Oculus - Fall 2013 - (Page 17)

first words A WORD FROM THE EDITOR ©Tami Hausman Political by Design “Architecture has its political Use; publick Buildings being the Ornament of a Country; it establishes a Nation, draws People and Commerce; makes the People love their native Country, which Passion is the Original of all great Actions in a Common-wealth. Architecture aims at Eternity.” —Sir Christopher Wren, as quoted in Parentalia, or, Memoirs of the family of the Wrens (1750) rom approving a canopy over a bodega’s door to rezoning swaths of neighborhoods and post-industrial waterfronts, it all boils down to politics. Not much would change, or a whole lot more could change, if only politics would get out of the way – or intervene, depending upon which side of what fence you sit. This issue of Oculus goes to press before the mayoral election that has many of us wondering what’s in store for New York City in a post-Bloomberg era. No matter what your politics, it’s hard to deny we have seen an unprecedented amount of city-building over the last 12 years. (So much for the post-9/11 “end of building tall towers” mantra.) Development at Ground Zero is moving along, despite – and because of – politics. We didn’t get the 2012 Olympics, but Hudson Yards is coming out of the ground, with the 7 line extending to meet it. The Second Avenue subway is (finally) wending its way southward. Moynihan Station is still a dream, but there are signs of hope with Madison Square Garden getting a 10-year – instead of an in-perpetuity – lease from the city. After years of effort we got the High Line, which has spawned a spate of high-design developments. The list goes on. So where to begin? With two of the most important issues facing the city, no matter who is mayor: affordable housing and waterfront resilience in a post-Sandy world. We start with a “big picture” of the current state of housing stock, and some new approaches that architects, housing specialists, and city agencies are using to create affordable communities, not just containers for living. A case in point is Hunter’s Point South, where the 925 rental units in the first two of five towers will be affordable. Prefab modular construction is also beginning to make its mark, as evidenced by the adAPT NYC competitionwinning design for micro-units, and a seven-story moderateincome apartment building in Inwood that was literally stacked in about three weeks. Turning towards New York’s so-called “sixth borough,” we offer an overview of efforts that began as plans to bring the longunderutilized waterfront back to the people with mixed-use F Editor befriending a SoHo denizen. developments and public parks, and morphed into post-Sandy initiatives that stress waterfronts as a primary defense against rising ocean levels – and superstorms. One such project is the five-mile-long East River Blueway, which includes the redevelopment of Pier 42. We also look at two series of beach structures – prefab “pods” raised on concrete stilts, and reclaimed structures badly damaged by Sandy – that are inviting residents and tourists back to the beaches at the Rockaways, Coney Island, and Staten Island. Many initiatives have included AIANY and other civic groups’ involvement, such as the FAR ROC design competition, whose four finalists are highlighted here. Last, but certainly not least, is the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a prime example of the city getting behind the years-long development of the 300-acre former brownfield into “a magnet for eco-friendly manufacturing businesses, with rising numbers of green buildings and infrastructure to match.” In an op-ed, Alexander Garvin, Hon. AIA, minces no words about what he thinks the next mayor needs to do so that the city that “used to be a cauldron of urban innovation” can retake the lead in urban reform. In our regular departments, “One Block Over” looks at the metamorphosis of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. “In Print” takes on Lambert’s Building Seagram, Kirkland’s Paris Reborn, and new tomes on NYC landscapes, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, and tree gardens. “132-Year Watch” delves into the Tweed Courthouse, “shaped and reshaped by political agendas.” Sometimes I wonder how much further the city would have come were it not for the 2008 financial crash. Would we be closer to goals laid out in PlaNYC, the New Housing Marketplace Plan, and other initiatives? We’ll never know for sure, but my guess would be yes. Am I optimistic about the future? I’m a New Yorker – of course I am. But if you need assurance, take an afternoon off and see the city with new eyes – its well-known icons and latest crop of hoping-to-be-icons – on an AIANY Around Manhattan Boat Tour! Kristen Richards, Hon. AIA, Hon. ASLA kristen@ArchNewsNow.com Correction: In the Summer 2013 issue, pg. 25, Viridian Energy & Environmental should have been credited as the sustainability consultant for Kohn Pedersen Fox’s One Jackson Square. Politics = Architecture Fall 2013 Oculus 17

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Oculus - Fall 2013

Letter from the President
A Word from the Editor
Op-Ed
Center for Architecture
One Block Over
Opener: The City More Beautiful
Affordable Housing in 2013: Communities, Not Containers
Riverfront Redesigned
The Future of Prefab
From Ports to Parks: New York’s Waterfront Wager
East River Magic
Shoring Up for the Future
FAR ROC Rocks!
Yard Work
In Print
132-Year Watch
Last Words
Index to Advertisers

Oculus - Fall 2013

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