In this issue:
· A New Jewel in NY’s Green Necklace Opens in Brooklyn
· The Public Theater Speaks the Speech
· Brooklyn School Gets an “A” for Banning Beige
· A Salon Designed With Colorists in Mind
· Institute Hall Completes Science Quad at RIT
· NJ’s Gold Coast Gets Richer
A New Jewel in NY’s Green Necklace Opens in Brooklyn
Pier 1 at Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
Six acres of open space recently opened at Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The park, designed by landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, includes 1,300 feet of promenade along the East River and 2.5 acres of lawn. Sustainable features include 300 pieces of reused granite from the Roosevelt Island Bridge to create the Granite Prospect, a tiered viewing deck. Stones from the Willis Avenue Bridge that was replaced in 2007 were placed along the western edge of Pier 1 to prevent sediment on the river bottom from washing away with currents and also provide support to the existing bulkhead. Clean bulk fill salvaged from Long Island Railroad drilling operations for the East Side Access project lies beneath the soil. Reclaimed lumber from demolished structures on the site was used for dam construction and park benches. Storm-water retention tanks for park irrigation, green roofs, the restoration of a wildlife habitat for local birds, and a manmade salt marsh to provide a naturalistic shoreline while creating a biologically productive tidal ecosystem are also included.
The Public Theater Speaks the Speech
The Public Theater.
Polshek Partnership Architects
The Public Theater recently held a ceremonial groundbreaking for renovations that have been in the works for more than 10 years. Polshek Partnership Architects is transforming the 19th-century building to include an expanded and refurbished lobby; an exterior entrance staircase with two ADA-accessible ramps and a glass covered canopy; a complete restoration of the historic brownstone façade; HVAC systems upgrade; an expanded and centrally located box office; a new mezzanine level including a community room/lounge with a capacity for 150 people; improved and expanded concessions service; and improved street visibility with six new poster boxes and exterior lighting. In conjunction with NYC’s Percent for Art program, the theater will incorporate media artist Ben Rubin’s “Shakespeare Machine,” a display screen installation that will cycle continuously through the text of Shakespeare’s plays and will be organized as a series of compositions, with no composition ever repeating twice.
Brooklyn School Gets an “A” for Banning Beige
The Achievement First Endeavor Charter School.
The 71,000-square-foot former factory building that houses the Achievement First Endeavor Charter School in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, is a result of the re-use and renovation of existing structures designed by Rogers Marvel Architects (RMA). Pentagram, in collaboration with RMA, recently designed a series of environmental graphics for the building that was completed in January 2010. Based on a series of motivational slogans used by the school’s teachers, the graphics appear as a series of equations (“Education = Choice,” “Education = Freedom”) in the halls, around the perimeter of the gymnasium, and up a pre-cast concrete stair; they are also visible from the street. In rooms like the cafeteria, bands of color are used to define and enhance the architecture, creating an illusion of depth that expands the space. The project also features a skylit cafeteria and a rooftop play space. The school is supported by the Robin Hood Foundation.
A Salon Designed With Colorists in Mind
Photo by Stan Wan
MSK Design Group has created the first boutique salon for hairstylist Vasken, in the Trump Building in White Plains. The 1,8000-square-foot salon specializes in color — color classes, training, and techniques — and was specifically designed to assure the accuracy of hair color design. A clean, white sheet of paper was a primary influence for the design of the salon; dashes of red and glossy geometric shapes punctuate the interior and showcase the salon’s floating ceiling, composed of white cylinders that allow for a glowing diffusion of soft, ambient light.
Institute Hall Completes Science Quad at RIT
Institute Hall at RIT.
Francis Cauffman and Rochester-based Bergmann Associates have been selected by Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) to design Institute Hall, a $26-million research building that will complete the school’s science quadrangle. The four-story, 78,000-square-foot structure will house RIT’s departments of chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, and chemistry, and contain wet research labs, classrooms, a small vivarium, and RIT-Rochester General Health System Alliance facilities. Most of the buildings on RIT’s Modernist campus — with buildings designed by Hugh Stubbins & Associates, Roche Dinkeloo and Associates, Edward Larabee Barnes, and Harry Weese and Associates, among others — are solid red brick masses with dark glass. Institute Hall has a transparent, glazed core that is wrapped in a red brick shell. As part of the school’s campus-wide commitment to sustainability in its curricula, research, and physical environment, the project anticipates receiving at least a LEED Silver rating.
NJ’s Gold Coast Gets Richer
Garden Street Lofts.
Photo by Seong Kwon
Hoboken’s Garden Street Lofts, designed by SHoP Architects has received LEED Gold certification, becoming NJ’s only LEED Gold certified high-rise residential building. Completed in the fall of 2009, the seven-story project containing 30 residences consists of the renovation and conversion of a five-story, 35,400-square-foot former coconut warehouse originally constructed in 1911, and a five-story, 31,600-square-foot addition on an adjacent site with two new additional floors bridging the old and new structures. Numerous sustainable features include a sedum-covered green roof planted with native and non-native species, which allows for the absorption of water and reduces the building’s reflectivity. The façade’s custom fabricated zinc panel system is a pre-weathered metal requiring no treatment such as painting or other coatings, and it absorbs and reflects light.