In this issue:
· Pro Bono Design to Improve Valentino Park
· Bronx Center Heals Patients with Light and Open Air
· The Kalahari Will Entertain in Harlem
· Tennis Scores in Princeton


Pro Bono Design to Improve Valentino Park

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BoatBox.

DesigNYC

When Red Hook-based non-profit PortSide NewYork decided to convert a shipping container into a community amenity, desigNYC, a grassroots non-profit founded on improving NYC through design, organized a competition. BoatBox in Valentino Park was the winning entry, designed by a team from 590BC Architecture, Studio L’Image, and Lee H. Skolnick Architecture that provided services pro bono. In addition to maintaining the shipping container’s existing use to store kayaks, a shade structure around the box will provide a protected gathering space. Freestanding kayak racks will be available to the public. BoatBox also serves as a place to post information on the area’s history, the sources of harbor pollution, boat safety, and eating fish caught in local waters. PortSide is now working closely with the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation on the conceptual design and conferring with the Coast Guard on messaging about safety.


Bronx Center Heals Patients with Light and Open Air

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VIP Community Services Residence.

Alexander Severin/RAZUMMEDIA

VIP Community Services, specializing in substance abuse treatment programs, has recently occupied its new 30,000-square-foot residence in East Tremont, the Bronx. Designed by WASA/Studio A, three floors of bedrooms serving 80 residents are above two floors of common spaces for recreation, computer classes, and group therapy. A dining hall opens into a landscaped rear garden that is tended by the residents. The design creates a dignified and welcoming environment suffused with natural light and color that will facilitate the recovery process.


The Kalahari Will Entertain in Harlem

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My Image Studios

Hibbs Architects

My Image Studios (MIST) recently began construction on an 18,800-square-foot entertainment center, designed by Wappinger Falls, NY-based Hibbs Archictects. Featuring emerging and established artists of the African and Latino diaspora, the center is located on the first floor of The Kalahari, a residential condominium in Harlem designed by Frederic Schwartz Architects. The venue will feature post-production facilities for film/digital media, three multi-purpose theaters, and film/video exhibition space, as well as a studio for live broadcasting. The theaters can be combined or transformed into a banquet hall due to the swiveling seats that can be recessed into the floor. In addition to a concessions area, the center will have a bar, a top-shelf kitchen for culinary arts, and a full-service restaurant with another bar on the terrace. Half of the mezzanine is to be used as a control room for the theaters, while the other half is for restaurant storage. The project is scheduled to be completed in May 2012.


New Academic Building Means Business

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SUNY Plattsburgh.

Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman + Associates Architects

The State University of New York at Plattsburgh recently broke ground on a new 43,400-square-foot building designed by Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman + Associates Architects (GSKA). The three-story building will be home to the business, economics, and computer science departments and will serve approximately 1,200 students plus 50 faculty and staff members with new offices, and a number of specialized rooms, including classrooms, video conferencing rooms, computer labs, and an accounting lab and trading room with a stock-market ticker. Two student commons will be equipped with computers, and there will be a green rooftop terrace. The $14.2 million academic building is designed to achieve a LEED Silver certification and is expected to be open in time for the 2013 spring semester.


Tennis Scores in Princeton

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Cordish Family Pavilion at the Lenz Tennis Center.

Dattner Architects

The recently completed 7,100-square-foot Cordish Family Pavilion at the Lenz Tennis Center at Princeton University was designed by Dattner Architects to reflect the geometry of tennis courts. Both an indoor and outdoor facility, the building’s central feature is a covered, two-story 3,700-square-foot observation deck where coaches and trainers can watch matches. Wrapping the interior, an overhanging zinc roof slopes and folds to become the rear wall, and the volume, which is supported by slender steel columns, appears to hover over the courts. Coach offices are on the upper level and a glass-enclosed meeting room has views of the courts. A masonry enclosure on the lower level burrows into a small hill and houses men’s and women’s locker rooms, mechanical systems, and storage. An external stair and ramp along with accessible paths are integrated into the landscape and connect the upper and lower levels.


THIS JUST IN…

The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, Port Authority of NY and NJ, and NYC recently announced an initial investment of $14 million giving the green light to transform Pier 42 on the East River into park land.

The NYC Council has approved the redevelopment of Admiral’s Row, a historic, six-acre site in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. New development will maintain two existing structures, raze the less stable ones, and make way for a major supermarket. After the federal government transfers the land to the city, the project will be overseen by the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp.

LOT-EK is participating in an exhibition that MAXXI Architettura is devoting to the work of innovative practitioners whose work relates to the recycling of architecture, cities, and landscapes. The exhibition is on view through the end of April 2012, at the MAXXI Museo Nazionale Delle Arti Del XXI Secolo in Rome.

A new organization, Archive of Spatial Aesthetics and Praxis (ASAP), will launch on 12.12.11. With a mission to be an archive of practices advocating for architecture and its “value as part of a broader social, political, and aesthetic discourse,” the 10-year program will collect, archive, exhibit, write, and circulate media about architecture.