In the News

– Second Life for Aluminum Cans: Cast & Place by Team Aesop winner of 2017 City of Dreams Pavilion Competition
– The Motor City is Revving Up: SHoP to design Detroit’s tallest building
– Answering the Call – SOM’s PSAC II: SOM’s PSAC II augments city’s 911 services
– A Film/Fashion Hub Grows in Brooklyn: WXY design designs new Made in NY campus
– Spiraling In Control: Libeskind’s Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics celebrates grand opening

Second Life for Aluminum Cans
Cast & Place, designed by Team Aesop, has been selected the winner of the seventh annual City of Dreams Pavilion Competition. The temporary installation, which will be constructed on Governors Island this summer, re-imagines waste as a transformative resource. Soil dredged from the East River, the material also used in the construction of Governors Island, is laid out to dry and crack. Approximately 250,000 aluminum cans are melted down and poured into the cracked dredge. The results are light, strong panels that provide structure and shade, assembled into spaces for performance and play. Rain-soaked reflecting pools of dredge reveal the pavilion’s formwork as they dry and crack in the summer heat, inducing meditations on time, materiality, and the sources of our city. The annual competition is hosted by FIGMENT, the AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA), and the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAoNY). The City of Dreams Pavilion, so named for its focus on the future of a world that faces strains on both economic and natural resources, promotes sustainability-oriented thinking amidst the architecture and design communities, requiring designers to consider the environmental impact of their designs in everything from materials sourcing to disposal, or ideally reuse, of waste at the end of the season. Over 100 design proposals were reviewed and five finalists were short-listed. Team Aesop will work with Governors Island to select the exact site for Cast & Place, refine the design, obtain necessary approvals, and fabricate and install the pavilion on the island. Note: Help fund the project or volunteer by contacting

The Motor City is Revving Up
SHoP Architects is collaborating with Detroit based-Hamilton Anderson Associates on the design of a 52-story, 1.2 million-square-foot mixed-use development that, when completed, will become Detroit’s tallest building. Located on a two-acre site where the J.L. Hudson’s Department Store once stood, the project will be among the largest construction projects in Detroit in decades. At its center is an enclosed community civic space that opens to welcome residents and visitors from surrounding streets. Retail, residential, food, and culture amenities will provide everyday services now lacking for the influx of residents that continue to relocate downtown. The project consists of a nine-story podium and a residential tower with 250 residential units, plus 700 parking space below ground. In 2013, SHoP was selected after an invited competition to study the possibilities for using the site in downtown Detroit as a catalyst for the ongoing revitalization of the city. Detroit’s Downtown Development Authority has approved a timeline that sets the groundbreaking for the development to this coming December.

Answering the Call
The Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)-designed Public Safety Answering Center II (PSAC II) has been awarded an Architecture Merit in the 2017 AIANY Design Awards. Located along the Hutchinson River Parkway and Pelham Parkway in The Bronx, the 450,000-square-foot facility augments existing 911 services, strengthening the city’s ability to maintain communication in the event of a natural disaster or large-scale emergency. The center is designed to operate continually under adverse conditions and acts as a parallel operation to the existing PSAC I in downtown Brooklyn. Completed in 2016, the blast-resistant structure is a perfect cube, with minimal windows due to security concerns. To mitigate the structure’s monolithic appearance, the serrated façade, made of recycled aluminum, provides dynamism and asymmetry. Inside, the lobby and cafeteria areas feature a green wall that helps create a soothing environment while acting as a natural air filter, drawing toxins and improving overall indoor air quality. Designed to achieve LEED Gold certification, additional sustainable strategies include recycled building materials and reduced water use for irrigation. The nine-acre site features a wrap-around sculptural berm of wild grasses. The building, which is a project of the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) is owned and managed by the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS). Technology systems are managed by the NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommuncations (DoITT). NYPD and FDNY oversee call-taking and dispatch.

A Film/Fashion Hub Grows in Brooklyn
WXY architecture + urban design
has been contracted by the NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) to provide master planning and conceptual design services for the new Made in NY campus, located on the waterfront at Bush Terminal in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn. The firm has been tasked to transform 300,000 square feet of space into a film and fashion hub interspersed with pedestrian-friendly plazas. Two industrial buildings totaling 200,000 square feet will be renovated for garment manufacturing and a new 100,000-square-foot complex will be designed for VR facilities and film and television production. A 7,500-square-foot anchor location has also been planned as a food retail and manufacturing facility. Upon completion in 2020, it is expected that the hub will provide 1,500 permanent jobs. In addition, the firm is involved in designing urban design improvements at the neighboring Brooklyn Army Terminal.

Spiraling In Control
The Studio Libeskind-designed Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics on the campus of Durham University in the UK celebrated its grand opening. The center contains 80 new offices for professors, researchers, and support staff at the Institute for Computational Cosmology and the Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology. A spiral in plan, the form of the almost 27,000-square-foot building is continuous, stacked, and interlocking. To achieve this, the location of columns had to be carefully considered, with some of them sloping to respond to the architectural geometry of the building. Clad in a ventilated timber rain screen built from responsibly sourced Scottish larch, the building’s façade is punctuated with linear bands of operable strip windows and a series of outdoor terraces. Canted curtain walls on the north and south faces bookend the form of the spiral and provide picturesque views. Private workspaces ring the perimeter of the building and communal multi-story interior spaces are located under a central skylight. The windowed private offices have glazed doors that further transmit light from the exterior to the central atrium. The ground floor areas, including a 100-seat seminar room, are open to the public. The second floor features a central social space where staff and research students can work together on an informal basis. This area can also serve as a setting for formal dinners, fundraisers, presentations, or special announcements. Adjacent breakout rooms with videoconferencing facilities will allow group discussions and wider collaboration. In addition to the use of sustainable materials, the building’s exposed concrete ceilings take advantage of the night-purge effect, renewable energy sources such as a ground-source heat pump and photo-voltaic array on the roof are employed, and rainwater harvesting has been incorporated into the landscape.

This Just In

Herzog & de Meuron is transforming a former Brooklyn Rapid Transit power station in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn into the Powerhouse Workshop for the Powerhouse Environmental Arts Foundation. Known as the “Batcave,” the structure will become a contemporary industrial fabrication center to serve the working needs of artists in multiple disciplines, as well as an exhibition space. The central design elements include the renovation of the existing Turbine Hall, the reconstruction of the Boiler House, and creating interior spaces that allow for flexible workshop configurations.

The city’s second Nitehawk Cinema is being designed by Think! Architecture and Design. The renovation of the Pavilion Theater in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn into a new six-level eating, drinking, and movie-watching experience is expected to start this month.

Allied Works Architecture has been selected to design the renovation of Eleven Madison Park, a restaurant located in what was originally the lobby of the Metropolitan Life building in the Flatiron District. The renovation encompasses the architecture of the dining room to the furniture, fixtures, and textiles, and continues to enhance the Art Deco design of the 11-year old restaurant.

Construction is underway on the Beyer Blinder Belle and Lubrano Ciavarra-designed renovation and transformation of Eero Saarinen’s TWA Flight Center at JFK into a 505-room hotel. Two new six-story crescent-shaped buildings will flank the terminal. Additions call for a restored Lockheed Super Constellation aircraft that will contain a restaurant and bar and will connect to the hotel and the tubes that once led to planes awaiting take-off.

The Pier 5 uplands, the latest section of the Michael van Valkenburgh Associates-designed Brooklyn Bridge Park, is scheduled to be completed by mid-summer. The addition adds 4.6 acres of green space, plus a new entrance, a stepped lawn, a shaded grove, a horticultural lab, and a boathouse.

As part of the Public Art Fund’s 40 Anniversary Celebration, “Open House,” by Los Angeles-based artist Liz Glenn, will transform Doris C. Freedman Plaza in Central Park into an open air ballroom. Inspired by the grand ballrooms of the Gilded Age, in particular Stanford White’s demolished William C. Whitney Ballroom, the installation will include furniture of the period. “Open House” will be on view now through 09.24.17.

Want to know more about New York during the Gilded Age? Now there’s an app for that!