Fan Photo – NYC Daily PicturesMarch 16th, 2012
Photo: NYC Daily Pictures
Photo: NYC Daily Pictures
Over the course of 3 days, artist Mr. Kiji was commissioned to hand paint an original mural in one of our lounges and we are extremely happy with the results!
Photo: Markus Holmes
as the need for housing increases in the next few decades the way architects envision where and how we live will dictate the new horizon of cities throughout the world. this year’s top ten most viewed residential structures features both completed and conceptual projects. with two of the most controversial and ambitious proposals, MVRDV bookend’s this year’s list, with ‘future tower’ and ‘the cloud’.
frank gehry adds new dimension to new york city’s skyline with ‘new york by gehry’. and MAD architects tops another list with ‘absolute towers.’ as these structures expand high into the air, providing us with greenery and panoramic views, japan and paris showcase how materials in mid-density units can transform even the smallest of spaces.
1. ‘the cloud’ by MVRDV
understanding that residential towers are being built higher into the skies, MVRDV designed ‘cloud’ to express this new reality. with a resemblance to the WTC, uproar over the scheme ignited controversy over the initial concept. despite the provoked imagery, it is a new vision for a vertical urban village situated among the clouds.
2. ‘condominium at bishan central’ by moshe safdie
the creation of a family and community oriented complex, safdie architects has incorporated open-air pedestrian walkways linked at different elevations providing panoramic views of the tropical landscape. individual units encourage cross ventilation to pass through the interior spaces to take advantage of the cooling breezes. this new village echoes the hillside architectural developments maximizing the individual’s exposure to nature and open spaces.
3. ‘beekman tower / new york by gehry’ by frank gehry
manhattan claims another title with ‘new york by gehry’ the tallest residential building in the western hemisphere standing 870 feet high. the structure is clad with stainless steel, a signature material for gehry, which appears to be constantly moving in the sky. the height initially created controversy and was almost reduced by half due to the struggling economic climate.
4. ‘west 67th’ by BIG architects
as new york city transforms itself into a more green and livable city, ‘west 57th’ adds to the revitalization of the hudson river waterfront and the highland by positioning itself between 11th and 12th avenue adjacent to this area. the pyramid form explores a new hybrid standard combining a traditional courtyard with the manhattan high-rise structure. keeping three corners close to street level, the courtyard opens up to the hudson river providing views and sunlight into every unit.
5. ‘vertical forest’ by stefano boeri
currently under construction, ‘vertical forest’ is situated within the metropolitan center of milan, italy. its concept of reforestation within the city, attempts to minimize the urban sprawl and increase biodiversity and green spaces which is traditionally lost in the building process.
the development of this project serves as a model for contemporary european cities linking a building with nature within the city boundary.
6. ‘LUZ shirokane’ by naoya kawabe architect & associates
individual units are accessed from an internal communal gathering space encouraging interaction between inhabitants as well as visual connections between transparent enclosures bordering the central common area. dynamic activity is then projected outward, extending the spatial limits of the residences.
7. ‘student residence’ by LAN architecture
rifts between the slate brick facade of this urban complex reveal a landscaped courtyard hidden from the street. accessed with open-air stairways, the apartments are lined with a system of wooden louvers along interior-facing windows and terraces to control interior microclimates.
8. ‘absolute towers’ by MAD architects
launching the practice of the beijing-based studio with the initial competition win in 2006, this pair of gently undulating towers is nearing completion as construction of the exterior is now finished. the buildings respond to each other and the surrounding area creating unobstructed views to the city of toronto and lake ontario in the distance.
9. ‘housing development in gdynia’ by mikolai adamus and igor brozyna
this proposal interconnects clusters of homes with a public park. vegetated exterior walls blur the boundary between the landscape and structures while roof top terraces and gardens allow inhabitants to view the natural setting.
10. ‘future tower’ by MVRDV
the angled roofs of this series of highrises mimic peaks, canyons and valleys to provide optimal views for the stepped terraces placed along them. large metal shutters will enable dwellers to adjust for changing lighting conditions during the day will creating a dynamic appearance to the gridded facade.
Frederico Farina, a creative director for fashion brands, recalls waking up every morning last summer in his 21st-floor apartment in Brooklyn Heights and gazing across the river at the new Frank Gehry-designed apartment tower in Lower Manhattan. Its rippled stainless-steel facade reflected the sun, making it shine like a beacon.
“One day, my husband and I woke up and said, ‘Let’s go see the view,’ ” Mr. Farina, 39, said. They were so delighted by the views from a 50th-floor one-bedroom — which Mr. Farina said stretched from the East River to the Hudson River — that they decided to rent out their Brooklyn apartment for two years and moved into the building in September. After two years, they plan to return to their place in Brooklyn, which is much larger.
“This apartment fits in our living room,” Mr. Farina said. But that was the trade-off, he said, for living in a work of art.
“I think this is the new Chrysler Building,” he said.
At 870 feet, 8 Spruce Street — or, as it is known by real estate agents, New York by Gehry — is the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere, though it may soon be surpassed by a 90-story hotel-condominium going up near Carnegie Hall. Still, with its irregular facade, with facets that twist like silver ribbons hanging from the sky, the Gehry building has quickly become a distinctive part of the skyline and a symbol of Lower Manhattan’s rebirth since the Sept. 11 attacks.
Nine months after the building welcomed its first renters, it has become a microcosm of the neighborhood. There are professionals in their 20s, families and members of the wealthy elite. Available studios and one-bedrooms rent for skyward of $3,700 a month and three bedrooms for $11,975 and up.
The first five floors of the 76-story tower house the new Public School 397, the entrance of which is on the east side of the building, separated from the residents’ entrance on the west, so the streams of children arriving and lawyers and bankers leaving for work do not have to cross.
By building the school, the developer, Forest City Ratner Companies, was able to secure $203.9 million in tax-exempt Liberty Bonds to finance construction. (Forest City Ratner was the development partner of The New York Times in its Midtown headquarters.)
But stacking a residential tower atop a school can create complications. Jaquelin Febrillet-Barr, who has two sons at the school, said it recently sent a letter to parents informing them that someone in the building had been dropping bottles out of a window or off a terrace, which had landed on the school’s rooftop playground. Asked about the episode, the Education Department said the principal had notified the building’s management, which had subsequently sent a letter to the building’s tenants.
So far, all floors up to the 60th have been opened for renters, and 60 percent of the building’s 903 units are occupied, said Clifford Finn, president of new development marketing at CitiHabitats, which handles leasing for the building.
Kathrin Hoffmann, 31, who works at an advertising company, lives on the 10th floor, where the apartments are cheaper and the view is mostly of adjacent buildings.
“I couldn’t afford anything higher,” she said, as she walked her dog, a miniature Spitz, on a recent morning.
When Ms. Hoffmann was moving from Los Angeles four months ago, she looked online for apartments in new buildings, and New York by Gehry was one of the first to come up. She chose it partly because it was a 10-minute walk to her office.
Among the amenities, she said, she loved the 50-foot swimming pool on the seventh floor, which has glass doors, leading onto a deck, that are left open in the summer.
“The nice thing is, not a lot of people actually use it,” she said.
Asked if she used the screening room, which has curved amphitheater seating designed by Mr. Gehry, or the library full of art books and magazines, she wrinkled her nose a little.
“It feels a bit poncey in a way,” Ms. Hoffmann said, using British slang that means overly ostentatious. “My friends and I, we aren’t into that.”
But for those who like such luxuries, the building has many. There is a children’s playroom, with toys and a puppet theater, and a “tweens’ den,” with multicolored plush furniture and a Wii. There is a large gym, yoga and Pilates studios, and a spinning room with 20 bikes. There are also two golf simulators.
Not advertised: last month, the Web site Curbed.com reported an anonymous complaint that tenants in one vertical line of apartments were experiencing a heavy odor of cigarette smoke. Mr. Finn said Monday that “this was an isolated incident, and management has worked to resolve the issue.”
Compared with the lower floors, the population on the upper floors is more rarefied. Mr. Farina said that in his elevator bank, there seemed to be many people from outside New York, and even outside the United States.
“You hear a lot of different languages,” he said.
The building’s irregular shape means that, in some lines, the apartments are different, and it makes for some unusual angles and awkwardly shaped rooms. But it also means that some windows jut outward, offering better views.
On the terrace of a three-bedroom apartment on the 52nd floor, there is a stiff breeze, but the view is astounding, stretching from Coney Island to the Long Island Sound. Straight below, one can watch the cars getting on the Brooklyn Bridge.
For the ultimate elite, there are three penthouse apartments, still under construction, which will go on the market for $40,000, $45,000 and $60,000 a month. Mr. Finn described the likely renter as “probably a person who has multiple homes and entertains a lot.”
By the time those apartments are ready for occupancy next spring, perhaps the Occupy Wall Street protesters will have moved away from Zuccotti Park, which is about a half-dozen blocks south and a block west of the Gehry building.
Mr. Farina said he could often hear the protests from his 50th-floor apartment, although he said he did not mind.
Nor did he mind that, for much of the last month, the mounted police called in to manage the protesters parked their horse trailers on Spruce Street, resulting in a pervasive odor of horse manure.
Asked about the smell, he shrugged and pointed to his dog, a longhaired dachshund. “She loves the horses,” he said. “It’s exciting for her.”
The fourth annual World Architecture Festival (WAF) wrapped up in Barcelona on November 4. More than 1,300 people attended this year’s awards ceremony, which capped the three-day event, and got a peek at the 700-plus international projects entered. Seminars and keynote speakers touched on issues of “disaster” and “difference,” including David van der Leer, assistant curator of Architecture and Urban Studies at New York’s Guggenheim Museum, who also led the museum’s team in executing the BMW Guggenheim Lab, a touring project that wrapped up its New York City run in October.
Many of the winners graced the pages of Architectural Record this year, including Marlon Blackwell’s St. Nicholas Eastern Orthodox Church in Springdale, Arkansas. Blackwell’s church won the Civic and Community award in the Completed Buildings category. Frank Gehry’s 8 Spruce Street residential tower in New York City, Bjarke Ingel’s 8 House in Copenhagen, and Koji Tsutsui’s InBetween House in Karauizawa, Japan also took home awards.
Below is a complete list of WAF winners. See the slideshow for images.
World Building of the Year
Cloud 9, Spain
Future Project of the Year
Hanimaadhoo International Airport, Maldives
Integrated Design Associates Limited, Hong Kong
Structural Design of the Year
8 Spruce Street – Beekman Tower, New York, USA
Gehry Partners, LLP, USA
Once Foundation Award for Accessibility
Museum of Memory and Tolerance, Mexico City, Mexico
Arditti + RDT arquitectos, Mexico
Memorial house Todor Proeski, Krushevo, Macedonia
Syndicate studio, Macedonia