by Linda G. Miller
In this issue:
– Not Just Another Pretty Façade
– High-Lining DC
– Building Practices Transparency in the Law
– Turn on the Water Works!
– Bridging the Accessibility Gap
Not Just Another Pretty Façade
Spring Studios, designed by Morris Adjmi Architects in collaboration with Aldo Andreoli, recently made its debut during the 2014 Fashion Week with runway shows by Michael Kors and Diane von Furstenberg. Located in what used to be a non-descript Verizon substation at 50 Varick Street near the Holland Tunnel in Tribeca, the 120,000-square-foot, six-story building received a complete makeover to appeal a bevy of fashionistas who will use it for shoots, runway shows, and other events. Floors were removed to create seven large double-height studios on three of the floors. In addition, the project includes post-production spaces and a restaurant. , A roof terrace is also in the works. A large portion of the existing brick façade was removed to create a new, 30-foot-tall curtain wall that brings western light into the photo studios.
Washington, DC, is getting its own elevated park to be located on the original pillars of the 11th Street Bridge that span the Anacostia River. A competition jury for the District of Columbia and local nonprofit organization Building Bridges Across the River at THEARC has selected the design team of OMA and Philadelphia-based landscape architect OLIN to transform the aged-out freeway bridge into a civic space that will not only connect neighborhoods, but will also provide new venues for healthy recreation, environmental education, and the arts. Called “Anacostia Crossing,” the design calls for a central plaza, an enclosed café, an environmental center, and other elements that, when, combined form a sloping ‘X’ shape. Of the 80 firms that submitted proposals, three other teams – Balmori Associates/Cooper, Robertson & Partners; Stoss Landscape Urbanism/Höweler + Yoon Architecture; and Wallace Roberts & Todd (WRT)/NEXT Architects – were short-listed. In addition to a unanimous jury selection, OMA + OLIN’s design received the highest marks from the competition’s Design Oversight Committee composed of community stakeholders, and the most votes in a public poll of more than 1,100 participants.
Building Practices Transparency in the Law
Dineen Hall, Syracuse University’s new College of Law building, designed by Gluckman Mayner, opened for the start of the fall semester. More than 700 students are making use of the five-story building. With 200,000-square-feet of space, Dineen Hall provides all of the components of a self-contained college, including a 33,500-square-foot law library and reading room, a 325-seat ceremonial courtroom, lecture rooms, work rooms, offices, café, roof terrace, and lounge spaces. The main level of the glass-and-brick structure is defined by a diagonal window that provides a view into and through the ceremonial courtroom. Flanked by the library and the ceremonial courtroom is a large celebratory space that is both the physical and symbolic center of the building. This project, the firm’s second for the university, was designed to achieve LEED Gold certification.
Turn on the Water Works!
SCAPE/Landscape Architecture and ROGERS PARTNERS Architects+Urban Designers are designing a four-acre, year-round, multi-use park in Minneapolis with a Central Mississippi River experience for the Minneapolis Parks Foundation in partnership with the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board. The project is called “Water Works” because it is sited at a convergence of multiple riverfront destinations that include the St. Anthony Falls lock and dam, the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, the Stone Arch Bridge, historic industrial ruins, the Mill City Museum, and the Guthrie Theater. The design weaves together mill ruins, local ecology, and recreational systems into a coherent civic space by forming a series of flexible landscape “rooms” and viewing terraces, and links to pedestrian paths. It creates a central interpretive plaza using the historic gatehouse and canal. The design team includes James Lima Planning + Design and Minneapolis-based SRF Consulting.
Bridging the Accessibility Gap
Construction has begun on a new accessible walkway/bridge and landscaping initiative designed by wHY Architecture for the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts. The museum was originally designed by architect Stephen C. Earle and opened in 1898. The new structure, which is being fabricated off-site, is approximately 50 feet long and consists of a concrete slab on steel. Bronze used in the bridge’s siding, guardrails, and handrails creates a visual parallel with the neoclassical building’s columns, and matches the existing metals used on the museum’s façade and interior. The slab itself incorporates LED lighting embedded in the walking surface. To make the museum accessible year-round, the slab contains wiring for radiant heat to melt snow. The project is expected to be completed in Spring 2015.
This Just In
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation launched an online gallery featuring the submissions – all 1,715 of them – for Stage One of the Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition.
Kean University in Union, NJ, announced the newly established Michael Graves School of Architecture as an integral event that celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Princeton-based firm Michael Graves Architecture & Design. The school will be housed in the Green Lane Academic Building, designed by Springfield, NJ-based Gruskin Group that opened in early 2014 on Kean’s Union Township campus. There will also be a building designed by Graves for the architecture school on Kean’s Wenzhou, China, campus.
HWKN and Handel Architects celebrated the groundbreaking of Journal Squared, a three-tower, mixed-use development adjacent to the Journal Square PATH Station that is expected to fuel the revitalization of the Jersey City’s transportation hub.
The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) and Regional Plan Association (RPA) recently unveiled the first comprehensive report on the leading options for the future of Madison Square Garden.
ROGERS PARTNERS Architects+Urban Designers and Berkeley, CA-based PWP Landscape Architecture announced that their redesign of Constitution Gardens on the National Mall received unanimous approval from the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC). Approval from both agencies is required for the design to move forward to the first phase of the project. The client is the National Park Service in partnership with the Trust for the National Mall.
Lincoln Center now has 36 solar panels on the roof of the Rose Building on West 65th Street as part of their campaign to green up their campus.