Re: Innovative Architecture, Infrastructure & Design
Posted: Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:48 pm
Will the Electoral College have to conform to this new reality, I wonder?
Falsehoods unchallenged only fester and grow.
Adding:How New York Is Zoning Out the Human-Scale City
In 2018, Chase Bank announced that it would tear down the fifty-two-story, black-and-silver-ribbed, early Modernist tower at 270 Park Avenue in order to build a new tower at least seventy stories high. This will be the tallest-ever demolition of a perfectly viable building in New York City. In 2002, Chase began a total renovation of the building to LEED standard, a green building certification that gave it “platinum” status, a rating that acknowledges the value of preserving the embodied energy of an existing building and avoids energy use for demolition, landfill, and new construction. Landmark skyscrapers across the country—from the Empire State Building, Chicago’s Willis Tower (formerly Sears), and San Francisco’s Transamerica—have taken this environmentally responsible approach and upgraded their buildings to LEED platinum standard. And in doing so, Chase also benefitted from the five years of federal environmental tax credits that go with that designation. Then threw it all away.
To achieve the extra height and bulk of the new 270 Park, Chase is taking advantage of the “upzoning” of nearby mid-Manhattan that was applied in 2017 to a seventy-three-block area around Grand Central between 39th and 57th Streets. Upzoning’s relaxation of city planning regulations expands the development potential of new buildings by allowing increased height and density (the number of units or amount of floor area on a given lot), and simplifying the transfer of “air rights” from landmarked buildings to new sites within the district. (Air rights are the so-called unused development rights that would allow a hypothetical taller building on a particular lot, but they can be transferred by sale from one lot to another, depending on the district’s zoning designation.) A portion of any air rights sale does go into a city fund specifically for area subway and pedestrian improvements—but, in this case, that would be for an area already jammed with pedestrians.
Chase was thus able to buy air rights from the landmarked St. Patrick’s Cathedral, some six blocks away, and construct a taller, bulkier building. Preservationists have identified at least thirty-three buildings worthy of landmark protection from such redevelopment in this Midtown district, but after fierce resistance from real estate interests, only twelve have been so designated. By no logic—design, environmental, planning, zoning, landfill capacity—does demolition of 270 Park make sense, especially when at least some in the architectural community are trying to advance sustainable design. The planned destruction of 270 Park exemplifies how a vital aspect of the urbanism on which this city has evolved and excelled over decades is now being dangerously eroded.
CurbedNY: A decade of destruction in New York City
New York City has lost countless cultural and historic institutions in the past decade
New York Times: How the Virus May Change Your Next Home
Designers and architects expect the pandemic to affect apartment design long after the lockdowns are over. Here are a few trends you’re likely to see
The coronavirus pandemic has placed any number of demands on our homes, which now serve as makeshift offices, art studios, gyms, workshops, classrooms and storage lockers. And urban apartments — where all of those functions are often squeezed into a space-constrained envelope — face the biggest challenges of all.
Those of us quarantined in a city have devised ad hoc solutions to cope in the short term. But if history is any guide, the experience should have lasting implications for the future of apartment design long after the lockdowns end.
More than a century ago, diseases like tuberculosis and the 1918 influenza “had an enormous impact on architecture, with the creation of sanitariums that were very open and were all about the balcony, light and air,” said Paul Whalen, a partner at Robert A.M. Stern Architects. “Whether it was subconscious or not, that kind of architecture had a big influence on residential architecture throughout the whole 20th century.”
The Guardian: Ami, the tiny cube on wheels that French 14-year-olds can drive
Citroën’s ‘urban mobility object’ is classed as a light quadricyle and can be driven without a full licence
It can be recharged from a standard home socket in three hours and, in its basic grey-and-orange edition, costs €6,000 (£5,550) to buy outright, or, with €100 down, €78 a month – roughly what most Parisians pay for an all-zone metro and suburban rail pass.
Driving it is a doddle. You sit beneath a panoramic roof in the spacious interior, turn the key, select D for drive from the three buttons to the left of your seat, release the handbrake and depress the accelerator pedal – and off you go, with a surprising kick.
In front of you is a monochrome display from the dark ages showing speed, battery level and kilometres remaining before the next charge. There is no boot, but plenty of neat storage nets for small items and room for shopping in front of the passenger seat.
There’s a rudimentary heater, and if the idea of letting a 14-year-old loose on it seems unnerving, Krygier points out that unlike with a scooter – the most likely alternative for many of the Ami’s younger potential customers – you get the stability of four wheels on a proper chassis, and are safely enclosed in a solid tubular steel frame.
The Ami hits 45km/h pretty quickly and can go no faster, but in habitually gridlocked Paris – where speed limits vary from 20km/h to a theoretical 50km/h – that is neither necessary nor, most of the time, even possible (the Ami is not allowed on expressways). The brakes are reassuringly efficient, and a standard parking bay fits two Amis.
StreetsBlogNYC: ‘Permanent and Year-Round’: Mayor’s Restaurant Plan is a Long-Overdue Shift of Public Space from Cars to People
Tens of thousands of parking spaces will be permanently repurposed from free private vehicle storage for use by the city's struggling restaurant owners as part of a revolution in public space unleashed on Friday by Mayor de Blasio.
Tens of thousands of parking spaces will be permanently repurposed from free private vehicle storage for use by the city’s struggling restaurant owners as part of a revolution in public space unleashed on Friday by Mayor de Blasio.
On WNYC’s “Ask the Mayor” segment, Hizzoner revealed that restaurants would be allowed to occupy curbside spaces — which more than 10,000 are already doing — for outdoor dining, not just through the coronavirus pandemic, but all year and, apparently, forever.
It may turn out to be the single biggest conversion of public space since, well, since car drivers commandeered the curbside lane for free overnight vehicle storage in the 1950s.
“A lot of folks in the restaurant industry have said, ‘Could we find a way to build upon this success?’ I want to go for the gold here: I want to really take this model and make it part of the life of New York City for years and generations to come,” the mayor said. “This has been an extraordinarily positive experiment and it has worked. … We already have well over 10,000 restaurants participating and almost 100,000 jobs have been saved, and I believe this is going to make it a lot easier for restaurants to survive.”
Further details were not immediately provided, but the mayor gave the broad outline (update: full details are lower down in this post): ...