In this issue:
·Affordable Housing in Bronx Is UP
·Museum-within-a-museum: New Light Shed on Greek and Roman Art
·Cooper-Hewitt Renovates
·Randall’s Island Sports New Look
·Water Heals at Medical College
·Boris Godounov Plays Princeton
·On the Boards in Baltimore

Affordable Housing in Bronx Is UP

500 East 165 Street

500 East 165 Street in the Bronx.

Magnusson Architecture and Planning

Ground was broken for a new affordable housing project, designed by Magnusson Architecture and Planning (MAP), in the Morrisania section of the Bronx. Developed by a joint venture of L&M Equity Participants, Nos Quedamos, and Melrose Associates, the building will rise eight stories on a corner of 165th Street and Third Avenue. Because of the site’s location on a main thoroughfare, MAP plans for a dramatic façade and an articulated corner entry with a setback to create public open space in front of the building. The steep slope of the site inspired a partially double height atrium space that allows light to move through the building and affords views from the street to a landscaped courtyard. Funded through New York State’s Division of Housing and Community Renewal, the project will create 128 units of affordable housing for residents earning up to 60% of Area Median Income (AMI), and approximately 4,500 square feet of commercial space.

Museum-within-a-museum: New Light Shed on Greek and Roman Art


Cubiculum (bedroom) from the Villa of P. Fannius Synistor.

Courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art

After more than five years of construction, the Leon Levy and Shelby White Court at The Metropolitan Museum of Art is now open to the public. Billed as a “museum-within-the-museum,” the long-awaited opening concludes the completion of a 15-year redesign project headed by Kevin Roche, FAIA. Returning to public view are the Met’s collection of classical art and thousands of long-stored works from the museum’s collection of Hellenistic, Etruscan, South Italian, and Roman art — on display in a peristyle court with a two-story atrium evoking that of a large Roman villa. The McKim, Mead, and White atrium previously displayed Roman art for 20 years before being converted into a cafeteria. Although the new design introduces several features, it remains faithful to the architects’ original concept — classically inspired architecture — and a glass roof that allows the objects below to be viewed in natural daylight

Cooper-Hewitt Renovates
On the heels of an ambitious capital campaign, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum has raised $33 million for the renovation of its home in the landmark Andrew Carnegie Mansion. The Design Architect Selection Committee, which includes the museum’s executive architect, Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, unanimously chose Richard Gluckman, FAIA, principal of Gluckman Mayner Architects, to develop the interior renovation. Through renovation and re-programming portions of the Carnegie Mansion and the adjacent Miller and Fox townhouses owned by the museum, the project expects to increase the museum’s total exhibition space from approximately 10,000 to 18,000 square feet.

Gluckman will design a new 7,000-square-foot flexible gallery and stairway to connect floors — which will be expanded with an additional 1,000 square feet of gallery space — forming a juxtaposition between 21st century design and the mansion’s Georgian style. The renovation program, which follows a two-year master planning process conducted by Beyer Blinder Belle, will advance in stages, with the design development by Gluckman to be conducted in the coming months. The renovation of the Miller and Fox townhouses will begin in spring 2008, followed by the renovation of the Carnegie Mansion, beginning in summer 2009.

Randall’s Island Sports New Look

Randall’s Island quad

The main quad planned for Randall’s Island.

Courtesy Levien & Company

Levien & Company is project manager for the Randall’s Island Sports Development Project, one of the largest public works projects in recent NYC history. The $127 million project will contain 64 state-of-the-art athletic fields, attendant roadways, parking, pedestrian pathways, lighting, landscaping, and comfort stations to be built on the island’s 300 acres. In response to a growing need for quality sports and recreation facilities in the city, the non-profit Randall’s Island Sports Foundation (RISF) created a public-private partnership with the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation. Together, they commissioned a master plan prepared by M. Paul Friedberg and Partners and Ricardo Zurita Architecture & Planning for Randall’s and Ward’s Islands. Already implemented is construction of the Icahn Track & Field Stadium (designed by Hillier), and in the development stage are a new and expanded Sportime Tennis Center and 27-acre Aquatic Entertainment Complex.

Water Heals at Medical College

Weill Greenberg Center

Weill Greenberg Center.

Polshek Partnership Architects

Sited on the Upper East Side, the newly completed 330,000-square-foot, 15-story Weill Greenberg Center for ambulatory care takes its place among the college’s array of different architectural styles. Guided by the principle that the building’s design is integral to the healing process, Polshek Partnership Architects created a series of interior water features, including a 60-foot-long water wall, a 100-foot-long stream, and a reflecting pool. An interior vehicle drop-off that opens directly onto the ground floor lobby (complete with valet parking) facilitates patient arrivals and departures. A white ceramic fritted glass curtain wall cut into undulating vertical facets allows soft light to permeate the interior while assuring patient privacy. It also reflects the gothic motif of the original New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center across York Avenue.

Boris Godounov Plays Princeton

Set design for “Boris Godunov”

Set design for “Boris Godunov.”

RUR Architecture

Jesse Reiser, AIA, principal of Reiser + Umemoto RUR Architecture, led a team of graduate students at Princeton University’s School of Architecture in designing the set for the world premiere of Alexander Pushkin’s 1825 play, “Boris Godunov.” The interdisciplinary set design involved the concept, design, and production of the sets using legendary theater director Vsevolod Meyerhold’s notes and other source materials as the basis for a new interpretation. For the design of the sets, Meyerhold’s concept of the “biomechanical theatre” was extrapolated to fit a 21st century paradigm.

On the Boards in Baltimore

Market Center Urban Renewal Area

Master plan for the Market Center Urban Renewal Area.

Cooper, Robertson & Partners

Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dunn recently unveiled Cooper, Robertson & Partners’ urban design plans for Lexington Square, a mixed-use urban retail destination and residential project. The three-city-block, $250 million redevelopment project has been designed to revitalize the Market Center Urban Renewal Area of Baltimore’s Westside. Two 14-story residential towers containing 400 residential rental apartments, 300,000 square feet of retail space, and 900 enclosed parking spaces comprise the project that is slated to begin construction in Spring 2008.

In this issue:
·Historic Ellis Island Ferry Building Reopens
·Long Island: Tech Hub of the Future?
·From Horses to Humans: Historic Stables To Become Apartments
·Turn Courthouse Into Two Schools
·Casino Brings High Class Play to Atlantic City
·Stern About Town
·Sliver of Luxury on 48th and Eighth

Historic Ellis Island Ferry Building Reopens

The restored Ellis Island Ferry Building.

The restored Ellis Island Ferry Building.

Photo by NPS/Kevin Daley

After 50 years of deterioration, and a $6.4 million restoration, the Ellis Island Ferry Building greeted its first visitors during a celebration earlier this month. The Art Deco-style building served as the departure point for immigrants traveling to new homes in New Jersey and lower Manhattan. The 5,500-square-foot terminal was built in 1934 to replace an earlier dilapidated wood structure. The exterior work involved extensive masonry repairs, a new roof, and the restoration of the steel windows and ornate lead-coated copper cupola. Interior work included detailed restoration of historic finishes and fixtures, such as the decorative plaster cornice, terracotta wainscot, terrazzo flooring, and a large bronze chandelier. In addition, new electrical, HVAC, and fire protection systems were installed.

The restoration is a project of the Albany office of Einhorn Yaffee Prescott for Save Ellis Island, Inc. and the National Park Service, and was executed to meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Preservation.

Long Island: Tech Hub of the Future?


The Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology at Stony Brook University.

Mitchell/Giurgola Architects

Construction is underway on the Mitchell/Giurgola Architects-designed Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology (CEWIT) at Stony Brook University. The 100,000-square-foot facility will operate as a cutting-edge research center for both wireless and wired technology. Services will be available to companies seeking wireless or IT research and development, from industries such as healthcare, transportation and logistics, mobile commerce, financial services, and manufacturing. Construction of the CEWIT is part of a statewide economic strategy to make NY, and specifically the Long Island area, a global hub of the high-tech industry. CEWIT is intended to anchor a new research district where private/public partnerships can develop to aid the design and production of new concepts and products.

From Horses to Humans: Historic Stables To Become Apartments

The renovated American Express Stables

The renovated American Express Stables will incorporate a two-story addition with a 4,500-square-foot duplex penthouse.

Kevin Kennon Architect

Kevin Kennon Architect has received approval from the NYC Department of City Planning to renovate, enlarge, and convert the historic former American Express Stables built in 1866 into a luxury residential building. The existing three-story building will be transformed into a five-story, 75,000-square-foot, multi-family complex. As part of the renovation process, wooden joists dating back to 1898 will be restored and recycled into the flooring of new lofts, and found objects such as historic signs, stonework, and piping will be incorporated into the building’s design and artwork. Located in the North Tribeca Historic District, the project received approval from the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 2005.

Turn Courthouse Into Two Schools

283 Adams Street

283 Adams Street in downtown Brooklyn will be converted into two schools.

Gran Kriegel Associates

Construction is under way to convert a 1951 former courthouse in downtown Brooklyn into two new 550-seat high schools, designed by Gran Kriegel Associates on behalf of the NYC Department of Education School Construction Authority. The specialized schools, one for law and justice (complete with wood-paneled courtroom), the other for math and science for young women, are for The Urban Assembly, a non-profit that creates small, public, college-prep high schools. The interior of the 140,000-square-foot building will be completely reconfigured. The deteriorating limestone exterior will be over-clad with a thin-stone façade system. A steel-framed, long-span joist rooftop addition, separated from the existing roof allowing for M/E/P distribution and noise isolation, will provide a multi-purpose room for sports and assembly. Construction on the $56 million project will be completed by the 2008-09 school year.

Casino Brings High Class Play to Atlantic City

Atlantic City’s latest casino design.

Atlantic City’s latest casino design.


An entire block of the Atlantic City Boardwalk has been given to the New York office of Stantec (formerly Vollmer Associates) to design a casino contracted by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA). The design is intended to create a balance between fun and playfulness, elegance and sophistication, and takes cues from Eastern Seaboard pier architecture, Art Moderne, and the Mediterranean.

Stern About Town

The Brompton

The Brompton on the Upper East Side.

Courtesy Related Companies

On the heels of 15 Central Park West for Zeckendorf Development, Robert A.M. Stern Architects is designing the 22-story Brompton for Related Companies on the Upper East Side. Noted for its gothic-inspired red brick and limestone façade and dramatic arched entranceway with cherry wood paneling and marble floors that traverse two landscaped courtyards, the residences will range from studios to five bedrooms. Occupancy is to begin in fall of 2008.

Sliver of Luxury on 48th and Eighth

785 Eighth Avenue

785 Eighth Avenue.

Ismael Leyva Architects

An angular 43-story residential building, designed by Ismael Leyva Architects for 785 Partners with Esplanade Capital, will be rising on a thin slice of real estate on Eighth Avenue and 48th Street. The building will contain 122 condominium units, some with terraces, others with balconies. Outdoor rooftop terraces with hot tubs will adjoin the 43rd floor penthouse and 42nd floor apartments.

In this issue:
·United Nations Approves Master Plan
·Art Deco Jewel Gets 21st Century Uplift
·Look No Further Than Chelsea’s “Vision Machine”
·A Permanent Dinner Party in Brooklyn
·Historic Waterfront Contributes to New Urbanist Future
·Pratt Institute Provides Modular Homes for Artists
·Friends Seminary Renovates and Expands
·Chic Hotel Has Designer Views to Match

United Nations Approves Master Plan

Courtesy UN Capital Master Plan

The UN Capital Master Plan by 2012/2013.

Courtesy UN Capital Master Plan

More than 50 years after it was built, the United Nations will undergo a $1.9billion renovation. The scope of the Capital Master Plan (CMP) covers over 2.5million square feet on more than 17 acres. Plans include replacing or refurbishing deteriorated equipment and systems, creating more redundancy, improving security and energy efficiency, removing hazardous materials, and achieving code compliance for all the buildings in the complex. Priorities include a temporary 10,000-square-foot conference building, and for the existing buildings, the installation of new curtain walls, a full sprinkler system, new mechanical and electrical systems, asbestos abatement, and landscaping.

In addition, a number of sustainability measures will be implemented. With these improvements, the U.N. is aiming to bring the headquarters — composed of the Secretariat building, General Assembly hall, Conference building, basement and garage, Dag Hammarskjöld Library, and South Annex — to a level comparable to a LEED Silver rating. Several design teams are on the project, including Einhorn Yaffee Prescott Architecture & Engineering, Helpern Architects, HLW, R.A. Heintges & Associates, and Syska Hennessy Group.

Art Deco Jewel Gets 21st Century Uplift

Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners

Left: Photograph of existing 34th Street (north) lobby looking east towards Fifth Avenue. Right: Artist’s rendering of 34th Street lobby restored, including recreation of historic ceiling mural.

Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners

Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners is planning a comprehensive restoration and revitalization of the Shreve, Lamb and Harmon-designed Art Deco lobby in the Empire State Building, a designated NYC landmark (and #1 on the AIA list of America’s Favorite Architecture). A number of historic features and distinctive architectural details, which have been obscured by alterations over time, will be restored or recreated while allowances for better operations as a modern office building will be made. Included in the plans waiting for Landmarks approval is the restoration of the lobby’s historic ceiling mural depicting a celestial sky rendered in gold and silver leaf, an element that was fully covered by a hung ceiling with fluorescent lighting in the 1960s.

Also planned is the replacement of the long lost, original incandescent uplight fixtures with modern, energy-efficient fixtures supplemented with carefully located downlights. Beyer Blinder Belle will also address important planning and design issues throughout the lobby’s street entrances, corridors, retail spaces, and elevator bank areas, including a fully equipped tenant visitor desk and improved pedestrian circulation while maintaining security, improving signage, and making optimal use of currently under-utilized areas.

Look No Further Than Chelsea’s “Vision Machine”

Ateliers Jean Nouvel

The “Living Machine” will be sited across the street from Gehry Partners’ IAC Center.

Ateliers Jean Nouvel

A 23-story tower, designed by Ateliers Jean Nouvel with Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, to be known as 100 11th, will feature a highly engineered and technologically advanced curtain wall. Each pane will be set at a unique angle and torque, giving each apartment its won configuration of glass. Across the street from Gehry Partners’ IAC/InterActive Corpration office building, the residence will feature 72 one-, two- and three-bedroom residences ranging from $1.6million to $22million. The building will be ready for occupancy late fall 2008.

A Permanent Dinner Party in Brooklyn

© Aislinn Weidele/Polshek Partnership Architects

Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party at the new Sackler Center.

© Aislinn Weidele/Polshek Partnership Architects

The centerpiece of the new Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, designed by Susan T. Rodriguez, FAIA, design partner at Polshek Partnership Architects, is Judy Chicago’s iconic installation The Dinner Party (1974-1979), a triangular banquet with 39 place settings for important historical women (from Susan B. Anthony and Virginia Woolf to Eleanor of Aquitaine). The spatial arrangement of the Sackler Center allows visitors to progress through its concentric layers from public to private. Beginning with a linear gallery space featuring The Banners, a series of seven Aubusson tapestries, The Dinner Party is accessed though an aperture at the apex. Upon exiting the central gallery, viewers enter a gallery space that includes The Heritage Panels, which summarize the research done by the artist and her team on the lives and accomplishments of the dinner guests.

Historic Waterfront Contributes to New Urbanist Future

Meltzer/Mandl Architects

Liberty Harbor.

Meltzer/Mandl Architects

The Jersey City Planning Commission has approved Meltzer/Mandl Architects’ design for a six-story, 108-unit market rate condo building in a “New Urbanist” community sited within the Jersey City historic waterfront district. The 200-foot-wide building will be distinguished by a curved façade composed of aluminum composite panels, called Alucobond, set against granite façades at the property line. This project is part of the second phase of Liberty Harbor, billed as a city-within-a-city with 7,000-10,000 condo residences, 150,000 square feet of retail space, public parks, and recreation centers. When completed, development will feature the work of 10 notable NY-area architectural firms.

Pratt Institute Provides Modular Homes for Artists

Garrison Architects

Artists in Residence: campus housing for Pratt Institute.

Garrison Architects

Garrison Architects, along with Marble Fairbanks, Obra Architects, Narofsky Architecture, Peter L. Gluck & Partners, Architects have been invited to design a new modular residence for graduate art students on the Pratt Institute campus. Faced with the challenge of maximizing units within a relatively small space and abiding by strict zoning guidelines, Garrison’s concept blends living, exhibition, and performance spaces under one (green) roof. A vertical atrium cuts through the center of the building and tectonic shifts in the modular building create a network of porches and walkways within the atrium, encouraging collaboration and exchange among students.

Friends Seminary Renovates and Expands
The first phase of an ongoing multi-million dollar comprehensive multi-phase renovation and expansion of Friends Seminary School, a 220-year-old Quaker school overlooking Stuyvesant Park on East 16th Street is almost complete. The renovation, designed by Helfand Architects, encompasses approximately 27,000 square feet. Upon completion later this spring, the school will have a consolidated library, five new classrooms, a science lab, new bathrooms, and a vertical circulation core, making it easier for students and staff to navigate through the different properties. The project management firm Levien & Company is representing the owner and will continue to remain project consultant for additional projects slated for the summer.

Chic Hotel Has Designer Views to Match

Andre Kikoski Architect

Z Hotel.

Andre Kikoski Architect

The Z Hotel, a new hotel in Long Island City located across from Manhattan’s 59th Street, offers each room a view of the Chrysler, Empire State, and Citicorp Buildings from guest room accommodations — including the bathrooms, where the skyline is framed in a single pane of glass. The 12-story building, designed by Andre Kikoski Architect, is clad in a window wall that also reflects the cityscape; LED’s illuminate the façade, replicating the energy of the city. The hotel’s public spaces have been designed to attract the neighborhood’s clientele (Silvercup Studios for one and Silvercup West on the boards, for another) with a below-grade restaurant and lounge with 25-foot-tall ceilings, and a rooftop bar with a 260-degree view that will be open in the summertime.

In this issue:
·Collaboration Success Story Hits East New York
·Three New Landmarks in Far West Village; Five to Go
·Compassion & Healing: 2007 VISTA Award
·Betting a Casino Heralds Catskills Comeback
·Community is Focus in Pike County, PA
·New Center Nods to Nobel Norwegian Novelist
·7 WTC’s New Tenant Floats on 42nd Floor
·Chinatown Loft Becomes Church (and a UWS Synagogue)
·Professionals Hang-Out at Houston Biomedical Research Facility

Collaboration Success Story Hits East New York

East New York Homes.

East New York Homes.

Della Valle Bernheimer

A ribbon cutting ceremony officiated by Mayor Bloomberg marked the opening of the 2,200-square-foot Glenmore Gardens, an affordable condominium housing project in East New York, Brooklyn, developed through the City of New York Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) New Foundations program on land owned by HPD. New Foundations is a homeownership program established to develop sites in neighborhoods lacking ownership opportunities and to encourage small developers and contractors to create affordable housing.

Della Valle Bernheimer Architects coordinated the design, development, and construction of five similar semi-detached slab-on-grade condominiums in collaboration with Architecture Research Office (ARO), BriggsKnowles Architecture+Design, and Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis. The firms each selected a floor plan type and then designed a unique shell for it. Using the same materials — 90% recycled corrugated aluminum, fiber cement panels, and cedar siding for the façades — Della Valle Bernheimer designed two of the buildings while the other firms designed one each. The complete construction budget was $2.3 million.

Three New Landmarks in Far West Village; Five to Go

Keller Hotel

Keller Hotel at 150 Barrow Street.

Courtesy Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation

In response to the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation’s (GVSHP) “Campaign to Save the Far West Village,” the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) voted unanimously to designate three more sites: the 1898 Neo-Classical Keller Hotel on Barrow Street, one of three remaining intact former sailors’ hotels in the Village that is currently being renovated into apartments; the 1839 Henry Wykoff House on Charles Street; and the 1844 Greek Revival Edwin Brooks House on West 11th Street. In 2005, the City committed to designating five additional sites in the area, but has not yet acted upon them. The GVSHP is also spearheading the protest against the 45-story Trump SoHo Condo Hotel at Spring and Varick Streets.

In related news, the LPC also granted protection for the library administration building at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The concrete and brick Tuscan-Revival-style building, one of a few designed by McKim, Mead & White without landmark designation, was completed in 1917.

Compassion & Healing: 2007 VISTA Award

Maimonides Cancer Center

Maimonides Cancer Center.

Guenther 5 Architects

The American Society of Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) named Guenther 5 Architects recipient of a VISTA Team Award in the Renovation Category for the 60,000-square-foot Maimonides Cancer Center in Brooklyn. The design was cited for integrating best medicine practices with compassionate and healing design, as well as environmentally responsible architecture and interiors.

The architects transformed a former bank check-processing facility into an experience-focused sustainable center reconnecting the deep floor plate with natural light whenever possible. In consideration of environmental sensitivity and a strong connection between healing and nature, the Center’s program includes two linear accelerators, where patients receive radiation therapy — now a standard protocol; a spacious chemotherapy area; a pediatric oncology space featuring a play area and aquarium; family consult areas; several private meditation areas; physician’s offices; and a resource room on the ground floor open to the community.

Betting a Casino Heralds Catskills Comeback

St. Regis Mohawk Casino

St. Regis Mohawk Casino.

Brennan Beer Gorman Architects

The St. Regis Mohawk Casino, just 90 miles northwest of New York City, is about to become the first casino in the Catskills, and Brennan Beer Gorman Architects (BBG) is set to design the 600,000 square foot gaming destination. Inspired by Adirondack-style lodges, the building is designed to create a relationship to nature, incorporating elements such as stone and natural wood. Glassed-in pedestrian walkways will accentuate the building’s perimeter while a stone tower will become a visible icon, according to the press release. Gaming will be focused around a double-height central atrium, with balconies overlooking from the specialty restaurant areas above. Planned restaurants, a nightclub, and an event center are programmed to offer entertainment to both gaming and non-gaming clients. The casino has won approval from Governor Eliot Spitzer and awaits final approvals from the Department of the Interior.

Community is Focus in Pike County, PA

Pike County Central Library

Pike County Central Library.

Frederic Schwartz Architects

Frederic Schwartz Architects has won the design competition for the Pike County Central Library in Milford, PA. The building is sited to take advantage of the view and adjacency to wooded parkland. The focal point of the two-story, 18,000-square-foot building is a high, open, sky-lit “hub” around which all interior circulation is organized. The library will contain a community meeting room, small conference and tutoring rooms, café, and roof terrace. Green building components include high-performance, low-E double-glazing, and energy efficient mechanical systems such as radiant floor heating, operable windows for cross ventilation, and a planted roof. Joining the design team is Henry Myerberg, AIA, an award-winning library design architect (and a principal at Rockwell Group) with five projects currently in the works for the Robin Hood Foundation’s L!BRARY initiative.

New Center Nods to Nobel Norwegian Novelist

Knut Hamsun Center

The Knut Hamsun Center.

Steven Holl Architects

In 1994, Steven Holl Architects was commissioned to design a center for the Nobel Prize-winning turn-of-the-century Norwegian novelist Knut Hamsun. The project is back on track thanks to the support of the Norwegian Council, and will be open in time for Hamsun’s 150th birthday in August 2009. The Center, located above the Arctic Circle near Hamsun’s childhood home, will include exhibition areas, a library and reading room, and an auditorium. The concept for the project, “Building as a Body: Battleground of Invisible Forces,” is an architectural interpretation of the author’s work and controversial Nazi-sympathizing character. In the interim, the Museum of Modern Art purchased a model of the building.

7 WTC’s New Tenant Floats on 42nd Floor

Darby & Darby Office

Darby & Darby Offices at 7WTC.

Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel, Architects

Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel, Architects (GKV) has been selected to design the law offices of Darby & Darby on the 42nd floor of 7 WTC. The 80,000-square-foot office will feature a glass staircase suspended by stainless steel tension rods joining a two-story conference center housing a boardroom and a multi-purpose room. Placed at opposite ends of the main reception area, they are designed to be individual glowing glass and sycamore “boxes.” The use of sheer stretch fabric ceilings in all conference rooms will allow for acoustical separation and privacy while maintaining a light and airy atmosphere. To take advantage of the natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows, an open office plan was created along with private offices on the perimeter. Full-height glass sidelights connect to figured sycamore wooden doors at the perimeter offices and pull natural light into corridors and other interior spaces.

Chinatown Loft Becomes Church (and a UWS Synagogue)


The new world headquarters and church for the Oversea Chinese Mission.


Chinatown’s Oversea Chinese Mission has commissioned Cetra/Ruddy to design its new world headquarters and church. The firm was selected as architect and interior designer to provide a creative re-adaptation of an existing 12-story commercial loft building. The reconfigured HQ will contain classrooms, community and pastoral office spaces, and a new 750-seat, two-story sanctuary. State-of-the-art acoustics and audio-visual capabilities for multi-media religious worship in Mandarin, Cantonese, and English languages will be installed. Construction is scheduled to begin this coming summer with an estimated completion date during summer 2008. Simultaneously, the firm is designing a new “ground-up” synagogue uptown.

Professionals Hang-Out at Houston Biomedical Research Facility

Methodist Hospital Houston Expansion

Methodist Hospital Houston Expansion.

Kohn Pederson Fox Architects

The Methodist Hospital in Houston has selected Kohn Pedersen Fox Architects to design a new 11-story biomedical research institute. The 300,000-square-foot facility is divided into two distinct volumes, one for labs and the other for offices. They are joined by an atrium that, along with its connecting bridges, provide break rooms and other informal gathering spaces on each floor. The program also includes conference facilities with a 250-seat auditorium, a vivarium, imaging suite, and current good manufacturing practice facilities. Bridge connections to the existing hospital are proposed at several floors to facilitate translational research and a sense of professional community.

In this issue:
• Prospect Park Gains Skating Rinks
• New Y’s for Tribeca, Bed-Stuy
• Asymptote Reaches New Heights in Asia
• Selldorf Architects to Renovate The Clark
• South Beach Style Heads to Manhattan
• LHSA+DP X 5 in Caribbean
• Building Tests Stanford Law Green Guidelines

Prospect Park Gains Skating Rinks

Courtesy Prospect Park Alliance

Location of future skating rink in Prospect Park.

Courtesy Prospect Park Alliance

The Prospect Park Alliance has selected Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects for the new Lakeside Center, a 38,000-square-foot recreation building and two ice skating rinks totaling an additional 35,000 square feet. The center will be open year-round and offer a café, gift shop, lockers, rental facilities, programming areas, and pedal boat rental in summer. The new building, which is aiming for LEED Silver certification, is slated to begin construction next year. After it opens, the outdated Kate Wollman Center and Rink and its 15,000-square-foot building will be demolished. Landscape architect Christian Zimmerman will oversee the restoration of the present rink’s site to reflect the original landscape designs of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux.

New Y’s for Tribeca, Bed-Stuy

Donald Blair & Partners Architects

Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA Fitness & Community Center.

Donald Blair & Partners Architects

Kostow Greenwood Architects

The new Tribeca location for the YMCA’s Makor and Daytime programs.

Kostow Greenwood Architects

The 92nd Street YMCA’s Makor and Daytime@ programs are moving to Tribeca, Kostow Greenwood Architects has designed its new 15,800-square-foot storefront space at 200 Hudson Street. Opening this fall, the facility contains a music-performance space with a bar, café/performance space, screening room large enough for readings and other non-film programs, an expandable lecture space, several classrooms, art galleries, and offices.

The YMCA of Greater New York’s Bedford-Stuyvesant Fitness and Community Center, designed by Donald Blair & Partners Architects, has also been completed. The 20,000-square-foot center is connected to two other buildings owned by the YMCA – the newly renovated Bedford Academy High School, and the existing YMCA Activity building currently undergoing renovation. The brick and glass façade creates transparency and opens the building to the community. A two-story atrium houses the membership lounge and permits light and visibility to penetrate the lower floor. A 100-foot-long ceramic tile mosaic overlooking the lounge memorializes the former Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA branch colorfully illustrating a football scene depicted in a photograph found in the branch’s archives.

Asymptote Reaches New Heights in Asia


Millennium Tower World Business Center in Busan, Korea.


Asymptote has won an international competition to design the Millennium Tower World Business Center in Busan, Korea. The competition was organized by the Busan International Architectural Culture Festival (BIACF) and sponsored by the Municipality of Busan City and the Solomon Group, a private Korean developer, who has committed to move forward with the design. Asymptote’s winning design has three separate slender towers rising out of a robust and powerful base tapering upwards around a central garden. Upon completion, the 560-meter-tall building will be the tallest in Asia.

Selldorf Architects to Renovate The Clark

Selldorf Architects

Selldorf Architects will renovate The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.

Selldorf Architects

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute has selected Selldorf Architects for the renovation of its original museum situated on 140 acres in the Berkshires, and a short walk from Williams College. Designed in the neo-classical style by architect Daniel Perry, AIA, the museum, which opened in 1955, has remained largely untouched. Selldorf will join Reed | Hilderbrand Landscape Architecture of Watertown, MA, the architect-of-record Gensler, and Tadao Ando, Hon. FAIA, who is designing The Clark’s Stone Hill Center. Selldorf will oversee the renovation of the galleries that house the museum’s permanent collection renowned for its 19th-century European and American painting, especially French Impressionism. An addition of over 5,000 square feet of new gallery space dedicated to American painting and decorative arts will also transform existing support spaces. A new off-campus entry, connected to the new Exhibition, Visitor, and Conference Center also designed by Ando, is part of a master plan to orient the buildings away from the street.

South Beach Style Heads to Manhattan

Denniston International Architects & Planners

Level 2 library in The Setai.

Denniston International Architects & Planners

The Setai Group and New York developer Zamir Equities have collaborated on a 30-story luxury and very exclusive condominium. The Setai New York, billed as “a mantra of serenity and calm,” is located in the Financial District. Jean-Michel Gathy, of Kuala Lumpur-based Denniston International Architects & Planners, who designed The Setai, South Beach, is design architect, and New York’s Avinash K. Malhotra, AIA, (AKM Architects) is project architect. The building will contain 167 studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom residences priced from around $650,000 to $6.75 million, in addition to a members only club and spa and furnished rooftop lounge. The public spaces are Asian-inspired with Thai silk panels lining the walls of the lobby, bronze panels, and teak lattices lining the lobby walls.

LHSA+DP Impacts X 5 in Caribbean

Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership

Shoal Bay, one of five concurrent projects in Anguilla.

Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership

The Caribbean island of Anguilla will be the site of five new luxury projects by Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership (LHSA+DP). The projects will feature the ultimate in indoor/outdoor living, green and sustainable design. It will emphasize an authentic Anguillan experience, focusing on natural elements such as water, sky, sand, and wind. The developments are designed to reflect the history of the island’s culture and architecture in tandem with a distinctly modern aesthetic sensibility.

Building Tests Stanford Law Green Guidelines

Polshek Partnership Architects has been selected by Stanford Law School to design a new 80,000-square-foot academic building intended to promote overall campus integration and strengthen the Law School’s community while providing the faculty with a collaborative working, learning, and teaching environment. The project is located between the commons facility of the Munger Graduate Residence, currently under construction, and the academic buildings of the Crown Quadrangle, designed by Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill in 1972. The new building will be developed in accordance with the Stanford University Guidelines for Sustainable Buildings.


• Boerum Hill Grows a Green Urban Show House
• New Spaces Round Out Music Conservatory
• Two Interactive Playgrounds Stretch Kids’ Minds, Muscles
• 30-Story Condo Slated for Brooklyn
• Piazza for SUNY Purchase
• Reopen Airport as Service Center
• NYC IDA Spurs New Office, Industrial Space in Brooklyn
• Survey Predicts Engineer Shortage


Boerum Hill Grows a Green Urban Show House
Working with developers R & E Brooklyn and Studio A/WASA, Natural Home magazine is converting a circa 1920s Brooklyn brownstone that had been slated for demolition, into the city’s first American Lung Association Health House. Plans call for preserving the existing historic brick commercial façade, while creating two three-bedroom residences.

Designed to meet a high standard of environmental performance, solar panels will provide electricity, and an innovative hybrid solar-thermal and gas-fired system will provide heating and cooling. Eco-friendly materials will include cement made from fly ash, recycled glass countertops, bamboo flooring finished with low-VOC water-based poly, and sorghum stalk kitchen cabinets. In order to be a Health House, a project must meet stringent standards that address moisture and humidity control, energy efficiency, air filtration and ventilation, and materials emissions. In addition, the project will include site inspections during the construction phase and performance testing upon completion. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2007.


New Spaces Round Out Music Conservatory

Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners

The multi-functional Ades Performance Space at the Manhattan School of Music.

Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners

The Manhattan School of Music gained two new performance spaces and a residence for the president, completing the school’s plan for a fully functional and centralized campus community on the Upper West Side. The $65 million project, designed by Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, began with the construction of a 19-story multi-use building to house dorms, practice rooms, and a new music library.

Now the school’s campus has the Miller Recital Hall, designed for recitals by faculty and students it is an intimate 1,775-square-foot performance space that seats 151. The multi-functional, 2,080-square-foot Ades Performance Space accommodates 216 persons and allows for multiple configurations for staging informal performances including chamber music, jazz, opera, and musical theater, as well as rehearsal space for large ensembles. The residence, with a penthouse and wrap-around terrace, also serves as an extension of the president’s office and as entertaining space for the institution.


Two Interactive Playgrounds Stretch Kids’ Minds, Muscles

Ellen Honigstock Architect

The deli component of apple seeds playground.

Ellen Honigstock Architect

Rockwell Group

Burling Slip playground aims to encourage imagination.

Rockwell Group

Imagination Playground, a private/public partnership between the Rockwell Group and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation got a thumbs-up from Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) after receiving necessary approval from the local community board. Billed as a place “where kids will exercise their minds as well as their muscles,” the Rockwell Group’s model, initiated as a pro bono project, adds a rich environment of diverse materials encouraging unstructured “free play” in addition to traditional fixed equipment for physical activity.

The playground, located at Burling Slip adjacent to South Street Seaport, incorporates elements such as climbing ropes, a lookout ramp with telescopes, amphitheater seating, and a multi-level “crow’s nest” that has a double function as storage for loose parts. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) provided a grant for the construction of the Playground and the architect and the city are seeking to raise an additional $2 million for an endowment. Construction is slated to begin late 2007.

On West 25th Street near Madison Square Park, two friends, both moms of twins, decided they needed an indoor place for kids and their parents to hang out in the neighborhood. Designed by Ellen Honigstock Architect, apple seeds is a 15,000-square-foot play space, café, and boutique with classrooms where students can learn music, art, cooking, and yoga. The main attraction of apple seeds is its 2,500-square-foot NYC-themed interactive playground created by children’s museum designer, Roto Studios. The playground is divided into three zones – “the neighborhood,” ‘the park,” and “the city,” coinciding with early childhood development.


30-Story Condo Slated for Brooklyn

Courtesy Clarett Group

Purchase College Student Services Building

Courtesy Clarett Group

Forté, a 30-story residential condo designed by FXFOWLE Architects, will be constructed in the new BAM Cultural District. Containing 108 residences, from studios to three-bedroom apartments, the streamlined glass ribbon façade will house four homes per floor and include gourmet kitchens and luxury amenities.


Piazza for SUNY Purchase

Kevin Hom + Andrew Goldman Architects

Purchase College Student Services Building

Kevin Hom + Andrew Goldman Architects

Kevin Hom + Andrew Goldman Architects has recently completed a new, $12.6 million student services building for Purchase College. The project is part of a campus master plan conducted by the firm, designed to create a new center for academic and outdoor functions. The 57,000-square-foot glass and brick building has a two-story atrium with a one-stop-shop for student services and a multi-media conference center. The center is located at the end of the newly created Central Campus Mall, a plaza extension consisting of an overpass infill that bridges over an existing roadway, creating a new quad area know as the “Piazza.”

Reopen Airport as Service Center

Margulies Hoelzli Architecture

The Avitat Westchester

Margulies Hoelzli Architecture

After a 15-month, $9 million renovation that converted its pre-jet age airplane hangar, Avitat Westchester reopened as a modern airport service center at Westchester County Airport. The 21,000-square-foot, two-story lean-to terminal, designed by Margulies Hoelzli Architecture, contains multi-tenant offices, crew facilities, maintenance shops, and storage facilities. Hoping to make the trip from to the aircrafts interesting, the facility has a glass canopy, an atrium, custom stainless steel staircases, aquariums filled with tropical fish, a baby grand piano, and its own Starbuck’s with freshly brewed coffee for pilots and passengers.


NYC IDA Spurs New Office, Industrial Space in Brooklyn
New York City Industrial Development Agency (IDA), administered by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), approved financial assistance for the office component of The Center at Albee Square, a mixed-use development in Downtown Brooklyn that will serve as the city’s first major commercial project constructed in the area since a 2004 rezoning. The $60.4 million project is expected to create more than 470 construction jobs over three years and provide office space for about 500 permanent jobs. The IDA Board also approved financing assistance to four industrial companies, an auto parts manufacturer, commercial printer, importer/distributor of groceries, an apparel manufacturer, and a not-for-profit religious school.


Survey Predicts Engineer Shortage
In time for National Engineers Week 2007, a survey of 175 member firms conducted by the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York (ACECNY), reveals the direction, trends, and challenges the consulting engineering industry expects to face over the next five years. Critical issues include finding and retaining qualified personnel. Currently, 42% of those surveyed said they have enough engineers to meet their needs, and they anticipate this problem to grow. Personnel shortages in civil engineering, including transportation, highway, and bridge engineers, followed by mechanical and electrical engineers, fire safety, structural, and environmental engineers appeared to be of greatest concern to respondents. Topping the list of factors important to retaining professional engineers are higher salaries, more visibility and recognition, mentoring, and job security.