In this issue:
· 15 Penn Plaza Passes City Council
· Union Square Will Become Sukkah City This September
· The Beatrice Tops the Eventi Hotel
· MTA Police Department Moves into New HQ
· DC Commissions a Sustainable Public Library
15 Penn Plaza Passes City Council
City Council voted 47 to 1 to approve the construction of Vornado Realty Trust’s project, 15 Penn Plaza. The 67-story Pelli Clark Pelli-designed office tower will rise 1,190 feet, 60 feet shorter than the Empire State Building’s 102nd-story observation deck. The project is expected to create an estimated 6,000 construction jobs, and Vornado has committed to set aside 15% of its contracts for women and minority owned businesses. In addition, the developer has pledged more than $150 million in improvements to transportation connections, including modernizing and reopening the old Gimbels tunnel that connects Herald Square to Penn Station. The new project will replace McKim, Mead & White’s Hotel Pennsylvania.
Union Square Will Become Sukkah City This September
Biblical in origin, sukkahs commemorate how the Israelites dwelled during their exodus from Egypt. They are typically temporary structures with at least two-and-a-half walls, a roof made of organic materials that both provides shade and allows views of the stars, and is big enough for a table. Sukkah City: New York City held a competition to re-imagine this Old Testament structure using new methods of material practice and parametric design. Twelve selected teams (out of 600 from 43 countries) will construct their proposals as a village in Union Square Park 09.19-20.10. Seven NYC-based teams were selected: Dale Suttle, So Sugita, and Ginna Nguyen (Gathering); Henry Grosman and Babak Bryan (Fractured Bubble); Kyle May and Scott Abrahams (LOG); Matter Practice (Single Thread); Bittertang (Bio Puff); SO-IL (In Tension); and THEVERYMANY (P.YGROS.C / passive hygroscopic curls). A “people’s choice sukkah” will be installed during the weeklong festival of Sukkot, and selected entries will be displayed at the Center for Architecture in September.
The Beatrice Tops the Eventi Hotel
The Beatrice, 30 stories of luxury rental apartments on the uppermost portion of the 54-story, Perkins Eastman-designed Klimpton’s Eventi Hotel, recently opened model apartments. Located in Herald Square, the 302 apartments range from studios to three-bedroom penthouses. Residents have a fitness center with a yoga studio and 6,300 square feet of amenities, including the Cloud Lounge, an outdoor terrace on the 54th floor.
MTA Police Department Moves into New HQ
The new MTA Police Department Headquarters is now open on the site of the former Central Islip train station on Long Island. Designed by WASA/Studio A, the 17,000-square-foot, two-story facility is a modern interpretation of an historic train station. Improved communications will make quicker responses to emergencies in the Suffolk County section of the LIRR’s territory possible. The building accommodates the patrol force, including commanding officers, patrol officers, detectives, and administrative staff. In addition, it contains space for the K-9 unit and training facilities, with a motor pool for maintaining and repairing emergency response vehicles. Complying with New York State Executive Order 111, it meets strict energy-efficient guidelines for lighting, heating, cooling, and insulation.
DC Commissions Sustainable Public Library
The 22,800-square-foot, three-story Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library, designed by Davis Brody Bond Aedas, recently opened in Washington, DC. The entry plaza features a 22-foot sculpture by local artist Craig Kraft. The ground floor houses the new materials and catalog stations for the general collections, and the children’s library. The upper level includes the bulk of the adult collection, including reference and periodical sections. The lower level contains community spaces, such as a 100-person, multi-purpose room. The library also offers conference rooms and individual study rooms to allow for collaborative work in a non-disruptive setting. Designed to meet LEED Silver standards, the building incorporates a vegetative roof, displacement air system, solar control, daylight management, and extensive use of recyclable and renewable materials. The southern façade is a corrugated, perforated-aluminum screen wall system that sits three feet in front of a curtain wall, providing shade to the upper level reading room while allowing natural daylight to enter.