by Linda G. Miller
In this issue:
– DDC’s Duo Designed for New York’s Finest and Bravest
– Dream Weaver
– A Research Library to Learn About
– Back to the Garden
– A Museum Within a Tropical Florida Garden
DDC’s Duo Designed for New York’s Finest and Bravest
Studio Gang Architects is designing a new 20,000-square-foot Fire Rescue 2 training facility in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn for the FDNY’s elite, specialized group of firefighters and rescue workers. This company is trained to respond to various emergency scenarios, from fire and building collapses to water rescues and scuba operations, and the building is designed with elements that can simulate these conditions. During emergency situations, firefighters must often utilize voids in buildings, whether creating them to let heat and smoke out of a structure, or locating them as a means of escape. To that end, the firehouse is organized around a large interior void, a space that extends from the ground to roof level. The void enables the team to practice rescue scenarios that mimic conditions common to the city, using its height and associated elements like balconies, bridges, doorways, ladders, and stairs. At the same time, the void introduces natural light and fresh air deep into the living quarters, improving the quality of everyday life within the building. On the exterior, red glazed terracotta panels surround smaller-scale voids such as windows and doors. The design also creates a communal environment that supports the well-being of the occupants. The kitchen, which opens onto the apparatus floor, is the firehouse’s primary social space. The backyard offers a space to spend down-time for socializing and outdoor grilling. Open-air porches adjacent to the exercise room and the office area provide fresh air to the facility’s second floor. A green roof, geothermal HVAC system, and solar water-heating system reduce energy use, lowering the building’s carbon footprint. The project, which received an Award for Excellence in Design by the Public Design Commission in 2015, is being managed by the NYC Department of Design + Construction (DDC).
BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group is designing the NYPD’s new 40th Precinct Station in the Melrose section of The Bronx. With a nod to the rusticated bases of the city’s early police stations, the 12 program volumes within the 43,500-square-foot building are organized vertically, and resemble a stack of bricks. Perimeter walls are of sandblasted, pre-cast concrete panels while setbacks, which emphasize entrances and windows, are composed of polished concrete and reflective materials. The separation of the volumes accommodates circulation and define each distinct space. All program areas, entrances, and circulation routes are oriented towards a central atrium where clerestory windows on the upper level bring daylight into the building’s core. There are spaces where police officers can promote physical fitness and reduce stress, such as an exercise courtyard with training areas and a climbing wall. Additionally, the 40th Precinct is the first in the city to contain a multi-purpose community meeting room that has its own street-level entrance. It is also the first NYPD precinct house to have a green roof. The project, which is managed by the NYC Department of Design + Construction (DDC), is designed to achieve LEED Silver certification.
The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 selected Mexico City-based Escobedo Solíz Studio’s “Weaving the Courtyard” as the winner of the 2016 Young Architects Program (YAP). The site-specific temporary installation, which is set to open in early June, provides the setting for the Warm Up summer music series held in MoMA PS1’s outdoor courtyard in Long Island City. Using the modulation of holes in the existing concrete created by the formwork ties from when the walls were originally poured, the design weaves a textured canopy suspended over the courtyard, like a “cloud” made of colorful ropes. Variations of density throughout the weaving invite visitors to interact and occupy spaces for different periods of time. The woven cloud provides shade, and a reflective wading pool at the back of the courtyard gives visitors the opportunity to cool off in fresh water. Now in its 17th edition, YAP offers emerging architects the opportunity to design an installation that provides shade, seating, and water. The architects must also work within guidelines that address environmental issues, including sustainability and recycling. Because the materials for this installation will be largely unaltered by the construction process, they can be re-used at the close of summer. The other finalists for this year’s MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program are LA-based First Office, Providence-based Ultramoderne, Houston-based COBALT OFFICE, and Frida Escobedo of Mexico City. An exhibition of the five finalists’ proposed projects will be on view at MoMA over the summer.
A Research Library to Learn About
In the fall of 2018, Temple University in North Philadelphia will have a new, 225,000-square-foot library designed by Snøhetta that will become a social, cultural, and intellectual hub for the university and the surrounding community. The design is inspired by the historic academies of Greek antiquity, where social spaces for exchanging ideas were primary and storage of written materials took on a secondary role. The library makes use of an automated book retrieval system that will significantly reduce the amount of space needed to store the majority of the university’s more than two million volumes. This allows more collaborative learning and knowledge-sharing areas, such as public and study spaces, resource centers, and an event hall. The architecture is defined by a solid base clad in vertical sections of rough stone that reference the materials of the surrounding campus. Grand, wooden arches cut into the stone volume establish the entrance. Expanses of pleated, frameless glass supported on steel mullions create maximum transparency at the major entrances. The arches continue into the building, forming a three-story domed atrium lobby with white terrazzo floors. The centerpiece of the library, what Snøhetta calls an “oculus,” is a sculpted-wood abstract form in the atrium. In addition to interactive and generative learning spaces, the library also provides moments for introspective study. Arriving at the top floor, the visitor reaches a sun-filled reading room with traditional browsing stacks. Its light and airy character rises from the more opaque base, and opens up to the library’s green roof via a terrace with stepped seating, providing an outdoor space for students. Stantec serves as executive architect.
Back to the Garden
Currently under construction on the site of the former U.S. Homeport Naval Base on Staten Island’s North Shore is URBY Staten Island. Formerly known as URL (Urban Ready Life), the 36-acre, mixed-use, low-rise waterfront community is designed by Amsterdam-based Concrete. The development includes 900 market-rate, LEED-certified rental units ranging from studios to one- and two-bedroom apartments. Featuring an onsite organic farm, this is the first residential project in the city to boast its own farmer-in-residence. Other amenities include a communal kitchen with a resident chef, a fitness center, an outdoor pool, landscaped gardens and walking paths, and a mile-long waterfront esplanade. Approximately 35,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space has been allocated for dining and shopping, including cafés and bodegas. Hoboken-based Ironstate is developing URBY Staten Island, which is similar in concept to its URBY Jersey City. Minno & Wasko serves as executive architect.
A Museum Within a Tropical Florida Garden
Marking its 75th anniversary, ground was recently broken on the expansion of West Palm Beach’s Norton Museum of Art, designed by Foster + Partners. Upon completion, the museum, originally designed in 1941 by Wyeth & King, will contain a total of 133,000 square feet and the logic of the original plan that underwent subsequent changes will be restored. Scheduled to open in 2018, the transformed West Wing includes a new monumental entrance with three double-height pavilions, a 210-seat auditorium, increased education space, 12,000 square feet of additional gallery space, and a great hall that will become the museum’s new social hub. A sculpture garden and additional green spaces will also provide new areas for programming on the 6.3-acre campus. The New Norton is conceived of as “a museum in a garden.” To achieve this vision, Seattle-based Gustafson Guthrie Nichole will replace an existing parking lot with 20,000 square feet of lawns and plantings at the current museum entrance. South of the garden, six museum-owned historic homes are being restored as residences for the museum’s director and artist-in-residence program. Four of the houses are being restored by CBT Architects, which is also the executive architect for the museum expansion.
This Just In
Collective-LOK’s Heart of Hearts, this year’s winning Times Square Valentine Heart, is open now through 03.06.16 at Father Duffy Square. The pavilion consists of a ring of golden, mirrored hearts, creating a kaleidoscopic interior that dissolves the boundaries between viewing and performing, private and public. This year’s competition was curated by the Center for Architecture.
Tsao & McKown has designed the exhibition “Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial” ,composed as a landscape of varied platforms and volumes that float in space and meander through the museum. Nothing touches the walls except text and projections. By not engaging the walls and congregating displays near the center of spaces, the exhibition was designed live in counterpoint to the museum’s historic architectural envelope. The show features work by 63 designers and is on view from 02.12.16 through 08.21.16.
Tishman Speyer announced that BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group is designing a 65-story building at 65 Hudson Boulevard (aka 10th Avenue between 34th and 35th Street) that will include a band of sky terraces that spiral down the façade.
Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects has been selected to design a new library on the Jewish Theological Seminary campus, home to the largest collection of Judaica outside of Israel. The library will allow for the preservation of some 36,000 rare books that will be stored in environmentally-protected areas.
Pritzker Prize-winning, Porto, Portugal-based Álvaro Siza has been commissioned by development firms Sumaida + Khurana and LENY to design his first building in the U.S. at 611 West 56th Street. The 34-story ultra-luxury condo will contain 80 residences. Gabellini Sheppard will collaborate on the interiors, and SLCE Architects serves as the architect-of-record.
The Design Trust for Public Space and the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) released Laying the Groundwork: Design Guidelines for Retail & Other Ground-Floor Uses in Affordable Housing Developments. The Design Trust issued a request for proposals (RFP) as part of “The Energetic City” initiative, and selected HPD’s proposal to develop design guidelines, which will now be incorporated into HPD’s RFPs, the evaluation of development proposals, and the review of architectural plans to ensure that retail space in new affordable housing developments will be a community asset for both residents and neighbors.
WXY Architecture + Urban Design, in collaboration with the civil engineering group at AECOM, has rehabilitated the step-stair on 215th Street in Inwood. After more than a century of use, the stairs had begun to crack and crumble, creating a hazard for the hundreds of pedestrians who use the stair daily to walk to and from Broadway and essential public transportation. New planted areas divide the pair of stairways, cobblestone paving has been installed, and a bike channel that allows cyclists to easily roll their bikes up and down after dismounting was added. The new step-stair, a project of the Department of Design + Construction, opened to the public on 02.03.16.
WSA|ModernRuins is restoring and modernizing the original Council House of the Muscogee Creek Nation in Okmulgee, OK. Tulsa-based Selser Schaefer Architects, a Native American-owned firm, serves as architect-of-record; construction is expected to being later this year.
The New York City Landmarks Conservancy announced that Apple is to be the recipient of its 2016 Chairman’s Award for its contribution to preserving, restoring, and repurposing four historic structures in New York City. The award honors the Apple store at 103 Prince, which was a former post office. Bohlin Cynwinski Jackson (BJC) is responsible for the design; Ronnette Riley Architects was the architect-of-record (with BJC handling subsequent makeovers). BJC also designed the stores at 940 Madison (a former bank); 401 West 14th Street in the Meat Packing District; and the store in a New York City landmark – Grand Central Terminal; the other three locations are within historic districts.