible spaces. The building negotiates the sloping grade of the site to allow direct entry from all four levels. The mass timber structure provides a warm and acoustically comfortable environment, as light filters in between the photovoltaic roof panels—features that help meet the university’s sustainability goals. The design team includes Shepley Bulfinch (architect-of-record), Rockwell Group (interior design), and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (landscape design). The new Hopkins Student Center is set to begin construction in Spring 2022 and to be completed by Fall 2024.
Peterson Rich Office’s Mandala Lab at the Rubin Museum Set to Open in 2021
The Rubin Museum of Art has closed its third-floor galleries to begin construction on a new interactive space called Mandala Lab, which is scheduled to reopen in fall 2021. Designed by Peterson Rich Office (PRO), the new Mandala Lab is conceptually and architecturally inspired by the mandala. In Tibetan Buddhism a mandala can take the form of a painting on cloth, an impermanent creation made of colored sand, a large three-dimensional structure, or a ritual object. It represents the Buddhist concept of the universe as well as a palace of enlightened deities. At the Mandala Lab, the floor will be divided into quadrants representing the cardinal directions and referencing both the symbolic colors and elements (earth, fire, air, water) of the mandala practice. Each quadrant will offer an activity that invites visitors to recognize an emotional state within themselves that is difficult to control, such as anger, pride, jealousy, or desire, and convert it into a complementary wisdom such as equanimity and discernment. The museum commissioned contemporary artists working across disciplines to provide art experiences informed by the mandala’s insightful teachings on emotions. The 2,700-square-foot design features a multipurpose open floor plan that converts for education, exhibition, or event needs; a small amphitheater for experiential and digital educational content; and a flexible space for lights-on learning with modular, art-lab-like furniture, a wide digital screen with flexible seating for visitors, and rounded walls. PRO is working in consultation with educators including Columbia University Professor of Psychology Dr. Lila Davachi, with interpretative teachings provided by Dzogchen teachers Mingyur Rinpoche and Ponlop Rinpoche.
Adjaye Associates Recently Completes Public Member Spaces for 1199SEIU
The recently completed Public Member Spaces for the new headquarters of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East was designed by Adjaye Associates to embody the principles, ethos, and achievements of the largest healthcare union in the US. Located in the McGraw Hill Building, the four-story, 16,500-square-foot office space consolidates all of the union’s operations under one roof. While 1199SEIU left its original building at 310 West 43rd Street, the entry lobby will include a replica of the Anton Refregier mosaic mural, which encompasses the entire street level façade. The mural also serves as an inspiration for the continuous ceramic tiled walls found throughout the member spaces that depict and archive key moments in the union’s fight for labor rights. Another unifying feature is the continuous barrel ceiling vaults made from glass fiber reinforced gypsum cement, which allows for ceiling heights that celebrate the resilience of the union. The central circulation void, which is the heart of the new space, connects all the floors while establishing a quadruple-height feature wall. Starting at the ground floor, the original mural imagery depicting hospital, guild, and drug division workers transitions to an image of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. giving his “Salute to Freedom” speech to 1199ers in 1968 as it ascends the height of the member space. The union auditorium and enrollment spaces on the second level are surrounded by images and quotes celebrating the history and freedom that Dr. King spoke of in 1968, while levels three and four represent words from James Oppenheim’s poem “Bread and Roses,” published in 1911, later to become a union song.
This Just In
The Howard Hughes Corporation (HHC) has unveiled a comprehensive proposal, designed by SOM, for Lower Manhattan’s Seaport area, including the transformation of an underutilized full-block surface parking lot into a mixed-income development with a two-tower design. HHC’s plan also provides financial support for the South Street Seaport Museum, allowing it to reopen following a much-needed expansion.
The NYC Public Design Commission announced 11 winning projects of the 38th-Annual Awards for Excellence in Design: Para Roberto at Roberto Clemente Plaza by Melissa Calderon and Garrison Architects; Bronx Point Mixed-use Development by S9 Architecture, Marvel Architects, and Abel Bainnson Butzl; Red Hook Library Renovation by LEVENBETTS and SCAPE Landscape Architecture; Colorful Companions at the Brooklyn Animal Center by Olalekan Jeyifous and Smith-Miller + Hawkinson Architects; Eastern Parkway Branch Library by Allied Works Architecture and Starr Whitehouse; Primary Settling Tanks Pre-houses Rehabilitation by DEP-In House and CDM Smith; Monsignor Kett Playground Reconstruction by DPR In-House; Michaelis-Bayswater Park Reconstruction by NV5; Curiouser at the Charleston Branch Library by Mark Reigelman and ikon.5 architects.
Houston’s Rice University has selected Adjaye Associates to lead the design of its new student center. The competition-winning concept will largely replace the Rice Memorial Center with a three-story, 80,000-square-foot structure that incorporates the functions of the RMC, along with a multicultural center and a rooftop auditorium.
Virgin Hyperloop’s Pegasus pod (XP-2), a new vehicle typology for an autonomous transportation system designed by BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group and Kilo Design, made history as it successfully carried its first passengers at a test site in Las Vegas.
The Urban Design Forum and the Van Alen Institute today launched the Neighborhoods Now Toolkit, a digital toolkit featuring more than 35 designs, guidelines, and strategies to aid safe reopening and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Each tool was created by neighborhood-specific working groups as part of Neighborhoods Now, a rapid-response initiative launched by the two organizations in June. Led by community organizations in Bed-Stuy, Jackson Heights, Kingsbridge, the Lower East Side, and Washington Heights, these working groups include coalitions of architects, engineers, lawyers, and planners.
Grace Farms Foundation has launched Design for Freedom, a global movement committed to eradicating modern slavery in the built environment and has published an in-depth report calling for a radical paradigm shift in the architecture and construction industries and providing analysis and data on how slavery is cemented into the very foundations of our buildings.
The National Academy of Design has inducted 15 new national academicians into its artist-and-architect-led institution. Congratulations to NYC-based architects Toshiko Mori, FAIA, and Claire Weisz FAIA.