New York

Wood Clad Frenzy In San Francisco


Despite the complaining we read on other websites, we here at Tropolism say "Tropolism means imitation is the highest form of flattery." In this case it is both the entry we are linking to and the content of that entry (sorry to go meta on you). The entry: our entry about a new Manhattan residential building clad in wood has inspired Treough Blog to tell us about a San Francisco residential building clad in wood, too! The building: while it's difficult to see the two as inspiring each other, since they were probably designed around the same time to zero publicity, we are unable to refrain commenting on the West Coast entry. The comment: read what Treough wrote.

Fashion Exhibitions Duet


New York is home to not one but two fashion shows that are not at the Costume Institute at The Met. Special Correspondant Barrett Feldman gives us her take:

"I went to two thoughtfully curated shows on Fashion: The Fashion of Architecture: Constructing The Architecture of Fashion at the Center for Architecture and Fashion in Colors at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum. It was interesting to go to both fashion shows back to back. The show at the Center for Architecture had a few pieces by Lucy Orta's which challenges us to rethink the boundary between body and city. The show uptown at the Cooper Hewitt was categorized primarily according to color, such that each room had designs from the 1820s to 2005. I learned that in the 1700s red pigment was made from beetle juice and tumeric! The clothing in both shows had a level of complexity in which each stitch, pleat and hem worked not only to clad the body but to create an exterior layer which is well-crafted, surprising, and the interface layer with the world. It reminded me that architecture emerges as much from its relationship to the body as it does from its relationship to site."

What My Dog Saw On His Walk This Morning, 19th Street Edition


Wrapping up our Curbed-inspired "Chelsea Condo Fridays" theme today, we bring you pictures of the startlingly lovely Chelsea House under construction on 19th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues (please note typo in the title of their webpage). Designed by GKV Architects, the same architects who did the elegant, neo-bushhammered concrete Luminaria, located somewhere east of 5th Avenue.

Chelsea House caught my puppy's attention because of the cast-in-place textured columns, as well as the Borromini-oratorio-esque divot in the center of the building, giving what would otherwise be a Late International Style frame a Late Brutalist touch, by adding a bit of spatial relief to the face of the building. After the jump, more pictures, including the wonderful corner detail, worthy of a Mies student doing Corb: simple. Tropolism means gorgeous, well-detailed background buildings.

What My Dog Saw On His Walk This Morning, 21st Street Edition

One of the two huge construction cranes on 21st Street, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, has been busy since yesterday with steel erection for the penthouses at the O'Neill Building (warning: annoying flash intro with music). No gold-leafed onion domes yet, but as I walk my dog each morning, I'll be sure to take pictures of relevant updates.

One of the things I really like about this conversion is the color they have painted the O'Neill Building. And, all the back apartments face the old cemetery, which you cannot see in my photograph because it's behind the massive red crane.

That's not all my puppy saw this morning. More on this.

NY Times Trifecta: Future, Present, Past


Newspapers are such wonderful organizations. They are like huge mechanical writing machines, that create sets of articles with unintended synchronicities. Take, for example, this week-end's fare, neatly summarized by the staff here at Tropolism as Future, Present, Past:

(click continue reading for more)

Center for Urban Pedagogy


With a name destined for ridicule, the Center for Urban Pedagogy could have been a one-exhibition wonder. But no. They are Involved. The are Policital. And, most of all, they are Productive. No complaining, only solutions. This, we can respect.

Folksongs For The Fivepoints


Continuing our theme of ways people map the city, we discovered, through BoingBoing, the Folksongs for the Fivepoints project. You can remix the sample sounds of the Lower East Side and create your own folk song. A glorious noise.

Manhattan Tower Clad In Wood

residentialwood1.jpg I've been looking forward to writing about this building. The sidewalk protection went down a week or so ago, making close-up pictures possible.

The tower is on Tenth Avenue at 24th Street. What has caught my eye, since they clad it, is its warm, copper-colored hue. It almost appears to be wood. Upon closer inspection, it is wood! Finally, someone in the USA used one of those European exterior-grade plywood panel systems I've been looking at for years.

More pictures after the jump...

The AIA NY No Longer Blows


Hell. Also known as a full day of continuing education credits.

Props to the AIA for a great Center for Architecture and offering two days of continuing ed credits, for those of us who got zero over the year. Unfortunately, the presenter from the light-gauge steel framing company had a laptop that couldn't get the aspect ratio correct, wasting about 200 man-hours of licensed New York Architect's time. Just add it to Microsoft's 2035 Information Crimes Trial list of charges.

Choosing not to look at a vendor's XP laptop in high-resolution projection, I instead strolled around looking at the exhibition for NYC AIA's 2005 awards. New York has a lot of gorgeous projects, interiors, and buildings to be very proud of. Many of them have appeared on these pages. Some have not. Some will

The second thing I did was survey my fellow classmates. First impression: I see white people! Mostly guys in their 50s. A healthy mix of women, but no more than 25%. Minorities, mostly of asian descent, composed about 10% of the room.

The quality of the curation is wonderful. Budget, but with a superb graphic sensibility.

Banlieue: Gowanas Canal Edition


The crack reporting staff at Curbed (which is our favorite architecture site, yo) uncovered this nugget about the next Banlieue, here in our own back yard. Or, to be precise, the former sewage canal in the woods behind our backyard.

Apparently, the architect, Mr. Enrique Norton's studio, was so inspired by their trip to the crowded mess around Shinjuku Station, complete with trees precariously wedged between roadway and side of building, meaningless lawns, and gray surfaces of indeterminate material everywhere, that they chose to design an entire development to look like it. Unfortunately for the Gowanas Canal, there is nothing like the 3.22 million people per day going through this station, so be ready to have all those glass street-level patios turned into lifeless and locked surfaces. AKA: Battery Park City for the 00's.

Olafur Eliasson and Peter Zumthor, In Conversation


I'm sure many of you knew about the dialogue between Peter Zumthor and Olafur Eliasson last Monday. And, given your hectic holiday party schedule, you knew about it and missed it anyway. Like us.

Fear not, Tropolism Special Correspondant Saharat Surattanont was there to capture the goods. His copious notes, after the jump. It promised to be a lively exchange, given Olafur's massive and gorgous reworking of Zumthor's Kunsthaus Bregenz in 2001. According to Sah, it was, except not in the synergetic way we all thought. Olafur apparently lumped Zumthor in to the category every other architect is in (including me, yo), that is, someone who mediates reality. And Olafur wants to undo that. Read on...

Breaking: High Line Railbanked, Construction Begins 2006


The High Line has been donated by CSX to New York, clearing the way for construction to begin in 2006, and the first sections to be open in 2008. Click here for the breaking Press Release.

More Pretty Pictures


Speaking of pretty pictures, the building we starting loving in our first week blogging (way back in April, yo) is beginning to receive some photo-love. After last month's distraction (picked up by other websites, yo), we are ready for some wicked-good reflection images.

Via ever-pretty Curbed.

Sculpture For Living: Still No Drapes


Our ever-diligent friend and resident interior designer Renee Turman has given us yet another picture of the Sculpture for Living in New York Magazine, this time from the November 7th issue. Her running commentary is too good to keep to myself:

"Wow. She's still naked. Still scared. And still got no drapes!"
And still got that horrible segmented-curve curtain wall.

Janette Kim Vocal


We've mentioned before how much we admire Janette Kim. Now's your chance to catch up on what she's up to: she has a show and a lecture at Barnard (it's above 23rd street). Her talk is November 28, 6.30, Barnard Hall room 304.

Julliard Gets The Knife


We've all known about Diller Scofidio+Renfro's Lincoln Center sliding and dicing for a while now. And the idea of cutting into our second favorite NYC building, Pietro Belluschi's gorgeously brutalist travertine wonder, The Julliard School, has presented the question of the limits of preservation. After all, we have an emotional attachment to a building that looks great, and functions like an iceberg in a public pool.

What this new puff piece from the NY Times gives up is what the plans are for the interior of Alice Tully Hall, our second-favorite concert space in New York. Of course, there are resin panels that light up. What else? While we will be a little sad to see the wood and bushhammered concerete interior get trashed, we are intrigued by a glowing wood concert hall. Yet another example of how a radical transformation of a historical building can make for a better city. Cough.

2 Columbus Circle Camera


2 Columbus Circle now has its own webcam. Except they're trying to create shame. Of course, I see it as a wonderfully useful tool to check the progress on a great renovation, so it just goes to show that public protest works both ways: to reinforce arguments on both sides. Here's a snippet of a hugely persuasive argument from the people-without-an-alternative-solution:

"Welcome to the 2 Columbus Circle SHAME CAM, a live webstream keeping a round-the-clock eye on this world-famous, imminently endangered building designed by Edward Durell Stone and completed in 1964."

Useless adjectives abound. This side of a run-on. No thought. Save it all!

Via Curbed.

So Totally Not The Switch Building

322 hicks front.jpg

For possible inclusion into the Two Dozen List of starchitect designed midrise residential buildings: 322 Hicks in Brooklyn. Smith-Miller+Hawkinson has given us an almost-Switch building. Check out the pictures on the Corcoran website. There are some lovely moments, and some developer kitchens. Tread carefully, and be prepared to avert your eyes.

Parsons Students Take Out Corporate Space


Parsons Students, true to form, have taken on the LMCC's Swing Space program with brilliant ease. The LMCC program is designed to use underutilized real estate in Lower Manhattan. It's gentrification with a built-in obselesence: the LMCC secures temporary space and they get someone to put art in it for a while. Hey, whatever works! In this case, the early 90s bank lobby at the Equitable Building has been brutally appropriated with a system of heavy conduit designed for flexibile exhibitions. It definitely has the hand of David Lewis of LTL behind it, and it's gorgeous anyway.