On Monday night, a crowd of 200 assembled at a construction site in Harlem for the first panel in a series called “Changing Architecture.” The discussion, moderated by Metropolis editor-in-chief Susan S. Szenasy, focused on the need for architects to develop a wider skill set that will enable them to take a more involved role in the building process of their projects.
Among the evening’s panelists was Peter Gluck, founder and principal at the firm Gluck+. He is a strong believer in architects getting their hands dirty at the construction site, working with communities, and being held responsible for a project coming in on budget. He remarked that “Architectural thinking is seen as a luxury item not relevant to the real needs of the development process…Architects need to acquire multi-faceted knowledge and accept previously shunned responsibilities in order to change this perception.”
Design-build firms like Gluck+ have established successful practices by creating teams of skilled architects who have a firm grasp of making a building and everything that goes with it—a deep understanding of how their designs will be made by the craftsmen and builders involved. By utilizing this knowledge and following their work through the entire building process, the firm can ensure that the quality and cost of the finished building is in keeping with the needs of the developer and the surrounding community. (more…)
Following our site visit to Via Verde in New York City, we headed west to brisk yet sunny Chicago to Inspiration Kitchens – Garfield Park, submitted by its founder and sponsor, Inspiration Corporation Inc. The restaurant is located four miles west of the Chicago Loop in East Garfield Park, across the street from the 185-acre Garfield Park and one block from the Garfield Park Conservatory. Opened in 2011 the facility, located in one of the city’s most distressed neighborhoods, is a nonprofit, social enterprise that provides healthy, free meals to the working poor as well as workforce training.
The dining room of Inspiration Kitchens – Garfield Park, Chicago. Photograph: Inspiration Kitchens
The restaurant is close to Garfield Park, Garfield Park Conservatory, and public transit. Illustration: Wheeler Kearns Architects
View looking past the restaurant toward the loop. Photograph: Bruner Foundation
Among the smallest of the 2013 Rudy Bruner Award finalists in size, Inspiration Kitchens – Garfield Park, like Congo Street Initiative and Via Verde, is a LEED Gold certified project and shares the intent of encouraging healthier urban living and sustainable development. During our two days on site, we met with Inspiration Corporation staff representatives from the community and city agencies, the design team, and program graduates to learn more about the project. We also sampled the food, enjoying three meals at the restaurant along with other diners. (more…)
Following our site visit to Congo Street Initiative in Dallas, the Bruner Foundation team headed to New York City to our next 2013 Rudy Bruner Award finalist site, Via Verde. Submitted by Jonathan Rose Companies and Phipps Houses, Via Verde (the “Green Way”) is a 222-unit affordable housing development in the Melrose section of the South Bronx. The project, completed in 2012, was designed as a model for healthy and sustainable urban living.
View of Via Verde from fourth floor fruit tree orchard. Photograph: ©David Sundberg/Esto
We spent two cold, windy days on site, touring the project with the design and development team, taking photographs, as well as meeting with people involved in its development, design, and operation in the Bronx and Manhattan. Like the Congo Street Initiative, Via Verde illustrates another approach to designing affordable, sustainable housing, albeit at a larger scale and catalyzed by a different set of circumstances.
Via Verde grew out of two international design competitions that were part of the New Housing New York (NHNY) Legacy Project, which sought to create a new standard for affordable housing and development. The first, the 2004 NHNY Design Ideas Competition, was sponsored by AIA New York (AIANY) in partnership with New York City Council and the City University of New York and solicited design concepts for three sites. Powerhouse: New Housing New York, an exhibit and public programming supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, showcased selected entries at AIANY’s Center for Architecture. (more…)
Last week community planner Ron Shiffman received the 2012 Jane Jacobs Medal for Lifetime Leadership, presented by the Rockefeller Foundation and administered by the Municipal Art Society. Ron’s acceptance speech, read parts of it below, evokes the “pivotal role” Jacobs played for Ron and urbanists everywhere, “in forging the way we think about people, cities, and the economy.”–SSS
The position I filled at Pratt fifty years ago was ironically created because of Jane’s advocacy against a Pratt planning proposal for an area of Brooklyn now known as Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens, and Cobble Hill–an action I will forever be grateful for. Brooklyn benefitted because a well intentioned, but misguided, plan was defeated and I benefitted because I got the job opportunity of a lifetime.
I had the honor to meet Jane a few times, almost always with my good friend Roberta Gratz. In the early 70’s, Roberta and I took Jane on a tour of the South Bronx where my colleagues and I were working with residents committed to rebuilding their communities [the Peoples Development Corporation and Banana Kelly among them]. Jane immediately sensed that this, not planned shrinkage as proposed by some, was the way to rebuild our vulnerable communities.
One of Jane’s greatest attributes was to give voice to those who struggled to preserve and revitalize their community, an effort [that] many others were engaged in [including] Elsie Richardson, Don Benjamin in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Jane understood the struggle of groups like Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn whose opposition to the misuse of eminent domain and the abuse of power by some pitted them against the some of the city’s most powerful entities. She inspired journalists like Norm Oder to put voice to their struggles. (more…)
Photo by Bogdan Mohora
Baltimore’s Northeast Market—a fixture in the city’s Middle East neighborhood since 1885 and a cultural anchor of its community—is not the kind of place that sells cage free eggs and locally grown kale. It does, however, boast some of the city’s best lake trout (technically Atlantic whiting but so fried and delicious who’s checking?) and homemade Snowballs, two beloved local delicacies. The 36,000 square foot public market sits at a crossroads between Johns Hopkins Medical Campus and the mostly African American residential community of East Baltimore, providing a critical point of interaction between local residents and the institution, who have had a difficult and sometimes antagonistic relationship. But the relationship is complex: Johns Hopkins is both the largest employer in the area and a key institutional partner in the adjacent $1.8 billion redevelopment project, a project which has been a point of contention in the community for the last decade.
Photo by Bogdan Mohora
Photo by Bogdan Mohora
Photo by Bogdan Mohora
Ever have fond memories of feeling wrapped safely in a quilt? We all love the feeling of comfort and safety that comes with quilts, blankets and the loving hands that made them. And the quilting bee, a community of women working their craft, is well known in our folklore.
Artists Tony Anella and Cara McCullogh of Albuquerque, New Mexico, have taken these ides of comfort, quilting, and community and applied them to ‘the land’.
“The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land.” –Aldo Leopold
The result is what they call, a land quilt: an interesting idea that combines public art, community gathering, and ecological restoration.
Photograph by Robert Reck Photography
The land quilt attempts to create a small patch of temporary safety and security for life. (more…)
Centered around the iconic Flatiron Building, the area boasts an array of design destinations, lovely parks, celebrated dining options, and a glut of retail shops and showrooms. Here, we’ve listed the area’s best.
Check out the Metropolis Design Guide for Design Week events and highlights from New York’s most design-forward neighborhoods. And look for the printed version of the Metropolis Design Guide around the city, especially in Chelsea at WantedDesign, in Midtown at the Architects & Designers Building and the Decoration & Design Building, in Flatiron at the New York Design Center, and at the newsstand at ICFF at the Javits Center.
Keep an eye out for what we “like” during NY Design Week. Around the city, you’ll see our lovely signs, produced by 3M Architectural Markets using 3M ™ Crystal Glass Finishes, at all of our editors’ favorite, must-see spots. Throughout our neighborhood listings, you’ll also see a next to our favorites.
METROPOLIS LIKES AVENUE ROAD
Newly opened for ICFF, the showroom will launch the latest pieces from Christophe Delcourt and Yabu Pushelberg. Collections include designs by Jacques Guillon, Simone Coste, Moss & Lam, and others. For more information, see listing below (image courtesy showroom).
Living in a big city can be hard. If you live in New York, you have probably quoted the famous song, “If I make it there, I can make it anywhere.” But Portland-based developer Gerding Edlen recognizes the need for giving a softer side to the city.
They develop buildings that, from my perspective, promise to be soft on communities, soft on the environment, and soft on residents.
Gerding Edlen has spoken with Metropolis before, but now they are considering bringing rental development to the east coast, potentially to New York City. I spoke with Mark Edlen, CEO, about their development plans and how those plans fit into cities like ours, “the city that never sleeps.”
“We’ve seen a movement to the cities. Cities are the solution to our global population growth,” said Edlen. His firm recognizes that people see city living as a way to help solve global problems. They also see how it’s becoming more popular to live a mobile and sustainable urban lifestyle.
An abandoned 70, 000 sq. ft. bottling plant in Philadelphia’s Northern Liberties neighborhood was just the right source for Rabbi Gedaliah Lowenstein, seventh generation Californian, to tap for his new synagogue. Of course, the price was also just right – rent free. An agreement with generous and supportive building owners, though, designated that the building could be sold out from under them at any time. That was five years ago. The “For Sale” sign is still out there catching the breeze on North American Street.
“Building For Sale, Pray Within”
“What does a modern synagogue look like?” asks Rabbi Lowenstein, rhetorically, sitting in the 5,000 square foot Jewish Center of Northern Liberties neighborhood, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, carved out of the huge former bottling plant. “Is there a pool table, a bar? Judaism is not a dusty old religion. It’s about community not a synagogue…There will be a building at some point.”
On the edge of extinction. Architectural criticism can be a productive and a creative literary practice. Its best practitioners challenge architects to examine their work while, at the same time, help them evolve their profession. Architecture and ar…