Humphreys and Partners, a Dallas-based architecture firm, presented a vision of future residential living at the 2018 International Builders’ Show earlier this year. Tackling current issues of affordable housing, sustainable design and how technology is changing the way we live, their futuristic vision Pier 2: Apartment of the Future consists of two soaring skyscrapers on the Manhattan waterfront.
The design fits into a vision of the future where autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, drones and automated homes are omnipresent and a part of our day-to-day lives. And perhaps this vision is not as limited to the realm of science-fiction as it may seem, with Elon Musk’s proposed Hyperloop recently receiving a permit from the D.C. transportation department to conduct preliminary excavation. The Hyperloop is a transportation system with an in-service goal of 2021, consisting of vacuum tunnels where capsules would speed through on a cushion of air. Humphreys and Partners’ design of the twin apartments incorporates the Hyperloop in their site plan, as well as considering other transportation-related technology, such as full-service bike stations, landing pads for drones and energy-generating walkways. The design also anticipates a fully-automated future for retail, with a cashier-less Amazon Go store on the ground level.
Pier 2: Apartment of the Future also tackles the current issue of affordable housing. It uses a modular design to create units of affordable micro-apartments that can be adapted for co-habitation with others. The design encourages co-living spaces that achieve a sense of community in an often alienating urban landscape. With the advent of the gig economy, where the tradition of having a lifetime career gives way to more and more entrepreneurial and contract-based work, the design incorporates co-working spaces at the lower levels.
In terms of sustainability, the apartments would use photovoltaic glass, which, according to the firm, will reduce electrical consumption by up to 34 percent. The design also uses wind turbines that are located under the upper platform that links the two towers to generate energy for the apartments, as well as solar panels, Tesla energy and using the nearby Hudson River for tidal power. On the sides of the towers, green walls are used for vertical farming and to filter the air.
Seventeen entries have been selected as finalists in the “Beyond the Centerline” competition, which is seeking ideas for how to “re-envision and enliven the traditional traffic medians of the Park Avenue commercial district between 46th and 57th Streets.”
Organized by development company Fisher Brothers, the ideas competition asked architects to submit their “most ambitious and creative visions unencumbered by zoning code, cost, weight limit, or other restrictions.”
“While Park Avenue, with its median plantings and periodic art installations, remains one of the world’s most iconic commercial boulevards, I have long believed that we can and must be far more imaginative in how we encounter and utilize such a precious urban commodity,” said Fisher Brothers Partner Winston Fisher about the competition prompt.
“We are overwhelmed by the response – with nearly 150 submissions received from artists, architects, landscape architects, urban planners, and students – and blown away by the level of thought, creativity and attention to detail that went into the bold designs and sophisticated renderings,” Fisher continued. “Our hope is that this contest and these proposals will spark a real conversation about what can be done to activate Park Avenue’s centerline for a new generation of New Yorkers.”
The top 17 designs will on display in the public arcade of Park Avenue Plaza from March 5th through March 9th. The $25,000 grand prize and $5,000 popular vote winners will be announced on March 13th.
Check out the finalists below:
F005-1 “Botanical Circus” / Terrain Work
C028-5 “Elevated Walkway” / Jonathan Elmore
E021-4 “Aquarium” / Eric Spencer
E004-1 “Mini Golf” / Michelle Schrank
B017-4 “Elevated Walkways, Carnival Ride” / Daniel Elmore
Natural wood veneered ceiling or wall panel, class A flame spread when tested in accordance with ASTM E84, high-performance no-added urea formaldehyde MDF core, improve room acoustics with high NRC value, 100% engineered panel
More about this product
Decoustics Solo-M is a fully customized acoustical ceiling or wall panel. Solo-M panels are available in a variety of natural wood veneers. Custom veneers, stains or paint finishes can be specified. Solo-M veneer lay-up is normally slip matched and quarter cut but can specified based on design intent. Decoustics Solo-M panels are engineered to
specified sizes up to 3’ x 5’ (914mm x 1524mm) and can be custom curved to a minimum outside radius of an approximately 32” (800mm).
Solo-M panels are constructed from perforated no-added formaldehyde MDF core with a natural wood veneer laminated to the panel face and an acoustical black matt laminated to the back side of the panel. For additional acoustical performance, optional loose fill insulation can be added to the back of the installed Solo-M panels.
– Solo-M is a natural wood veneered ceiling or wall panel
– Class A flame spread when tested in accordance with ASTM E84
– High-performance no-added urea formaldehyde MDF core
– Improve room acoustics with high NRC value
– 100% engineered panel; no field modifications necessary
– Grooving can be stopped to create an integral boarder of any width or you can specify a traditional frame
– Various mounting methods available for ceiling application; including DecousticsCeilencio® 100% downward accessible suspension system
Text description provided by the architects. Tucked behind a row of Edwardian homes in San Francisco’s Richmond District, Mountain Lake Park Playground is nestled amidst mature evergreen trees and gently slopes down to the shore of Mountain Lake on the southern edge of Presidio National Park. The new design works seamlessly within this context, creating a feeling that the playground has always been there—specific to this place and this part of San Francisco.
The renovated playground takes advantage of the site’s topography, with separate play areas on terraces, organized according to age and play ability, threaded together by a series of meandering pathways that provide an accessible route throughout the playground, including to the top of the slide. The centerpiece of the playground—a treasured concrete slide that cascades down the side of a large earthen mound—has been preserved, anchoring the updated playground to the cherished memories of the community’s past. Midway on the journey to the top of the slide, an observation platform sits perched on a forest of steel columns, evocative of the trees in the surrounding park. The platform overlooks the pre school area below while facilitating expansive views of Mountain Lake. Apertures in the platform provide framed moments of intrigue for the users both above and below.
Additional design elements draw on the rich natural history of the site. The ‘sand dunes’ of the preschool area represent the rolling sand dunes that once spread across the region; the ribbed pattern of the concrete walls is an abstraction of tulle reeds that line the shores of Mountain Lake; tracks of birds and animals native to the area imprint the surface of the wall that borders the school age area; while large sculptures, including a frog and turtle, acknowledge the native aquatic life in the lake. These site-specific references are enriched by large timber play structures, giving the impression that they were fashioned from logs of the surrounding forests.
The effort to renovate the playground was spearheaded by a group of three local mothers, in partnership with the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department. The three women formed the “Friends of Mountain Lake Park Playground” (FMLPP) in 2010 after they learned a renovation could only happen with the support of community advocates. The project was earmarked to receive funding through the Clean & Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond because of FMLPP’s initial efforts, which also included a substantial donation from the group itself. Remaining funds were raised mainly through small- and medium-sized donations from the community, as well as donated services from Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Lutsko Associates, and Holmes Structures.
Text description provided by the architects. Shenzhen Talent Park is the first high-quality urban park with the theme of “talent” in China. It is linked with Shenzhen Bay Park and Shenzhen Bay Sports Centre, and close to Shenzhen Bay Super Headquarter Base as well as the core area of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
The theme of “talent” in the park was highlighted through the four strategic sectors, encouragement, communication, activity and publicity in a light, natural and artistic expression.
Where the park is located used to be an ocean area, and it has now become the biggest piece of urban green land in Houhai area. The only impression and perception of this place was about the F1H2O UIM World Championship Shenzhen in 2007, and it has faded from people’s memory gradually since 2009. With the city development, as well as the construction and opening-up of the 15km littoral zone along Shenzhen Bay, the future of the site becomes a big question mark in the development of the coastal area.
Life contains poetry in daily details Landscape designer Zhu Jie has accompanied development of this special zone for ten years. As a consistent surface structure, the whole park supports and nourishes natural ecology. Simultaneously, it supports and serves a human ecology system with integrated functions, and offers experience of various urban public space, while bears the features of this zone and balance the implementation between theme expression and public services. Landscape of the park is not only an element for the park, also is an open space structure and accelerant that form urban morphology and function.
As an urban green park, it provides the public with a relaxing and recreation place, the youngers and elders can enjoy their exercises and leisure, while children can have as much fun as they can in the park, people can wander, talk, enjoy themselves and find their own domains.
Venue awakens memory with flow In order to awaken the memory of sea for this urban green land which was born from land reclamation, and a park can be a good carrier of original spirit of this land. From visual sense to consciousness, the park is injected more ocean elements to the place in a more direct way. Concept of “flow” is kept in the whole design: first, space is flowing. Many square spaces are modified with more relaxed curves. At the same time, different kinds of ornamental grasses are used to soften straight boundaries and spaces and offer natural fun. What’s more, different walking paths are designed to allow people to have special connection and interaction.
With three strategies of “flowing, flexibility and boundary”, the designer expects to build a non-stagnating, non-isolated and non-fixed public space system. Based on the feature of water resource of the place, the design shows an abstract of the flowing spirit, which means the water is originated from the sea, go through the park and becomes a part of the city; the design also emphasizes integrated flexibility with multiple functions. A 3km-long slow transportation ring is formed as extension and amplification of the 15km-long Shenzhen Bay littoral zone, and strengthens citizen’s feeling about sea.
Through separation, cutting and recombination of inner and outer boundaries of the park, boundaries among city, park and water are blurred and multiple interfaces with variety and permeability are formed. Outside the park, public roads surround the park and lead to some isolation. Thus, the designer extends interweaving axis in the park to the city, links accessibility of different paths and uses various landscape elements like trees, lamps, small decorations and VI system to connect senses to surroundings, so as to enhance relations between city and the littoral space. In the park, the original coastal line is separated to form lots of offshore islands, which increases visual spatial levels and forms a transitional zone to the wetlands. With such separation, a coastal line develops into three boundaries, which provides more flexibility to water purification and variety of water fronts.
Time sustains vitality through process Timeliness is quite important for a park. However, as four seasons are vague in Shenzhen, the designer creates four seasons in different areas of the park via different deciduous plants and color verification of plants. In this way, people can feel the flow of time. In spring, golden trumpet tree, red cotton tree and orchid tree blossom; in summer, flame-of-the-forest tree flourishes with passion; in autumn, reed and ornamental grasses become light yellow, a little desolated scene of the season; and in winter, silk floss tree, coral tree and orchid tree, which form a special vital scenery.
Landscape of a park is a carrier of many natural processes, which supports existence and lasting of life. While the park is also a carrier of many functions, it brings about and coordinates interfaces between environment and facilities that integrate and exchange with each other. With features of being natural, open, tolerant and diversified, a park will definitely continue overflowing with vigour from today’s vitality.
Text description provided by the architects. It’s the new generation of youth hostels – innovative, integrative
and international – and has recently opened in Bayreuth, Germany. The fluid structure is integrated into the landscape, with 2. contemporary materials and holistic sustainability – a place for active people of all abilities.
LAVA’s concept for the sports hostel is:
1. Innovative– inventive new spatial configuration of the whole facility, including individual room modules, material use and design
2. Integrated–inclusive ‘barrier-free’ building, with sporting areas merging directly with the building, and accessible spaces, facilities and grounds
3. International-the design from creates a feeling of place and combines it with contemporary elements Bayreuth’s global partner cities.
LAVA chose a ‘Y’ shape for the 180-bed hostel because it cleverly generates a connective central space and interweaves the interior and exterior spaces, offering expansive views and multiple accessible openings to the sports fields and gardens.Research showed that Gen Y travellers want funky design, a special identity, access to community and unique experiences. Not just a clean bed and shower! So LAVA’s reinterpretation of a youth hostel features innovative spatial configurations that encourage interaction and accessibility; sustainability at functional, constructional and social levels; and integrated sporting facilities.
The rooms, grounds and facilities are all fully accessible and especially equipped for active people of all abilities. A whole wheelchair basketball team can stay here. Fourteen rooms on the ground floor are wheelchair accessible by lift or ramps, and there are walk-in showers, wheelchair-accessible sinks, more space and technical aids. Doors, terraces, sports and parking areas are accessible and there are customised way-finding systems with strong graphics. Inclusion is also seen in the staffing with about one third of employees having disabilities.
The guest room typology is new – LAVA designed an intelligent wall system with modular contemporary custom built-in furniture – toilets, showers as well as bed niches. These three-dimensional wall modules facilitate different room configurations through partially rotatable beds creating two, four and six-bed rooms. They maximise room usage for a broad range of guests – from individuals to families to wheelchair teams.
The multipurpose central atrium is a surprising element with its play of materials and colours. It fulfills the youth hostel motto ‘Experience the Community’ serving as a hub for (digital) entertainment, interaction and communication. The amphitheatre in the middle is lit by a skylight above and connects to the different levels in a playful way, whilst giving horizontal and diagonal sightlines guiding visitors through the building. Reception, seminar rooms, bistro, kitchen, sports and game facilities are spread out over two floors and connected to each other via this central atrium. Each wing of the Y has access to the exterior at its end, and many ‘loops’ combining inside and outside come together at the central point of the Y. Parts of the building double as grandstands for cultural events and encourage community interaction. Terraces allow direct access to the green fields and sports areas of the ground floor zone, all accessible.
Another feature is no fake surfaces, just authentic materials – wood looks like wood. Much of the structure, including wooden trusses, is exposed, giving a ‘raw’ space. The wood, concrete floors and ceilings create an industrial robustness with brightly coloured infills and strong graphics referencing sports activities or natural elements like tree canopies. Using local materials and techniques there is a focus on solidity and functionality rather than relying on the latest technology.
Holistic sustainability includes environmental – local materials, highly insulated facades, renewable energy, pollution reduction etc. But it also includes social and structural sustainability. Universal design allows everyone to work and to stay and integration sees more potential users, resulting in optimum use of the facility. There are different utilisation cycles for various parts (construction, façade, technical development) – for example only along the corridors and the facades are there load-bearing components – room wings are freely dividable inside. So future reuse/change of use is possible – one day the youth hostel could become a kindergarten, a school or a retirement home. It’s all about intelligent organisation, making it easy to connect, socialise, and creating a stage for individual and group activities.
The designs by Snøhetta for the renovation of the building at 550 Madison Avenue have launched the building to the forefront of the debate about the preservation of Postmodern heritage. The plans include replacing the stone facade with undulating glass in order to transform the building’s street presence. Should plans progress, the once prominent arched entry will sit behind fritted glass and stone covered columns will be unwrapped to create a hovering datum.
Architects like Stern and design advocates like Liz Waytkus, the executive director of the nonprofit preservationist group Docmomo US, are fighting for awareness about a new crop of Postmodern buildings that are now old enough to warrant renovations, but often not quite considered old enough to be declared historically significant.
Watch the film by Metropolis Magazinehere to find out more about this critical moment for architectural preservation.
The successful partnership between Danish designer Christian Flindt and Louis Poulsen forges ahead with the ambitious LP GRAND system for large rooms.
Asked for big – and got it. Christian Flindt’s illuminated round fixture has a diameter of up to 1.5 metres and bears the prestigious name, LP GRAND. The fixture can be surface mounted on the ceiling or suspended by wires, and has a simple silhouette with soft harmonic lines.
With LP GRAND, Christian Flindt has succeeded in developing an extremely versatile fixture series, with countless combination options. It offers architects, engineers, light designers and installers a light toolbox that can provide general lighting using a single fixture series – while also adding character through a creative approach to the project.
The round ceiling fixtures have the advantage that they can be arranged in any conceivable pattern without disrupting the ceiling surface. They can be placed in rows, formations or patterns, in various sizes and at various heights, only limited by your creativity. LP GRAND can thus be used to provide light that fulfils functional requirements while also creating a unique atmosphere.
The fixture is ideal for hotels, restaurants, schools and offices – locations that require comfortable and energy efficient lighting while also calling for an appealing design. LP GRAND works well in rooms with high or low ceilings, and the fixture family encourages the creation of innovative and inspiring lighting environments.
Go to the Louis Poulsen website for more information
But after new zoning legislation for the neighborhood was passed last year, the building’s current owner, JPMorgan Chase, has announced plans to raze the 707-foot-tall building in favor of a new, hi-tech supertall replacement. If plans go through, it would be the world’s largest and tallest building ever to be intentionally demolished.
The building, identifiable by its black metal and silver rib facade, sits above the Metro-North railway, and is notable for its second floor lobby and large urban plaza. The building underwent one of the largest office renovations in history in 2012, when it was brought up to LEED-Platinum standards.
But Chase claims that the location is no longer large enough to house their growing workforce, and that in current conditions, 6,000 employees are housed in a building only intended for 3,500. The new building would be reach as tall as 70 stories and would provide an addition 1 million square feet of space, improving company efficiency and allowing for future growth.
Despite being held in high regard by the architecture community, 270 Park was passed up for landmark status in a review of the district prior to the rezoning that saw 12 other buildings in the area added to the list. The neighborhood now contains 50 landmarked structures, including the Seagram Building.
If plans are to go forward, demolition could begin as early as next year, with completion anticipated for 2023.
Panels are finished on all faces, can be installed individually to identify a space or grouped together to create unique configurations, they use a unique anchor hanger and spiral spring to ease installation, shapes and clouds can be custom color matched to any paint chip