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architecture & design magazine

Volume 8 Issue 2 November 2011

A FIGHT ON NEW YORK’S

SKYLINE This Month’s Spotlight Architect , Art Vandelay

The Refurbishment by SFARO Architects


ON THE COVER 6

This Month’s Spotlight Architect is Art Vandelay Join us as we interview Art Vandelay discuss his latest project was designing the new addition to the Guggenheim Museum.

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A Fight On New York’s Skyline The owners of the Empire State Building and their supporters say that their tower’s international status and NYC’s skyline are in danger.

The Refurbishment by SFARO Architects in Isreal Located in Tel-Aviv, Israel, this forty square meter refurbishment is the design of the well known SFARO Architects.

NEWS / EVENTS 12

Broad Art Foundation in Los Angeles - Architecture Review The critics feel that the design of the Broad Art Foundation may have missed the mark this time around.

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Row Houses Gone Wild

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Mighty Buildings That Were No Match for Automobiles

A dizzying array of row houses and apartments that even the most devoted architectural pilgrim may find to be overwhelming.

Readers’ questions concerning the buildings replaced by Louise Nevelson Plaza in Lower Manhattan, and a town house on West 47th.


CONTENTS ARCH FEATURE 40

The Dune House by Jarmund / Vigsnæs AS Architects Located in Thorpeness, England on the coast. The design is a creative one – fashioned after the concept of a floating roof.

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The Crib by A Backyard Office

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Shell House by Artechnic

The Crib is a new concept that they’re calling “enviresponsible” - a miniature prefab that can be used as a weekend cabin, a backyard office, studio or guest house.

The outside’s surely not made to blend in with its surroundings. However, it does give a nod to nature with its curved snail appearance.

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A FIGHT ON

NEW YORK’S

SKYLINE

22 l ARCH Nov 2011


A proposed tower on 34th Street, two avenues to the west, which according to its developers, will help the city grow and prosper, provide thousands of jobs, and improve the quality of life for tens of thousands of New Yorkers.

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The reason there is so much trouble in the skyline is because of competition. The new building was planned to rise to be 1,216 feet, almost as tall as the Empire State Building, and would be only 800 feet away. A little too close for a building that has stood apart in the skyline for its entire 79-year life.

Writer: Charles V Bagli Editor: James L Quiseng

The owners of the Empire State Building and their supporters say their tower’s international status and New York City’s skyline are in mortal danger of an ugly assault from a “monstrosity.” To hear both of the sides in the skyscraper war tell it, never has so much been at stake. The owners of the Empire State Building and their supporters say their tower’s international status and New York City’s skyline are in mortal danger of an assault from a “monstrosity.” Their rival: a proposed tower on 34th Street two avenues to the west that, according to its developers, will help the city grow and prosper, provide thousands of jobs and improve the quality of life for tens of thousands of New Yorkers.

OPEN A view of New York’s skyline at night with the Empire State building standing the tallest.

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What irks the former is that the latter would rise to be 1,216 feet, almost as tall as the Empire State Building, and would be just 900 feet away, a little too close for a building that has stood apart in the skyline for its entire 79-year life. Ever since it was built, only the WTC was taller. “The question here is: How close is too close to one of New York’s iconic landmarks,” Councilman Daniel R. Garodnick said Monday, after a hearing in which the owners of both properties made their cases, in advance of a City Council vote on Wednesday. “Is this going to swallow up the Empire State Building,”


Mr. Garodnick asked, “or are we just talking about another big building a couple of avenues away?” The owners of the Empire State Building, Anthony E. and Peter L. Malkin, even want a 17-block no-go zone surrounding their 1,250-foot tall tower. This would prevent Vornado Realty Trust, which wants to erect the new building on Seventh Avenue, or any other developer, from putting up a similarly oversize building in the zone. The City Planning Commission has already approved Vornado’s plan for a tower, called 15 Penn Plaza, opposite Pennsylvania Station. It would be 56 percent larger than what would ordinarily be allowed, in keeping with the city’s desire to promote.

BELOW The view of New York from the top of the Empire State Building.

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“The fact is that New York’s skyline has never stopped changing, and one hopes it never will,” said David R. Greenbaum, the one in charge of the official New York City office division of the Vornado Realty Trust.

Community Board 5, whose district includes the area, did not approve. A committee at the board said the developer had not provided a rationale for such a large zoning bonus. Especially since it did not have a tenant and might not build for years. The vote on Wednesday by the Council would be the project’s final regulatory hurdle. Vornado has long wanted to demolish the building that stands there now, the Hotel Pennsylvania, and build a major office tower. In addition to the hotel, a sagging presence across 7th Avenue from Madison Square Garden.

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LEFT The view of the New York skyline at sunset from across the river with the Manhattan Bridge.

BELOW The Empire State Building currently stands out the most in the New York skyline at night.

The company also does owns another ten buildings in the area, with a total of 11 million square feet. “The fact is that New York’s skyline has never stopped changing, and one hopes it never will,” said David R. Greenbaum. The president of the New York office division of Vornado Realty Trust. Vornado would undertake a package of transit improvements for Penn Station, the busiest rail hub in North America and a confusing maze for many commuters, worth more than $100 million, he added. Each side has produced renderings that it says put the new building in perspective. Vornado prefers a view from the north, which shows 15 Penn Plaza and the Empire State Building carving out their own unimpeded spots on the skyline at sunset. In an advertisement in The New York Times, Malkins showed a view of Midtown from Jersey in which a bulky 15 Penn Plaza nearly muscles the sleeker Empire State Building out of view. At the hearing, Malkins produced a poll they had commissioned showing that 2/3 of the respondents felt that 15 Penn Plaza should be rejected as proposed.

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At the City Council meeting, Mr. Malkin said that building a tower so tall and so close to the Empire State Building was akin to allowing an oil rig next to the Statue of Liberty or a skyscraper next to the Eiffel Tower or Big Ben.

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LEFT The Empire State building during sunset, the most recognizable building in the New York skyline.

TOP Render of 15 Penn Plaza, from the north, shows it and the Empire State building in unimpeded spots.

BOTTOM Render shows how the 15 Penn Plaza tower, as seen from the west, would obstruct the view.

“It’s all about the iconography of the New York skyline and whether it matters to people or not,” said Anthony Malkin, president of Malkin Properties. He suggested that the propesed 15 Penn Plaza to be reduced to 825 feet and that developers should be prohibited from building anything comparable nearby. George Kaufman, another real estate owner and a friend of the Malkins, submitted a letter saying that 15 Penn Plaza “would be an assault on the Empire State Building and the New York City skyline.” Henry Stern, a former parks commissioner, testified that the proposed tower “could do irreparable harm” to the city. Councilman Leroy Comrie posed a final question at the meeting on Monday that seemed to foretell how he would vote: “Is New York City a snapshot taken in 2010 to be held in perpetuity, or is New York City an evolving, dynamic entity?”

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