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Thread: DUMBO Development

  1. #1

    Default DUMBO Development

    There's a thread on the neighborhood here

    Project #1
    53 Bridge Street
    Scarano & Associates Architects
    Dev-Kay Bridge Properties /53 Bridge, LLC
    12 stories 162 feet 6 story addition
    130,740 Sq. Ft.
    Residential Condominiums
    Under Construction 2004-2006

    53 Bridge Street
    Brooklyn , New York
    Architect: Scarano and Associates Architects
    Square Foot: 150,000
    Owner: Kay Bridge Properties

  2. #2

    Default Beacon Tower

    Project #2

    Beacon Tower
    85 Adams Street
    23 stories 314 feet
    Cetra/Ruddy Incorporated
    Dev-Boymelgreen Developers
    Residential Condominium
    77 units 115,424 Sq. Ft.
    Under Construction 2004-Summer 2006

    Project Name: 85 Adams Street

    Location/Neighborhood: Brooklyn/DUMBO

    Address: 85 Adams Street

    Project Objective: Located almost directly beneath the Manhattan Bridge , this ideal corner assemblage will soon become the site of a new 10-story luxury residential development. Surrounded by improved neighborhood buildings, this is one of the last available redevelopment sites in DUMBO. The project is a parcel of three lots, located three blocks from the waterfront redevelopment, the Empire Stores, and several other A.I. & Boymelgreen projects. It is an excellent opportunity to revitalize the community and provide additional housing in the area.

    Total Buildout sf: 100,000

    Use: Residential

    New Construction sf: 100,000

    Parking: 1 level below grade

    Residential sf: 100,000

    Transportation: Direct driving access exists from the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges with additional access via the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. Ferry transportation between DUMBO and Manhattan is a three-minute walk from the development site. Five (5) subway lines are conveniently located within walking distance, to include the A,C,F,2, and 3 trains.

    Approximate Completion: 3/2005

    Condos Break Sound Barrier

    Published: February 17, 2005

    THE challenge to the developers of Beacon Towers, a high-rise going up just steps from the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn, was apparent one morning last week as Denis R. Milsom, an expert in noise control, strained to be heard above the din of a subway train rumbling over the bridge. "Clearly, if they want to sell this as a luxury building," he said in the construction office a block from the site, "having this kind of noise pass by every two or three minutes would be objectionable."

    The developer, Leviev Boymelgreen, is marketing Beacon Tower as an oasis of "Zenlike calm," despite a location that evokes not an oasis but that scene in "Annie Hall" in which a young Alvy Singer sits at a rattling kitchen table beneath the Coney Island roller coaster.

    When Mr. Milsom, a partner in Shen Milsom & Wilke, measured the noise at the site, it came in at 96 decibels - about the same as a crowded bar with a D.J. spinning hip-hop discs. To mitigate the din, and to help sell the condos, some of which will cost more than $2 million, Mr. Milsom recommended sound-muffling windows from a company that makes them for airport terminals. The architects, Cetra/Ruddy, meanwhile altered the blueprints, converting the original squat eight stories into a slender 23-story tower, so that many of its 79 units will simply try to rise above the noise.

    As developers in hectic real estate markets like New York, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco run out of land, new condominiums and rental apartments are going up in some earsplitting places: near bridges, freeway ramps, rail lines and bus terminals. Also multiplying are specialized soundproofing windows and creative designs to limit the exposure of residents to the racket. "Because development opportunities for new construction are so hard to come by, the sites you tend to come by have some challenge," said Sara Mirski, the director of development at Boymelgreen.

    In San Francisco, Charles Salter, an acoustical engineer, said his firm was handling about four times as many projects involving sound problems in residential developments as it did five years ago. He regularly recommends that developers install laminated glass and extra layers of gypsum board in the walls to insulate condos from outside noise.

    In Chicago, Brian Homans, the president of Shiner & Associates, acoustics consultants, said so many suburbanites are clamoring to move downtown that developers are seizing orphan properties abutting elevated subway lines and commuter rail depots. "A majority of our jobs focus on noise from trains," Mr. Homans said.

    He recommended triple-glazed windows for a 37-story tower known as the Residences at RiverBend, because its west facade overlooks the nexus of several elevated subway and commuter train lines. The original developer, Bejco Development Corporation, now defunct, rejected the suggestion as too costly, said Carl Moskus, the building's architect, but the design helped reduce noise: a five-foot-wide hallway along the west facade provides a kind of buffer between residents and trains.

    Stephen Pokorny, 60, a lawyer who bought a condo on the 29th floor, said he rarely hears them. Having moved into the city to cut short a 29-mile commute from the suburbs, he added, "I was not overly critical about the noise."

    Indeed, city dwellers must accept a certain level of noise, and many take fire engines, police sirens and honking horns as a given. But when developers choose unusually loud sites next to train tracks or freeway ramps, some buyers can expect a break. "The general principle is that if you don't properly mitigate the noise problem, you will have to offer your apartments at a discount," said Jay Schippers, the head of the development division of the Corcoran Group in Brooklyn. But, he added, "if a developer properly solves the sound problem, then there will be no discount."

    On noisy sites, one of the biggest challenges is figuring out how to get fresh air into apartments without opening the windows. At 301 Mission Street in San Francisco, a 60-story condo tower rising next to a bus terminal, a window wall will have two panes, one slightly thicker than the conventional quarter-inch, with half an inch between them to block the sound of buses. Special vents will bring in air through tiny holes in the mullions that anchor the windows to the building, said Glenn Rescalvo, one of its architects.

    Some developers make noise control part of the pitch. When the sales office opens next month for the Beacon Tower condo in the Dumbo neighborhood (for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) in Brooklyn, buyers will be able to inspect a sample window: two half-inch-thick panes sandwiching eight inches of sound-deadening air. They will also be able to experience the difference between the noise with standard windows and the custom windows, by clamping on headsets and listening to a recording.

    Mr. Milsom, the acoustics consultant, said the custom windows would reduce decibels to 40 inside from 96 outside, below the New York City zoning code maximum of 45 decibels, equivalent to a quiet conversation.

    Eliot Locitzer, the construction manager, said the cost of installing the soundproofing windows was roughly double the cost for conventional windows. Mr. Schippers, who will be marketing the building at Corcoran, said there would be no discount on the prices, which will start around $400,000 for one-bedrooms, in part because of the views of Manhattan, but also because "there is no longer a noise problem."

    Other developers prefer to sidestep the issue entirely. Brochures promoting the Arches, a new condo in a converted church in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, did not mention the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway around the corner. Lester Petracca, the owner of Triangle Equities, the lead developer of the Arches, said he did not see the point of advertising that fact. "People come and look at the surrounding area and look at whatever positives or negatives are there and decide whether they want to live there or not," he said.

    The building has double-glazed windows, which are required by the New York State energy code for all new developments. Francis Lu, 31, a software developer who moved in this month, said they block out the traffic noise.

    Homeowners in noisy neighborhoods are also beginning to seek help from the experts. Mr. Salter, in San Francisco, recently heard from the owner of an 1889 Victorian besieged by garbage trucks and other urban noisemakers in the expensive Pacific Heights neighborhood. Mr. Salter advised the owner, Dr. Roger Wu, a child psychiatrist, to install laminated glass windows, three-eighths of an inch thick, which will require rebuilding the historic window frames at a cost of more than $3,000 each. "Call me in about six months and ask me how it works," Dr. Wu said.

    Noise pollution can be compounded when space-hungry developers build condos atop commercial property like hotels and restaurants. To insulate residents from experimental electronic music the developer of a condo above Dance Theater Workshop of New York on West 19th Street put down 10 inches of concrete between the third floor rehearsal studio and the condos, instead of the usual seven and a half inches, said Ed Rawlings, the project's architect. To further deaden the sound, he said, four layers of gypsum board and shock absorbers were suspended from the concrete slab into the rehearsal studio.

    Amie Deutch, who lives in a unit just above the studio with her husband and 21-month-old son, said, "On a rare occasion, if they're rehearsing a dance routine where everybody jumps at the same time, you get a little bit of a vibration."

    She added, "Otherwise, it's the most soundproof apartment I've ever lived in, in the city."
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    Last edited by Derek2k3; February 18th, 2005 at 02:39 AM.

  3. #3

    Default The Nexus

    Project # 3

    The Nexus
    84 Front Street
    11 stories 120 feet
    Meltzer Mandl Architects of Manhattan
    Dev-Boymelgreen Developers
    Residential Condominium
    44 units 72,302 Sq. Ft.
    Under Construction 2004-Late 2005

    (Rendering of the previous design)

    Project Name: 84 Front Street

    Location/Neighborhood: Brooklyn/DUMBO

    Address: 84 Front Street

    Project Objective: 100,000 sf of new residential development will revitalize this former warehouse site. 11 stories of luxury condominium living, dramatic views of the Manhattan Bridge and East River and an innovative design are a few notable project highlight. The design team created a unique fa c ade, which makes use of color, light and the building's moveable exterior components to energize the building at the street level. Hand selected glazing and modern architectural forms will contribute widely to neighborhood upgrades and building improvements currently underway in DUMBO.

    Total Buildout sf: 100,000
    Use: Residential

    New Construction sf: 100,000

    Parking: 1 level below grade

    Residential sf: 100,000

    No. of Units: 44

    BDRMS per Unit: Mix of 1, 2 and 3 BDRMS

    Transportation: Direct driving access from the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges with additional access via the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. Ferry transportation between DUMBO and Manhattan is a three-minute walk from the development site. Five (5) subway lines are conveniently located within walking distance, to include the A,C,F,2, and 3 trains.

    Approximate Completion: 12/2004



    January 29, 2005 -- DUMBO, with its cobblestone streets and aged warehouses, has a rich past. Architect Marvin Meltzer didn't see any reason to dwell on it, though.

    In designing the neighborhood's latest luxury development, The Nexus, Meltzer set out to create something decidedly modern. "I think it called for an architectural vocabulary that says, 'This is a new construction,'" he says.

    With an eye-grabbing glazed brick-and-metal-paneled facade, the building at 84 Front St. should get the message across.

    "A warehouse with an edge," is what Elan Padeh, president and CEO of The Developers Group, a consulting company involved with the project, calls it.

    It's not the "edge," though, that's likely to attract buyers.

    Nexus units will feature Brazilian-walnut hardwood floors and bathrooms with mosaic stone tiles. The condo building will have a garage, a health club and a landscaped garden. A waterfall cascading through the lobby will add something of an exclamation point.

    All of which further emphasizes that, though it might once have been a gritty artists' neighborhood between the bridges, DUMBO has become a prime site for high-toned residences.

    Wall Streeter Costa Tsoutsoplides is looking to buy a one-bedroom condo in DUMBO. He placed a bid on a unit at 54 Front St., but withdrew it after realizing that the apartment would sit directly above a commercial space. He's now considering The Nexus, which will open in fall of 2005.

    "I want a condo, not a co-op, and obviously there's a discount in DUMBO," Tsoutsoplides says. He also mentions the availability of parking as a lure.

    With 56 units, the Nexus will offer one, two- and three-bedroom apartments, ranging from around 600 square feet to 2,000 square feet. Prices will begin in the high $400,000s and go up to $1.6 million for 12th-floor penthouses.

    "My only second thoughts are about the real-estate market," Tsoutsoplides says. "We've had such huge increases. I think the market will probably be flat over the next few years. There are a lot of new buildings going up."

    He goes on to say something that surely no developer anywhere ever wants to hear: "I'm still considering renting."


    The Brooklyn neighborhood of DUMBO is best known for its austere century-old concrete loft buildings - which is why Marvin H. Meltzer of Meltzer/Mandl Architects designed something completely different for his new building in DUMBO, The Nexus, at 84 Front Street.

    When it is complete in 2005, The Nexus will be the largest residential building ever built from the ground up in DUMBO. It will, in fact, be similar in size to many of the nearby converted loft buildings.

    “We tried to design something that fits in with its older neighbors but is also attractive and contemporary,” says Meltzer.

    Rather than concrete, The Nexus’ facade is composed of metal panels and brick in tan and green. Behind the facade, there are 56 apartments, an on-site garage, a 1,500SF landscaped common garden and a health club. Buyers can also purchase private rooftop terraces for gardening, sunbathing and picnicking. Apartment prices range from $500,000 to $1.7 million.
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  4. #4

    Default 110 York St.

    110 York St.

    Scarano's Firm

    Project Manager/Designer: David Blaustein
    Completion Date: January 2005
    Location: Dumbo

    The first time you stand on the roof of this one hundred year old building with its skyline views of New York City, the Manhattan Bridge on one side, and a busy expressway on the other, you realize the potential of this site.

    The design for such a powerful location, which thousands of people come across daily, presented an exciting challenge.

    The strategy we adopted was to create a structure that no one can ignore.

    The leading concept was to sustain contextual elements on the site, and in contrast, to take these elements and embed them in innovative architecture.

    The Manhattan Bridge is the most visibly striking element of the site, running parallel to it only 20 feet away. For this reason, we designed an exposed steel truss system for the skeleton to intensify the dialogue between the structures.

    The design embodies a strong sense of dynamics. The structural axis is separated from the building exterior finish, providing a sense of movement, which is enhanced by the flying roof, sharp angles, and horizontal texture on the surface.

    In addition to its visual impact, the Scarano & Associates Architect's office addition serves as an instructional laboratory for structure and design.
    It illustrates over one hundred steel joint conditions, multiple curtain-wall applications of varying complexity, a variety of materials, and methods of intervention with historic structures.

    The entire staff is involved in the construction process from procurements to crane placement and site safety.
    All materials and systems are presented to the staff prior to installation and then applied in the field. It is the ultimate; hands-on' learn-design-build experience.

    To view renderings please go to their website.
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  5. #5

    Default 110 York Street

    Also has a kickass light show at night. There's a thread on the building here also.

    Project #4

    110 York Street
    6 stories 84 feet (2 story addition)
    Scarano & Associate Architects
    Commercial Office
    5,000 Sq. Ft. Addition
    Completed 2003-October 2004

    Architects office expansion reaches for the sky
    Real Estate Weekly, Oct 20, 2004

    Save a personal copy of this article and quickly find it again with Get started now. (It's free.)
    Scarano & Associates, the architecture firm responsible for the design of thousands of apartment buildings and offices throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan is now taking care of its own design needs with a two-story glass and steel "sheltering roof" office addition, plus a 1,700-square-foot open air roof deck, on top of its existing fifth floor offices at 110 York Street in Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn.

    "With a staff that has grown from 25 to 75 architects and design professionals within two years, we desperately needed to expand our offices," says Robert Scarano, founder and principal of the firm. "Moving for the fifth time in a decade seemed inevitable at first, but we managed to rind a much better solution that would showcase our most innovative work and, at the same time, give us the space we needed."

    Designed by Mr. Scarano with David Balustein, and built by Mile Square Construction with Anthony Gennaro, Coronis Structural Systems and AA Omvraki Mechanical Engineers, the composition of the distinctly angled extension is glass and steel with natural wood panels and corrugated aluminum facade. Encompassing 5,000 square feet on two separate floors, Scarano & Associates' new office will have its own dedicated elevator to travel from the current fifth office to the rooftop extension. The interiors will inc

    "There is a dramatic contrast between the ultra modern rooftop and the red brick masonry of the base building, which was built as a warehouse over 100 years ago," adds Mr. Scarano.

    "The near transparency of the extension gives it a fluidity that enhances the architectural context. From the street, you can see the bridge through the rooftop extension, as if it were part of the structure. It's an architectural statement that is already being referred to as Brooklyn's Newest Landmark."

    In addition to the aesthetic value of the structure, Scarano & Associates used many sustainable design features and such innovative architectural techniques as elevated shading roof panels, low-E multiple glazing reflective membranes and LED lighting.

    "Our current office was recently described as a 'rabbit's warren' in a magazine article, which was funny to see in print, but also reinforced how tight we are as a group.

    "With another 15 architects scheduled to come on board before the end of the year, the completion of this project couldn't come too soon. These are truly exciting times for our firm."

    The architects plan to celebrate the completion of their new offices, which took approximately 15 months to design and build, with an industry gala at the end of October for colleagues and clients.

    COPYRIGHT 2004 Hagedorn Publication
    COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group

  6. #6


    What does DUMBO stand for?
    Last edited by Archit_K; February 20th, 2005 at 03:25 PM.

  7. #7

    Default River Hotel

    Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass

    From the Architect's Newspaper

    We’ve lost track of Jean Nouvel’s on-again, off-again meatpacking district project for developer Stephen Touhey. But it sounds like the French architect’s failed 1999 design for a nine-story hotel in Dumbo may be getting its second act as apartments. As of press time, both Nouvel’s office and developer Two Trees Management were keeping mum. However, we’re told that the repurposed structure will largely keep to the original plan, which calls for it to be dramatically cantilevered over the East River.

    Here's the unbuilt hotel proposal.

    Project # 5

    River Hotel
    Main Street Pier, Brooklyn Waterfront
    9 stories 100 feet
    Ateliers Jean Nouvel
    Dev-Two Trees Management Co.
    Commercial Hotel
    250 Rooms 350,000 Sq.Ft.

    The Mirror of Manhattan

    In fairy tales the wicked witch keeps the princess from seeing herself in a mirror to prevent her from discovering her beauty. Admiring one's own image, being certain of one's splendor, is such a pleasure that it has been elevated to the rank of a sin. Here is an irresistible occasion to hold up Narcissus's mirror to Manhattan and say: look at yourself; delight in yourself! The Fulton River Café was already a shard of the mirror. The river hotel will amplify the effect tenfold!

    Panoramic views will stretch to the maximum, with sheets of glass so wide and so clear that people will wonder if they even exist. Images will stretch and duplicate in these planes of reflecting glass, creating a play between the real and the virtual.

    The rooms are conceived as spacious balconies overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge and the downtown skyline, or, on the other side, the Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges. The power of these views derives from the bridges in the foreground, which contrast against a precious accumulation of background silhouettes: the Statue of Liberty, the skyline from South Street Seaport to the Empire State Building. Other rooms exploit vertiginous views upward toward the Manhattan Bridge, exploiting its fantastic dimensions. The River Hotel is in essence a bridge between two bridges: a place for looking at the city's bridges as if from the deck of a ship. It obeys the strict logic of New York's piers and respects the orthogonal urban grid running down to the water. It stretches its facade to the utmost, cantilevering over the river as if to reach the other side – as if it feels it belongs more to Manhattan than to Brooklyn.

    The west deck of the hotel's lobby features a bay window over a hundred meters long for a view to the opposite shore. The health club extends under Manhattan Bridge, extending its floors behind a wall of glass twenty meters high at the water's edge. Even the movie theater takes advantage of the scenery: during intermission the screen lifts to reveal the Manhattan skyline and the bridges. And all along the piers, shops will accompany the riverside promenade.

    In this way you will discover at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge a little piece of Brooklyn that, by dint of looking at Manhattan, has become Manhattan.

    Jean Nouvel

    - Status: Unbuilt
    - Location: Main Street Pier, Brooklyn, New York
    - Dates: May 1999
    - Gross Floor Area: 35 000 m2, 350 000sq.ft
    - Type of Commission: Private
    - Program: 250 room hotel 150 000 sq ft, retail 75 000 sq ft, cinema 90 000 sq ft
    - Construction Cost: 88 000 000 €, 80 000 000 $
    - Client: Two Trees Management Co., David Walentas

    Architectural Team
    - Project Manager: Brigitte Metra
    - Assitant Architects: David Fagart, Nicolas Baehr, Jane Landrey, Kirsi Marjamaki, Eric Nespoulos, Aldrick Beckmann, Joon Paik
    - Local Architect: Beyer Blinder Belle, John H.Beyer

    Consultant Team
    - Engineers: Ove Arup and Partners
    - Cinema Consultant: JSS Advisors, LLC
    - Models: Jean-Louis Courtois, Etienne Follenfant
    - Site Pictures: Philippe Ruault
    ART / ARHITECTURE; A Bridge Between a City and Its Self-Image


    Published: June 13, 1999

    JEAN NOUVEL'S new design for a hotel and cineplex on the Brooklyn waterfront strikes me as one of the most imaginatively conceived pieces of architecture New York has seen in a long time. I've been groping for ideas to explain why. What makes a building contemporary? An impossible question to answer, but perhaps not a fruitless one to ask.

    These days, architecture is not governed by a fixed set of guidelines, as it was, for instance, during the years of the modern movement. Buildings by Frank Gehry, Rem Koolhaas, Peter Eisenman, Steven Holl, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, Daniel Libeskind, Philippe Starck, Rafael Vinoly, Zaha Hadid, Eric Moss and Thom Mayne are each highly distinctive in appearance and atmosphere, yet in common they can quicken your awareness of the present and its untapped possibilities. Where does that power come from?

    Four thoughts. Walter Pater said that critics should ask: ''In whom did the stir, the genius, the sentiment of the period find itself?'' That's a start. Iris Murdoch, in ''Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals,'' offered a more rigorous definition. ''Serious art,'' she wrote, ''is a continuous working of meaning in the light of the discovery of some truth.''

    John Summerson, writing in 1947, also emphasized the idea that contemporary art depends on a process of continuous working and on the value of discovery: ''The most a critic can do is to sort out those aging ideas that get encrusted around past creative achievements and clog the proper working of the imagination in changing times.'' And if you can accept that architecture is a public art, indeed the most conspicuously public art of all, then I think that a statement by Arthur Danto also helps illuminate the meaning and and value of Mr. Nouvel's new design: ''Public art is the public transfigured. It is us, in the medium of artistic transformation.''

    Actually, I can't improve on Mr. Danto's idea as a depiction of Mr. Nouvel's design. It's a bridgelike building for a city poised between being and becoming. It shows a city in transition from manufacturing to information as an economic base. It is playful, disciplined, sociable and pushy. It refracts into crystalline form New York's exquisite and infuriating narcissism, a town enthralled by its cinematic panoramas and animated by the yearning of its citizens to star in them. And the project has aroused local opposition that is a form of narcissism in itself. The opponents seem to be fighting their own reflection in a mirror.

    The River Hotel is part of a plan to redevelop a 72-acre, former industrial area on the East River called Dumbo (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass). The plan, which is seriously flawed, includes masses of retail shops, a redesign of the small, disheveled Fulton Landing Park, a small marina and parking garages. It also proposes housing a museum in the upper floors of Empire Stores, a handsome set of landmark brick warehouses that border the eastern edge of the park.

    The Brooklyn Bridge Park Coalition, which opposes the plan, is right to demand that it be reconceived. The hotel itself is another matter. It deserves support.

    Designed to resemble a pier, the hotel complex is in two main sections. A slim, four-story bar building is cantilevered from atop a square, five-story box. The bar projects 134 feet out over the East River and rises to a height of 100 feet, stopping just short of the Manhattan Bridge roadway. A glass bridge connects the hotel to a health club and spa across the street.

    Mr. Nouvel has chosen a spare, industrial vocabulary. The facades are a simple grid pattern of gray metal fitted with floor-to-ceiling windows of white glass, so called because of its high degree of transparency. Because the hotel roof and its underside would be visible to bridge and water traffic, Mr. Nouvel has treated these surfaces as if they, too, were facades.

    On the roof, instead of mechanical equipment, there are rectangular skylights and landscaped patios for the top floor. Three levels of public rooms, enclosed by seamless glass walls, are suspended beneath the building in a reverse ziggurat formation. On the lower of these floors a dance floor-size square of glass allows views of the river beneath.

    The private rooms are minimally furnished and stylish. The east wall of each room is lined with mirror, doubling the skyline views. (Pray for soft lighting.) For the roof of the building, Mr. Nouvel has designed a tilted louver of reflective glass mirror that would cast reflections through skylights into the top floor rooms.

    No museum has yet been named to occupy the old brick warehouses, and perhaps the proposal to put one there is redundant. The fact is that Mr. Nouvel has designed his cineplex as if it were a museum of contemporary art. And why shouldn't it be, if films are our leading popular art form?

    The 16-screen cineplex is housed in a low, rectangular structure from which the projecting pier form is cantilevered. Mr. Nouvel has a thing about technological gimmicks (like the photosensitive irises installed in the facade of the Arab World Institute in Paris; alas, they occasionally break down). For the cineplex, he has installed windows behind the screens. These would be raised and lowered between performances, allowing stunning views of that other great collective art form: the Manhattan skyline. He has also proposed mounting screens on the exterior of the building, which could be used for artists' projects.

    Dumbo's developer, David Walentas, the client, calls the design Main Street Pier. The architect himself calls it a bridge between two bridges. To my eye, the imagery looks nautical, as if the defunct Brooklyn Navy Yard nearby had gone into the business of floating hotels. There are open and enclosed promenades, reminiscent of those on the great trans-Atlantic liners. In the public corridors, surfboard-shape light wells are enclosed by shiplike railings.

    In fact, the project should be seen as a step toward the time when New York is once again a great water city, with water taxis, ferries, piers, parks and other public amenities as well as new industrial uses enlarging the maritime dimension of New York.

    Murdoch's idea helps illuminate this design. Mr. Nouvel has rethought the character of the city's waterfront at a time of change. If you look down on that site now (and it happens that I see part of Fulton Landing Park from my kitchen window), it is hard to believe that this is the ideal location for a luxury hotel. But you don't have to think ahead too far to glimpse a very different picture, of a time when water traffic will help to reshape the city's urban contours, just as the Brooklyn Bridge did years ago.

    Will this project be built? Snowball's chance in hell, they say. But the ideas this particular snowball represents are not going to melt away. Mr. Nouvel has considered both the city's psychological and physical context. With its mirrors, its views, its white glass reflections, the building is a portrait of New York's narcissism at architectural scale. It brings to mind the famous Saul Steinberg drawing of New York's self-absorbed view of the world. Like that drawing, it counters self-absorption with self-awareness. It is a reflection on the city's narcissism, not a mindless indulgence in it. ''The stir, the genius, the sentiment of the period'' don't come more persuasively than this.

    In this, it differs from the vanity that has trickled into architectural preservation circles in recent years. That threatens to turn an otherwise estimable movement into one of those aging ideas that get encrusted around past creative achievement and clog the proper workings of the imagination in changing times. The preservation movement has been a dominant influence on New York architecture for two decades, and its achievements are overwhelmingly constructive. But it has also come to include a sanctimonious Sacred Cow mentality. Perhaps the time has come to measure its environmental impact on the quality of New York's architecture.

    Who doesn't love the kind of vanitythat we experience when we check out our reflections in fancy shop windows and see images of ourselves and the city overlaid atop pouty mannequins?This is one of the great urban pleasures. Mr. Nouvel's building will offer many similar moments throughout.

    There's another kind of narcissistic outlook that is not so benign. According to this view, the public realm exists only to reflect popular prejudices, not to challenge or expose them. This strain has played a major role in New York's resistance to change. It has led to a confusion between architecture and architectural history, and in recent years this confusion has covered the city's architectural aspirations like a blanket of dust.

    Mr. Nouvel's design and the opposition raised against it are both immensely narcissistic. The difference is that Mr. Nouvel knows what he is about. He has reworked meaning in light of the discovery of an important truth about the city today. That's what makes him a serious artist and his design an important work of art.

    Renderings by Arte-Factory. More images there:
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    Last edited by Derek2k3; February 18th, 2005 at 04:30 PM.

  8. #8
    Banned Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY


    Gosh, I hated that hotel. BAD, bad, bad design.

  9. #9


    It's an um, interesting hotel....

  10. #10


    well I like it. Nouvel has done a great job. The airy and open corridors, the glass curtain wall windows, the usual wonderful use of light, and the ship-like deck on the outside are all beautiful.

  11. #11


    You do have a point, i do like the inside, but the outside i'm not that big a fun of

  12. #12


    Gosh, I hated that hotel. BAD, bad, bad design.
    Initially I was glad Giuliani killed this project, but since then its grown on me. Im sure it would come to be a fixture of DUMBO bringing to the neighborhood more artists and much more than yuppies.

  13. #13

    Default NYC 2012 Voleyball & Handball Arena

    Project # 6

    NYC 2012 Voleyball & Handball Arena
    85 Jay Street
    Rafael Vinoly Architects
    Dev-NYC 2012
    Sports and Recreation
    13,563 sq feet (can't be right)
    More renderings at the web site.

    New York Olympic Sports Arena
    Brooklyn, New York, 2000
    Sports and Recreation
    13,563 sq feet

    New York is the United States' candidate city currently vying to host the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. In preparing its proposal, the New York City Olympic committee, known as NYC 2012, selected RVA to design a new, multi-purpose volleyball and handball arena on a site in Brooklyn, next to the Manhattan Bridge and just three blocks from the East River.

    The site’s only adverse characteristic is a gentle north-south slope complicating the design of the building’s main entrance – located on its western boundary to take advantage of existing mass transit connections, local traffic patterns, and a planned commuter ferry route (contingent on New York’s selection as Olympic host city). RVA’s proposal provides a simple solution: an elevated plinth with a public plaza signals the entrance to the arena while serving as the facility’s main civic space. The interior of the building features a sliding seating system easily configured to suit either volleyball or handball matches. The arena is covered by a translucent fabric tensile roof, which extends to the west to cover part of the entrance plaza. The roof glows at night, revealing the activities within.

    On either side of the main volume of the building, two narrow masses – running along the northern and southern boundaries of the site and conforming in scale to the surrounding neighborhood – contain VIP rooms, press boxes, warm-up areas, a café, food stands, the athletes entrance, and the vertical circulation cores of the complex.

    After the conclusion of the Games, the facility would be turned over to the community. The easily reconfigurable seating would allow it to accommodate a wide variety of functions, including concerts and trade shows as well as ice hockey, basketball, tennis, indoor soccer, and boxing events.

    The Jehova Witness project will go up on this site, which I'll post later.

  14. #14

    Default 110 York St.

    Porject #4
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  15. #15

    Default Foundation

    Poject #7

    This could be one of Gruzen Samtons new projcet.
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